Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Undefeated Light Heavyweight Sergey Kovalev KO’s Gabriel Campillo in third round

Unbeaten light heavyweight prospect Sergey Kovalev of Russia stepped up in class on Jan. 19 by taking on former champion Gabriel Campillo at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut and showed the boxing world that he’s as explosive as his 22-0-1, 18 Kos record shows. Kovalev wasted little time by knocking Campillo out in the third round and is now looking for a title shot in the near future.

The 29-year-old who originally hails from the Russian community of Chelyabinsk, now calls Fort Lauderdale, Florida his home and is hoping for more bouts in the U.S. Campillo of Spain, isn’t considered to be an elite boxer as witnessed by his record of 21-5-1, with 7 Kos, and he doesn’t have much in the way of power. But he’s a solid and durable pro who was no match for Kovalev, who was making his American television debut as a headliner.

Kovalev was all action as soon as the opening bell rang and he nailed Campillo with several hurtful combinations. This didn’t bode well for Campillo, since he’s known to be a slow starter, and he just couldn’t get on track in the short fight. The big Russian hurt him early during the third round and didn’t let him off the hook. Kovalev decked him with a powerful left hook, but he managed to beat the count. However, he couldn’t stop the onslaught and he was dropped twice more in the round before the referee Michael Ortega put a halt to the beating at the 1:30 mark.

After the bout, Kovalev said he wanted to make sure he finished Campillo off right then and there because he’s an experienced fighter and he didn’t want him to stage a comeback and go the distance. Kovalev has now won six consecutive fights by knockout while Campillo has now lost two straight. He dropped a close and controversial split decision to IBF title holder Tavoris Cloud in February of 2012.

Kovalev has power in both hands and his knockout record makes him very fan friendly for television. Fans like to see action and knockouts and this is what he provides. Campillo managed to land just 13 punches out of 59 punches thrown in the two and a half rounds of boxing while Kovalev connected on 77 out of an incredible 227. Kovalev’s connect rate was an impressive 34 per cent while Campillo’s was 22 per cent.

John David Jackson, Kovalev’s trainer, said his fighter went to the body and those punches broke Campillo down early. He said Kovalev is very intelligent and has learned that he can be more effective if he goes to the body as well as the head instead of just being a headhunter. His considerable power means that he may have a hard time lining up a title shot since he’s somebody the champions may want to duck. For instance, cloud’s next title defense is against the 48-year-old Bernard Hopkins on March 9, who is nowhere near an elite fighter
anymore.

Kovalev said he’ll fight anybody, but realizes he may have to earn a number one ranking form one of the boxing organizations to earn a championship bout as a mandatory challenger. He says he has to fight and beat the best to become the best. Hopefully the light heavyweight champions of the world, Cloud, Chad Dawson (WBC), Beibut Shumenov (WBA), and Nathan Cleverly (WBO) will see things his way. Kovalev went into the bout raked eighth by the WBC and 10th by the WBA.

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