Kovalev Defeats Hopkins to earn 3 belts in Atlantic City Saturday
By Ken Hissner at ringside reporting for Dog House Boxing (Nov 9, 2014)
(L-R) Bernard Hopkins vs. Sergey Kovalev
WBA Super and IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins, 55-7-2 (32), of Philly lost his titles to WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, 26-0-1 (23), of Russia, out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, over 12 rounds by a lopsided score as the fans kept waiting for Hopkins to open up but it never happened but on too few occasions.
In the opening round Kovalev is chasing Hopkins and suddenly lands a right hand to the temple of Hopkins dropping Hopkins. In the 2n d round Hopkins kept moving along the ropes hardly throwing a punch yet hardly getting hit by Kovalev. In the 3rd round what looked like a knockdown by Hopkins was called a slip by referee David Fields. Kovalev had Hopkins in a corner several times landing a hard chopping right to the top or back of the head of Hopkins just prior to the bell.
In the 4th round Kovalev landed a chopping right to the head of Hopkins. Hopkins countered with a right of his own to the head of Kovalev. Hopkins spent most of the round along the ropes lacking offense but still keeping Kovalev cautious at times like waiting a snake to spring out at him. In the 5th round it was Kovalev throwing punches and Hopkins slipping with little offense in return. In the 6th round Hopkins keeps ducking and Kovalev landing on occasion without return. Near the end of the round Kovalev was landing several chopping rights. Hopkins seems content to avoid getting hit more than landing punches.
In the 7th round Hopkins landed a lead right to the chin of Kovalev making the fans yell “Be-Hop, Be-Hop”. Kovalev is still outworking Hopkins by the end of the round. Is Hopkins playing “possum” or just hoping Kovalev tires? In the 8th round a chopping right by Kovalev to the head of Hopkins buckled the knees and almost dropped him. Hopkins would come back landing an overhand right stunning Kovalev just prior to the bell. In the 9th round one wonders if Hopkins plan is to have Kovalev tire and catch him coming in. For the first time in the fight the fans start booing. Then seconds later yell “Kovalev, Kovalev” trying to get him motivated.
In the 10th round Hopkins lands a hard right to the head of Kovalev who comes back with a rally until Hopkins again lands a solid right to the head. At the bell Kovalev lands a left uppercut to the chin of Hopkins. In the 11th round Kovalev gets a warning for a punch behind the head while in a clinch. Several times Kovalev is leaning on Hopkins while inside without a warning from referee Fields. At the bell with Hopkins against the ropes Kovalev lands a chopping right to the head.
In the 12th and final round Hopkins rocks Kovalev with a left hook but fails to follow-up. Hopkins is now in the middle of the ring and must know he needs a knockout to win. Kovalev rocks Hopkins with a right to the head and Hopkins sticks his tongue out at him making Kovalev mad and punching away. Kovalev lands several punches to the head and a chopping right knocking Hopkins head back while into the ropes at the bell. It seems like a shutout win for Kovalev but in boxing you never know.
All 3 judges had it by a wide margin for Kovalev by scores of 120-107 twice and 120-106. DHB had it 120-107. In Kovalev’s corner was trainer and former 2-division world champion John David Jackson who fought, trained and sparred with Hopkins. Advisor Don Turner was also in the corner at times during the fight.
At the post press conference Oscar deLaHoya opened up the discussion talking about Kovalev’s impressive victory and his disappointment right up to the end that Hopkins didn’t pull out some kind of “miracle”. He talked about fighters IBF light welter champion Lamont Peterson and WBA & WBC champion Danny “Swift” Garcia meeting in a unification bout. This writer shot his hand up in the air and eventually got a chance to respond “loud & clear!” I said “why is Lamont Peterson ducking Cesar Cuenca, of Argentina, his No. 1 contender who just won an elimination bout for a title fight and is 47-0? Peterson was knocked out by another Argentine fighter (Lucas) Matthysse (in a unification bout but Peterson came in overweight and didn’t have his title on the line).
With both from Argentina why don’t they fight for Peterson’s (vacate it) title? Before he had a chance to answer I added “when is (Danny) Garcia going to give (Mauricio) Herrera a rematch?” To the surprise of me and probably everyone there he said “I have to agree with you 100%!” Next question?
When Hopkins got his chance to speak I didn’t quite recognize him. He seemed humbled by the magnitude (12 rds to 0) of it. Even his usually outspoken trainer Naziim Richardson didn’t say a word and wasn’t referred to. Silly questions when Kovalev spoke from an obvious Latino asked “why doesn’t Kovalev fight the best Latino out there?” Like he has to beat a Latino to be 100% holding 3 titles?
This was a Golden Boy and Main Event co-promotion at the Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic, City, NJ, on Saturday night. It was an HBO event.
Welterweight Luis Carlos Abregu, 36-2 (29), of Argentina, the No. 2 WBC contender was upset by Sadam “World Kid” Ali, 21-0 (13), of Brooklyn, NY, No. 7 WBO rated, at 1:59 in the 9th round. This was for the WBO Intercontinental title.
Until about 10 seconds to go in the 2nd round there was hardly a punch landed until Abregu landed a left hook to the head of Ali. The fans were restless. In the 3rd round the booing started up again within 30 seconds of the round and continued for most of the round.
In the 4th round Abregu landed a left hook to the chin. Ali doesn’t seem willing to do anything but run and jab into the air. The crowd was quite upset. In Philly they would have been tossed out of the gym. Abregu seems willing but Ali won’t oblige him. The fans start yelling “Ali, Ali” trying to get their boxer started.
Out of no where in the 6th round Ali lands a lead right to the chin of Abregu dropping him. Now it was Ali chasing Abregu until the end of the round. In the 7th round Abregu is chasing Ali again. In the 8th round Ali stung Abregu with a left hook to the chin but ended up running into a counter right by Ali. Then Ali continues to play the “matador” with Abregu chasing him.
In the 9th round Abregu drove Ali into the ropes but got countered by an Ali left hook that made his legs wobble. Ali again rocks Abregu with a left hook. A straight lead right by Ali drops Abregu. He’s up and showing the ref by running in place he’s all right. When they continue Ali is on him and referee Harvey Dock suddenly stops it. The fans were not happy with the stoppage. They waited for 7 rounds to see some action.
All 3 judges Joe Pasquale, Lynne Carter and George Hill had it 78-73 for Ali.
Light heavyweight Vyacheslav Shabransky, 11-0 (9), of the Ukraine, out of L.A. won a one-sided match as his opponent Emil Gonzalez, 11-9-1 (8), of San Juan, PR, didn’t come out for the 3rd round.
In another record building fight Gonzalez came in as a punching bag for Shabransky not throwing a punch in the opening round. In the 2nd round an accumulation of punches dropped the defensive minded Gonzalez just prior to the bell. The ring physician came in and wisely stopped the one sided match. Referee was Dock.
Light heavyweight Nadjib Mohammedi, 36-3 (22), of France, scored a pair of knockdowns forcing referee Newman to halt bout against southpaw Demetrius Walker, 7-8-1 (4), of Kansas City, MO, at 2:16 of the 1st round.
In a mismatch from the beginning Mohammedi scored a pair of so-called knockdowns as Walker was brought in as a sacrificial lamb.
Heavyweight, Vyacheslav Glazkov, 19-0-1 (12), of Ukraine, No. 2 IBF contender halted Darnell “Ding-A-Ling” Wilson, 25-18-3 (21), of Miami, FL, when the ring physician wouldn’t allow Wilson out due to looking too fatigued to continue. The fans were not happy with the ending.
Coming off a poor performance in his last bout possibly caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine where Glazkov’s parents where unreachable going into the fight it seemed he was coming into impress. His opponent Wilson carrying quite a bit of extra weight was looking for that one punch.
In the 2nd round Glazkov had Wilson hurt but he weathered the storm. The next couple of rounds had Wilson weathering the storm and Glazkov not looking to be able to follow-up after hurting Wilson in the 2nd round. There was little action through 5 rounds with Wilson looking frustrated. He came out in the 6th round backing up Glazkov with some heavy duty punching until Glazkov suddenly turned the tables backing up Wilson.
In the 7th round both fighters seemed to be going through the motion with Glazkov landing occasionally and trying to push Wilson’s head down just to get him to the canvas. Referee Neumann warned him about it. Upon returning to his corner at the end of the round the ring physician refused to allow Wilson out of the corner. The fans were not happy about the way it finished. Neither fighter impressed in this one.
Glazkov was ahead 70-63 on two cards and 70-61 on the other.
Philly super featherweight Eric “Outlaw” Hunter, 19-3 (10), of Philly dropped Daniel Ramirez, 11-2 (5), of L.A., twice in the 6th round with referee Lee jumping in somewhat prematurely stopping it at 1:23 of the round.
Ramirez missed 90% of the time as Hunter countered him well but not showing his skills like he could. In the 5th round Ramirez landed a low blow with about 10 seconds before the round was to end. Hunter took the full 5 minutes walking around the ring the last several minutes. The bell sounded 10 seconds after referee Lee had the fighters return to action.
In the 6th round it was all business for Hunter as he came out and opened up on Ramirez who didn’t know what hit him. Hunter dropped Ramirez twice. Lee stepped in somewhat prematurely and Ramirez complained. It was stopped at 1:23 of the 6th. The fans had waited for Hunter to show his skills and when he did the inexperienced Ramirez didn’t know what hit him. Ramirez was a substitute and too inexperience for the well schooled Hunter.
The way the fight was going you couldn’t be sure how the judges saw it. Scores at stoppage were 49-46 Ramirez, 48-47 and 49-46 for Hunter.
Light heavyweight Sullivan Barrera, 14-0 (9), of COL, out of Miami, FL, scored knockdowns in the 2nd and 4th rounds causing corner of Rowland Bryant, 18-5 (12), of Altamonte Springs, FL, to halt the fight.
Super middleweight southpaw Andrey Sirotkin, 5-0 (1), of Russia defeated Michael Mitchell, 3-5-2 (1), of Paterson, NJ, over 6 rounds.
In the 3rd round Sirotkin dropped Mitchell with a right hand. It was a lack luster bout with Mitchell the aggressor and Sirotkin giving him a boxing lesson. Referee was Sparkle Lee.
In the opening bout Ryan Martin, 9-0 (4), of Cleveland, OH defeated Isaac Gonzalez, 27-5 (23), of Nicaragua, over 4 rounds.
Please send all questions and comments to Ken Hissner at: Kenhissner@gmail.com
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