Good thing comes to those who wait.
It was the virtue of patience, apart from his vaunted power, that carried the night for Sergey Kovalev, who now owns three alphabet belts in the light heavyweight division, after his dominant performance over Bernard Hopkins in Atlantic City. The unification bout is the main event on Saturday night, televised by HBO.
Kovalev dropped Hopkins in Round 1 en route to unanimous decision victory. The scorecards read: 120-106, 120-107, and 120-107.
Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KO) employed a very effective and brilliantly executed game-plan. He was too cautious not open up recklessly, but not that too cautious to stay longer than needed in the defensive shell. He pressed forward, but retreats to reset if he got hit. He traded punches, but he never overextend. He showed he’s not just about power, but a well polish fighter who can outbox the trickiest boxer in Bernard Hopkins.
But you have to give full credit to Bernard Hopkins, who is half century old, for taking a fight from a younger and most feared puncher in the sport today.
Hopkins was able to absorbed hard right hands from Kovalev, except one that came in the first round that dropped him. Those kinds of punches from the Russian put to sleep several young yet untested opponents.
For me it was a well calculated performance for both men.
Krusher, although dominating, yet, employed controlled aggression.
The Alien, sensing he cannot subdue the younger and stronger lion – fight to survive.
With the above being said, few boxing fans in attendance can be heard with their roaring boos! I just don’t know exactly for who those boos are. One thing was certain; it was heard all over the venue.
After the fight, both men were gracious.
“Hopkins is a tough opponent. He’s very good at keeping distance and keep control. I respect him for the fight, but he needs to stop career I think because he’s already done a lot in the boxing world and he needs to give opportunity to younger guys to be champions, says Kovalev.
“He had a good game plan nice and rangy. Stayed outside when he got hit with punches. Not that many, but when he did get hit he stepped back. He didn’t try to engage the fight as far as when he got hurt. But he fought a great technical fight.” says Hopkins.
With the defeat Hopkins is uncertain to fight on. But one thing for sure, Kovalev sits atop at the light heavyweight division, with another man on his radar – Adonis Stevenson.
Sadam Ali stops Luis Carlos Abrigu, passes toughest test
It was very scientific yet entertaining fight. In the first three rounds, a casual fan might be bored. But for hard core boxing fans those rounds were certainly fun to watch, as both fighters fighting like a chess match, anticipating each other moves and counter moves. Those rounds were actually difficult for judges to score.
In Round 4, it becomes obvious that Sadam Ali (21-0, 13 KO’s) prefers to counter-punch while Abrigu pressing the action, but Ali is slightly getting the better of it. He started to get more confidence, as he lands clearer punches after a very cautious first three rounds.
In round 6, Ali shocks Abregu. He lands a well timed straight right hand right on the jaw that drops Abrigu. The shot perfectly thrown as Abrigu’s feet squared up while pursuing the backpedaling Ali. Although, Abrigu got up — he’s obviously hurt. Sensing the groggy, Abrigu, Ali tries to unload flurries but there’s the bell rang to signal the end of the round.
In round 7, Ali’s confident grew even bigger and becomes the aggressor. But Abrigu hangs tough and landed significant punches that momentarily put Ali back to counter-punching again — although it was again another clear round for Ali.
In Round 8, Abrigu (36-2, 29 KO’s) clearly needs a knockout to win (Abrigu at this round, clearly behind the scorecards) he mounted a rally. He was able to land crisp punches from the outside that somewhat slowed down the footwork of Ali. It was the only round I saw Abrigu put a smile on his face going back into his corner. A decisive round for Abrigu.
However, the rally Abrigu started in Round 8 becomes history in the next round as Ali fight back. Ali landed couple of hard shots that sent Abrigu down again! This time pretty hard! The referee let Abrigu continue but moment’s later stop the contest after Ali came in for the kill, landing some straight right hands.
With the win, Ali is now entering the mix of talent loaded welterweight division.
Vyanchezlav Shabransky TKO2 Emil Gonzalez
Vyanchezlav Shabransky (11-0, 9 KO’s) made a quick work on Emil Gonzalez in the under-card. The light heavyweight prospect was too strong and too powerful. From the opening bell, Shabransky was all over Gonzalez, unloading tons of heavy bombs to the head and body of Gonzalez.
It was a mismatch from the beginning.
Gonzalez (11-9-1, 8 KO) seemed never lands any punch of significant and was on the back foot for the six minutes he fought. Few seconds before the end of Round 2, Gonzalez received tremendous punishment. He tried to hold Shabransky. But he fell on his knees prompting the referee to rule a knockdown. He got up and beat the count. The bell rang to signal to end of the second round. Few seconds, after Gonzalez reported to his corner, the referee signaled that the fight is over. Gonzalez was not able to continue. Shabransky gets the win via TKO and remains undefeated.