- Jun 5, 2013
After another dominant stoppage win over an undefeated fighter in Caparello, more and more fans are starting to recognise Sergey Kovalev as the man at Light Heavyweight. With dominant wins over the likes of Campillo and Cleverly, and other decent contenders such as Agnew, Sillakh and Caparello, whilst remaining undefeated, Kovalev has built up an impressive record. However, similar to middleweight destroyer Golovkin, Kovalev is in need of a marquee name to bring him recognition in America. Unified IBF and WBA Light Heavyweight champion and legend of the game, Bernard Hopkins is exactly the kind of high profile fight that could launch Kovalev into superstardom, and bring along with it the big paydays that a fighter of Kovalev's ability deserves.
After Kovalev's win over Caparello, Hopkins and Kovalev stood side by side and confirmed that they have agreed to face each other on November 8th. For Hopkins, he has the opportunity to further cement his legacy, and get one step closer to achieving his dream of becoming the first man to be undisputed champion at two different weight divisions, all whilst proving that age is just a number at 49 years old. For Kovalev, it's the chance for him to beat a marquee fighter and win Hopkins belts. The winner of this fight, will no doubt turn their attention to WBC and Ring Magazine champion Adonis Stevenson, who is apparently fighting Jean Pascal next.
The difficulty here for Krusher, is that Bernard Hopkins has carved out a legacy for himself over the last 8 years as boxing's ultimate bogeyman, as he gets older, promoters keep trying to use him to catapult their fighters into stardom, and Hopkins keeps on defying the odds and in some cases ruining these young champions, as he has done with Kelly Pavlik, Jean Pascal and more recently Tavoris Cloud. There is a pattern here, all three of those fighters were strong punchers, who apply lots of pressure and go for the knockout. All of them were flat footed, and limited technically. These are similar criticisms that have been labelled at Kovalev, so does Hopkins see these same flaws? Is that why he's gone for Kovalev over Stevenson?
Personally, whilst on the surface Kovalev can look crude, and flat footed, I personally think he's a very well schooled boxer, he's very patient, uses feints, controls distance well and knows how to cut the ring off. In the fight with Nathan Cleverly, early on Cleverly was keeping him at arm's length with a long jab, Kovalev however adjusted to Cleverly's timing, and managed to get Cleverly to stand in his range and that's how he picked him apart with right crosses and left hooks to the body. When Kovalev has his opponents hurt, he is a joy to watch when switching his attack to both head and body and his 88% KO ratio is proof of that. If he can cut the ring off effectively against Hopkins, and get him to stand and trade as he did against Murat and even Shumenov at times, Kovalev can hurt Hopkins, and while I wouldn't bet him stopping the legend, it's definitely possible. I have gone against Hopkins and looked silly before, but I think this may be a step too far, and I think Kovalev will win on points.[/COLOR]
What does everyone think?