My initial thoughts on Sergey Kovalev’s twelve round domination of Bernard Hopkins and Sadam Ali’s impressive 9th Round TKO of Carlos Abregu.
[RD 1] – The theme for tonight was Craft vs. Force… and while Bernard Hopkins may be one of the craftiest fighters in boxing history, Kovalev’s brute force was ultimately too much.
[RD 2] – I was very impressed with Sadam Ali… Coming into the fight with Abregu, I didn’t think much of Ali.. thought he was a decent boxer but would ultimately succumb to the awkward power of Abregu. I was extremely wrong.
[RD 3] – Ali figured out quickly that he could get off first and beat Abregu to the punch. He landed the straighter shots and was able to use his movement to leave Abregu stuck in his tracks.
[RD 4] – There was a good amount of hype surrounding Carlos Abregu, especially after it was reported that Top Rank wouldn’t match him with the likes of Pacquiao, Marquez or any of the other top name fighters in the division. This loss truly derailed any chance for Abregu to fight a mega-star, especially after already having a loss to Timothy Bradley.
[RD 5] – Ali on the other hand is interesting… he’s a good boxer, has decent power and seems very intelligent in the ring. His counter right hand that knocked Abregu down in the sixth round was perfectly timed and placed. His ability to finish Abregu shows he has the talent to be fierce competitor in the division.
[RD 6] – Hopkins vs. Kovalev was a hardcore fight fans type of fight. Anyone with any knowledge of the fight game knew coming in that it wasn’t going to be an action packed bout.
[RD 7] – What impressed me the most about Sergey Kovalev’s utter destruction of Hopkins can be summed up in one word… patience.
[RD 8] – Kovalev never got excited, outta character or overzealous. He controlled every round, landed a multitude of power shots, consistently hurt Hopkins, but never strayed from the gameplan of controlled rage. It was incredibly impressive, especially on the biggest stage of his career.
[RD 9] – Bernard Hopkins came into the fight with a game plan… of course he did, he’s a cerebral guru inside the squared circle… but the entire plan went out the window the split second Kovalev landed a quick yet powerful right hand counter that dropped Hopkins. The rest of the fight saw Hopkins extremely defensive, averaging 15 thrown punches a round. He landed a few nice counter shots, but nothing of significance.
[RD 10] – While the fight was intensely one-sided and boring to the casual eye… the 12th round supplied us with some excitement. After Hopkins landed a left hook to Kovalev’s neck, Sergey went into KO mode and went for the kill landing crushing shots… something we’ve never seen Hopkins absorb in his lengthy career. While Kovalev’s offensive output was extremely eye-catching, what was more impressive to me was Hopkins willingness and fortitude to take the shots and finish the fight on his feet.
[RD 11] – Personally… I don’t think Hopkins should retire. I’d actually favor him over almost every other fighter in the division including Adonis Stevenson. On the other hand, he is going to be 50 and has left his mark on the game. He’s made me eat my words on many occasions [Trindidad and Pavlik] and always fought the best. He’s a legend that’ll go down in history as a beautiful blend of ruggedness and craft.
[RD 12] – Sergey Kovalev is the total package. He has blistering power, a great skill set, intelligence, a good chin and most importantly… he dares to be great. He’ll fight anyone. He unified tonight, but he’s still not the recognized Light Heavyweight Champion of the world. That title belongs to Adonis Stevenson. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that Stevenson wants any part of Kovalev. He ran from him once [leaving HBO to fight on Showtime] and based on Stevenson’s recent fight negotiations, it doesn’t look like Adonis Stevenson is in anyway concerned with unifying. Regardless, the people know who the best fighter in the division is and in the end, that’s all that matters. Would I like to see Kovalev-Stevenson? Of course! But most of all, I just wanna see Sergey Kovalev in the ring again. Krusher Kovalev is a star.
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