Story by: Chip Mitchell
All the talk about Sergey Kovalev’s limited opposition or the fact that he’s never been beyond the eighth round was put to rest at Boardwalk Hall on Saturday night. Kovalev, (26-0-1, 23 KOs) beat Bernard Hopkins, (55-7-2, 32 KOs) in dominant fashion, scoring a first round knockdown and never looking back, winning by scores of 120-107 twice and 120-106.
Kovalev came very close to stopping Hopkins in the final frame, but Hopkins weathered the storm and survived Sergey’s onslaught. In New Jersey, I’ve seen fighters in less trouble have the referee or commissioner put a halt to fights. Fortunately for Hopkins’s fans and believers in his legacy, he made it to the final bell. Fortunately for Hopkins, he didn’t endure further punishment or get caught with a money shot.
Also on the undercard, Sadam “World Kid” Ali scored an impressive ninth round TKO over former WBC titleholder Luis Carlos Abregu. Ali knocked Abregu down twice, once in the sixth round and again in the ninth.
Ali definitely passed the litmus test as many, including myself thought Abregu might be too tall an order. Hats off to the young man for putting his best effort out in the biggest fight of his young career.
With the win, Ali moves to 20-0, 13 KOs. Abregu, whose only loss coming into the fight was to Timothy Bradley, drops 36-2 (29 KOs).
For Sadam Ali, I like to see him rack up a few more wins and then fight a title eliminator, fight for a vacant title, or receive legitimate title shot. He needs to capitalize on his big win on Saturday, but more importantly continue to progress with follow-up victories.
For Sergey Kovalev, the answer is simple. The fans want it. The media want it. Main Events wants it. HBO and Showtime want it. Kovalev wants it. The showdown with Adonis Stevenson to become undisputed World light heavyweight champion. Problem is, I’m not so sure Stevenson wants it.
First of all, Adonis Stevenson must win his next fight on December 19. Let’s assume Adonis wins. Then there’s the HBO/Showtime dilemma. Who will air the fight if it is signed? Also, where will the fight take place? Inquiring minds want to know. Also, there’s been some chatter concerning a possible “grudge” match with fellow Canadian Jean Pascal. That would be a mega-fight at the Bell Centre in Canada and would sell out within an hour. If we go this route, I’d pull for Pascal as I feel a Kovalev unification would be a little easier to make with Jean than with Adonis. I’d recommend a stay-busy fight for Sergey if this occurs, not withstanding the Golovkin buzz which seems to be catching steam.
So a Kovalev/Stevenson fight is not quite etched in stone when you consider all of the aforementioned factors. Stay tuned…
For Hopkins, it’s simple. Fighting on that is, not necessarily the opponent. If Hopkins would’ve chosen Adonis Stevenson before Kovalev, I’d have favored Hopkins in that fight. Nevertheless, I can’t see Nard walking off without fighting at least once at age 50. It’s seems too tempting to pass up. It would solidify that nobody in our lifetime could do it at that age AND at the high level he’s doing it at. He already holds the record. Strange thing about that number 50 though. It’s also a number that will tempt another fighter (Floyd Mayweather, Jr) if he wins his next two fights.
Also, let’s assume Stevenson fights Pascal and Pascal wins. Then let’s say Pascal can’t make the fight with Kovalev for whatever reasons. Dare I say Hopkins/Pascal III? Would Hopkins be a slight favorite to win a title at 50 or 51? Hmm…
Notables in attendance
There were a few people worth mentioning (I guess) who came out to see The Alien vs. The Krusher.
Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson was there with a few women who weren’t hard on the eyes at all. Whoopi Goldberg. Robert Griffin III was greeted with a course of boos. Cam Newton was in the house. With the way Cameron played on Monday Night Football, maybe he should’ve stayed in his hotel room to watch the fight. LeSean “Shady” McCoy from the Philadelphia Eagles was also in the house. A guy who looked exactly lie Michael Rapaport was in press row. I’ll assume it was Michael in attendance. Also Cornelius “K9” Bundrage was at Boardwalk Hall searching for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T
I want make mention of a couple of gentlemen who sometimes go overlooked, but who are definitely appreciated. I want to thank Mr. Ed Keenan for once again providing “World Class Service” to the media. I also want to thank his “willing worker” Mr. Rob Scott (The Jack of All Trades himself).
Let me tell a story about a man named Ed. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Mr. Keenan is the founder of Event Marketing and Communications (EMC). Fans, if you ever have an event or you need public relations, video production, or even need to send out a press release, please consider this team. They can be found at http://www.emcevents.com.
Mr. Keenan’s team handles the credentialing for the media that covers the fights. I want to thank EMC for an outstanding job. I’m talking about EVERYTHING- from the communication, to covering parking costs, to the hotel rate for media, the food service, etc. I also commend Team Keenan for the hours that they keep the credentialing table open. Many public/media relations teams have a small window of time for which media credentials can be picked up. If you miss it because you were running late or whatever the case, you won’t be able to cover the fight as a credentialed media member. Mr. Keenan almost guarantees that won’t be the case as his media table is open as long as any that I’ve seen. As late as some media have arrived at times, I think he deserves a word of thanks from all of us.
Mr. Rob Scott is the gentleman that greets the media and gives each person their credential. Rob always comes dressed for the party. He’s the dapper young man (he’s gonna kill me for this) who favors Zab Judah slightly on first glance. If you need to know where to go, Rob will make sure you get there. If you are confused, he will ensure that you won’t be after speaking with him. On top of his numerous duties with EMC, he’s also an accomplished boxing journalist. Always dressed to impressed and as professional as it gets.
We thank both of you gentlemen! You are both undisputed champions in our book… Pound 4 Pound!!!