SPOILER ALERT: Check out results of Kovalev-Chilemba title fight in Russia

Sergey Kovalev/Photo courtesy of Main Events Inc.

 

 

Sergey Kovalev on Monday retained his three light heavyweight belts when he pounded out a 12-round, unanimous decision over Isaac Chilemba in Kovalev’s native Russia.

Kovalev won by scores of 116-111, 117-110 and 118-109.

Kovalev decked Chilemba (24-4-2), of South Africa via Malawi,  in the seventh round. But Chilemba was able to take Kovalev the distance for just the fourth time in Kovalev’s career.

Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) is slated to next defend against former super middleweight champion Andre Ward on Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena. Ward must first get past Alexander Brand on Aug. 6 at Oracle Arena in Ward’s native Oakland.

Kovalev-Chilemba will be televised by HBO later Monday night.

 

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Sergey Kovalev, Isaac Chilemba saying good things about obvious mismatch

Sergey Kovalev/Photo courtesy of Main Events Inc.

 

Fighters know they have to help promote their fights, so you’ll rarely hear any of them say they are about to take on an overmatched fighter because they know the viewership could suffer.

It therefore wasn’t surprising to hear what Sergey Kovalev said at Friday’s final news conference for his light heavyweight title defense against Isaac Chilemba on Monday in Kovalev’s native Russia (on HBO).

“The hardest time of my training camp is past now and I am going to give you good show,” Kovalev said. “My opponent, Chilemba, is very motivated and that is why he is so dangerous.”

Well, Kovalev is 29-0-1 with 26 knockouts and is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. That’s dangerous. Chilemba is 24-3-2 with just 10 knockouts and he’s coming off a majority-decision loss to contender Eleider Alvarez in November.

Anyway, Chilemba, of South Africa via Malawi, is also talking a good game.

“… This is my time, this is my destiny,” he said. “I believe I was destined to be WBO, WBA and IBF World Champion”

Those are the three belts Kovalev holds and will continue to hold after he knocks out Chilemba. Kovalev is then slated to take on Andre Ward on Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Ward will take on Alexander Brand of Colombia in is own tune-up fight Aug. 6 at Oracle Arena in Ward’s native Oakland (on HBO).

 

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Sergey Kovalev was stoked about training in the mountains of Armenia

Sergey Kovalev in the mountains of Armenia/Photo contributed by Sergey Kovalev

 

Light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev has not fought in his native Russia since December 2011, a year and eight months before he won the first of his three belts.

Kovalev will bring those titles back home when he defends them against Isaac Chilemba on July 11 in Ekaterinburg, Russia (on HBO).

Kovalev is training outside of the U.S. for the first time since beating Nathan Cleverly in August 2013 to win his first belt. Since he likes training at altitude, Kovalev recently completed the first phase of his camp at the mountains of Armenia.

“I try to look for mountainous regions which provide the right elevation and terrain for my conditioning training (biking, running),” Kovalev said. “Armenia is well-known for their mountains and terrain, plus it was also a good opportunity to get away from the attention, to focus solely on training.”

Kovalev liked that the Russian national team was training nearby.

“The Russian Boxing Olympic team had their training camp in the same area (Tsaghkadzor, Armenia) as well, so I had good company around me, the right training mentality and focus level,” he said. “Help from the local trainers and Russian national team boxers was quite handy with finding the new trails for my runs and biking.”

Kovalev, 33, is 29-0-1 with 26 knockouts. Chilemba, 29, is from South Africa. He is 24-3-2 with 10 knockouts and has very little chance of defeating Kovalev, who has a knockout ratio of 87 percent.

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Sergey Kovalev knocks out Nadjib Mohammedi in the third round

Sergey Kovalev, left, and Nadjim Mohammedi do the obligatory staredown following Friday’s weigh-in/Photo courtesy of David Spagnolo, Main Events

 

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev once again lived up to his moniker when he retained his three light heavyweight titles by knocking out Nadjib Mohammedi in the third round Saturday at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Kovalev decked Mohammedi (37-4), of France, in the second and third rounds. Mohammedi rose after the final knockdown, but referee Kenny Bayless waved off the bout at 2:38.

Kovalev, of Russia, is now 28-0-1 with 25 knockouts. He has made six title defenses.

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Bernard Hopkins, Sergey Kovalev to tangle in Atlantic City on Nov. 8

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Bernard Hopkins/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

The site has been set for the Nov. 8 light heavyweight title-unification fight between Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev, and the winner is Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, Golden Boy Promotions has announced.

Ageless wonder Hopkins, 49, of Philadelphia, holds two of the four major belts. Kovalev, of Russia, has one. Their bout – staged by Golden Boy Promotions along with Main Events Inc. – will be televised by HBO.

“Atlantic City is a second home to me,” said Hopkins, who will be 50 on Jan. 15. “Some of my most memorable victories and greatest accomplishments of my career have taken place there, including my fights against Antonio Tarver and Kelly Pavlik.”

Hopkins is 55-6-2 with 32 knockouts. He has not had a knockout victory in 10 years, or since he stopped Oscar De La Hoya in the ninth round in September 2004 in Las Vegas.

Kovalev, on the other hand, has been a wrecking machine. He is 25-0-1 with 23 knockouts. He has six first-round knockouts, 10 in the second round.

“I am happy to be back in Atlantic City,” said Kovalev, 31. “This is my third time fighting here, but this is the most special because this time I am facing the legendary Bernard Hopkins.”

 

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Bernard Hopkins, 49, looks forward to next challenge – Sergey Kovalev

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Bernard Hopkins/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Bernard Hopkins is 49 and will be 50 on Jan. 15. Before that happens he’ll be facing yet another challenge in a long line of them. Although the actual date and site have yet to be determined, Hopkins will put his two light heavyweight championship belts on the line against hard-hitting Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev of Russia in a title-unification bout in November in either Atlantic City or New York City (on HBO).

“Everything I do at this point in my career affects my legacy,” said Hopkins, who is 55-6-2 with 32 knockouts. “I’ve set and broken many records, but becoming the oldest undisputed light heavyweight world champion is the goal and Kovalev stands in the way of that goal. He’s another young, hungry fighter and just like the ones that came before him, he will leave the ring beltless.

Hopkins is off just a bit in this statement. He will not be undisputed champion if he beats Kovalev. Hopkins has two of the four major belts, Kovalev has one. Adonis Stevenson has the other one, which means Hopkins would only have three of the four belts with a victory, and that would not quite make him undisputed champion.

That said, Hopkins should be applauded for taking on a killer like Kovalev, who is 25-0-1 with 23 knockouts and is coming off a second-round TKO of Blake Caparello on Saturday in Atlantic City.

“I respect Bernard Hopkins for taking this fight,” Kovalev, 31, said. “When I came to America, it was dream to fight the best and now I am fighting, I have my chance. He says he is alien. He punch, I punch, then we see who is gonna go to Mars.”

 

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Sergey Kovalev, Blake Caparello make weight for title fight Saturday

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Sergey Kovalev graphic courtesy of Main Events Inc.

 

Light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev of Russia and challenger Blake Caparello of Australia both weighed in at 174 pounds for their title fight that will be contested Saturday at Revel Resort in Atlantic City (on HBO).

The limit is 175.

Kovalev, 31, is 24-0-1 with 22 knockouts. He’ll be looking to make his third successful title defense. Caparello, 27, is a light-hitter by comparison. The southpaw is 19-0-1 with just six knockouts. This will be his first shot at a major championship.

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