Hopkins vs Kovalev

Bernard Hopkins Sergey Kovalev

Hopkins Kovalev

Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

08 November 2014, 23:59:00

8

Nov

WBA Super World, IBF & WBO Light-Heavyweight Championships

Post-fight analysis

Masterful Kovalev puts in tremendous display to beat legend Hopkins

Sergey Kovalev put on a masterful display to unify the WBO, WBA and IBF World Light-Heavyweight titles with a unanimous decision win over the legendary Bernard Hopkins.

It was a breathtaking start as the travelling fighter smashed in a dipping right hand to the temple to send an off balance Hopkins to the canvas for an opening round knockdown. The 49-year-old recovered shook off the effects to see out the round.

Kovalev boxed clever in the second, not bulldozing for the stoppage as he has done with other less esteemed opponents in the past but patiently cutting off the angles and picking his shots against an as yet impotent Hopkins.

The Russian continued his assault in the third, although he was forced back momentarily by a smart Hopkins counter before resuming his high pressure approach and finishing the round with a salvo of heavy shots.

Kovalev's aggression was relentless. He opened the fourth with another heavy right hand, leaving Hopkins to shake his head in defiance. The Chelyabinsk native scored with more big rights to widen his increasing advantage on the scorecard.

The reigning WBO champ maintained his measured aggression in the fifth, fending off Hopkins' one scoring punch mid-round. Kovalev's dominance was becoming more and more evident, landing more punches and out-working the legendary Hopkins.

The sixth was a quiet round as Hopkins tucked his chin in neatly while Kovalev continued to probe away, with little success.

Hopkins enjoyed his most successful round in the seventh as he caught Kovalev clean, pushing him onto his back foot and halting his previously relentless progress.

But the 49-year-old's success was short-lived as Sergey Kovalev landed a tremendous right hand that Hopkins somehow withstood and stayed on his feet. Kovalev remained patient, still refusing to chase the stoppage but safe in the knowledge he'd banked yet another round.

It was more of the same in the ninth as Kovalev tempered his power with patience, his desire to win with respect for one of the sweet science's finest operators. The Russian found himself in unchartered territory, fighting in championship rounds for the first time in his career.

The crowd roared the hometown fighter on in the tenth as he landed with a right hand and then a left, but Kovalev didn't look fazed as he soaked up those advances and settled back into his rhythm.

Hopkins enjoyed some brief glimmers in the final two rounds, but it was the Sergey Kovalev show in the Boardwalk Hall as the Russian secured a massive unanimous decision. The scorecards came back 120-107, 120-107, 120-106 in favour of Kovalev, who will now surely hunt down the WBC title holder Adonis Stevenson and look to become the undisputed champion of the world?

Pre-fight analysis

Can "Krusher" Kovalev send legend Hopkins into retirement?

We're live with a hugely intriguing bout between boxing's oldest ever world champion Bernard Hopkins, 49, and the unbeaten knockout machine Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev.

Bernard Hopkins 6

The Philadelphia's-born fighter's record-breaking career speaks for itself. The future hall of famer is a 65-fight veteran with 55 wins on his slate, including an 11-year run as middleweight world champion. The remarkable Hopkins made his pro debut in October 1988, when Russian knockout artist Kovalev was just six years old.

With his April win over Beibut Shumenov, the remarkable Hopkins shattered another record by becoming the oldest man to unify world titles, setting up a mouthwatering clash with hard-hitting WBO title holder Kovalev. Always chasing greatness, the man who turns 50 next January has already stated he wants to become undisputed champion by beating Kovalev and WBC Champion Adonis Stevenson.

Sergey Kovalev 2

American-based Russian Kovalev, 31, has built a reputation as a fearsome puncher, winning his last nine bouts early as part of a 25-0 record. The reigning WBO Champ won his title from Britain's Nathan Cleverly in August last year, and has since defended it against Ismayl Sillah, Cedric Agnew and Blake Caparillo.

But a defence against the legendary Hopkins is without question Kovalev's toughest fight during his reign as WBO Champ, so don't miss this blockbuster live from Atlantic City.

Luis Carlos Abregu Sadam Ali

Abregu Ali

08 November 2014, 23:59:00

The WBO Intercontinental Welterweight Championship

Post-fight analysis

Unbeaten Ali outpaces Abregu to score ninth round TKO 

Sadam Ali scored sixth and ninth round knockdowns en route to an impressive and profile-raising TKO win over now 36-2 Luis Abregu. Ali announced himself on the big stage and improved to 21-0 with his win, with good hand speed and great movement the keys to his success.

The Yemeni-born New Yorker started the quicker of the two, landing a few scoring shots in the opening rounds while Abregu seemed content to simply get his feet moving.

The Argentine did enjoy some good moments towards the end of the second, but it was Ali edging it in the third as the fight got off to a slow start, attracting jeers from an impatient Boardwalk Hall crowd.

It wasn't until the fourth round that Abregu landed anything of note, first connecting with a straight right before winging in a clubbing left hand, although Ali partially blocked the shot and still pinched the round on workrate.

Entering with an impressive KO record of 29 stoppage wins from a 36-1 record, Argentina's Abregu showed small signs of his power in the fifth as he crashed home a combination with Ali backed into the ropes.

Ali thundered in a right hand on the button to send Abregu to the canvas in the sixth, leaving his man on shaky footing and only just able to see out the round as the blue touch paper was finally lit on a slow-starting contest.

Abregu still looked unsteady in the seventh, but, perhaps realising he needed the stoppage, regained his senses and started loading up on his shots. Ali kept his feet moving to elude Abregu's dangerous punches and escape the round without any major trouble.

The Argentine fighter looked increasingly dangerous in the eighth as he went hunting the stoppage he almost certainly needed for the win, with Ali tensing up and soaking up some punishment but hanging in there.

In the ninth and final round, Abregu landed early before Ali countered and rocked his opponent. The Brookyln fighter followed up with a stunning right hand to send Abregu to the canvas for a second and, ultimately, decisive time. The 30-year-old made it back to his feet, but Ali charged forward and landed with rights and lefts to force the stoppage.
 

Pre-fight analysis

Abregu and Ali look to make headway in crowded welterweight division

Argentina meets the USA in this fight between two successful welterweight campaigners. Luis Carlos Abregu holds an impressive record of 36 wins and one loss and Sadam Ali is undefeated at 20-0.

After losing to Tim Bradley in California, Abregu returned to Argentina to string together four wins, before returning to the US to beat Thomas Dulorme by TKO in 2012.

26-year-old Sadam Ali has had quite a good year so far, winning twice including a knockout against 41-year-old Michael Clark in April.

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