Kovalev vs. Mohammedi Scouting Report

Category

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev

Nadjib “The IronDjib” Mohammedi

Age

32

30

Record

27-0-1 (24 KOs)

37-3-0 (23 KOs)

Strength Kovalev has knockout power in both hands; he has the ability to end a fight with any punch he throws. He also showed the world that he has a good chin after taking some big shots in his successful title defense against Jean Pascal in March. Nadjib is an aggressive fighter with good hand speed and great endurance; he is always in tremendous shape and treats every fight like there is a title on the line.He throws punches from all angles and can pose a threat to any top light heavyweight contender.
Weakness Sergey has been knocked down before but not hurt, he tends to leave openings in his guard which could pose a problem in this bout as Nadjib has finished his last 11 of 13 opponents. Mohammedi has a tendency to get sloppy at times, in previous fights he had a tendency to throw wide looping punches that could potentially get him into big trouble considering the power that Kovalev brings to the table.
Experience Kovalev has fewer pro fights than Nadjib, but the past two years he’s faced and defeated three former titleholders in Bernard Hopkins, Jean Pascal and Nathan Cleverly. Nadjib has more pro fights under his belt than Kovalev. He has fought for world titles before.
Power Kovalev will have the clear advantage here as he is best known for his vicious knockout power in either hand. He throws nasty body shots. Nadjib does not pack one-punch power in either hand. He is known more for the volume of punches he throws.
Speed Kovalev has average speed that picks up once he sees he has his opponent on the ropes and he goes for the finish. Mohammedi has quick hands and quick feet as well. He is a small light heavyweight; he moves around the ring well and is very agile.
Endurance Sergey has shown the ability to maintain a steady pace that allows him to conserve energy while still looking sharp in the later rounds. However, he has only fought 12 rounds once in his career when he defeated the former titleholder Bernard Hopkins. Mohammedi may have a slight edge here, as he has been 12 rounds on three separate occasions, and 10 rounds three times as well.
Accuracy Kovalev shows great accuracy with his one-punch knockouts; he also throws very accurate and powerful shots to the body that have ended fights in the past. Nadjib’s accuracy is evident when his opponents stand and trade shots with him; he has an accurate jab plus an overhand right that tends to follow.
Defense Sergey’s best defense may just be his offense. His power has become a complete game-changer in the past, forcing opponents to rethink their game plan. Mohammedi is light on his feet and moves around the ring well, making it difficult for anyone to hit him. However, he enjoys standing and trading with his opponents which could ultimately get him into trouble against The Krusher.
Chin In his last fight Kovalev showed that his chin is more than durable, he took some big shots against a heavy hitter in Jean Pascal and managed to stay on his feet and earn the stoppage win. Nadjib’s chin may be in question here; he has been stopped twice in his career and has never been in the ring with a puncher as devastating as Kovalev.
Style Sergey is an offensive-minded fighter who likes to walk his opponents down then go for the finish. Mohammedi is a boxer who shows signs of being a volume puncher while utilizing great counter-punching.
Crowd Support Sergey’s popularity has greatly increased since major wins over Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal. He is now competing in the fight capital of the world, so Kovalev will likely have majority of the crowd support here. Nadjib may be at a disadvantage here as he is not well known just yet. However, Nadjib is a gamer and treats every fight like it’s a title fight, which is a mentality and style that may win him some crowd support throughout this fight.
Intangibles

Kovalev’s previous two bouts were by far the toughest of his career. He defeated Bernard Hopkins in November of 2014, and just four months later he earned a stoppage win over former world champion Jean Pascal. Now, rather than take some extra time to recover and enjoy these wins, he returns to the ring after another quick four-month turnaround and takes on Mohammedi, who has not lost a fight in almost five years.

Nadjib has waited patiently for over a year to capitalize on his number one contender position. After earning his position in June of 2014, Nadjib decided to stay active and risk his number one ranking. He competed on Kovalev’s two previous undercards against durable opponents, against both of which he scored stoppage wins. Those risks have paid off and Nadjib will finally get his shot against the world’s best light heavyweight.

The Match-Up
  1. Will Nadjib’s awkward style and boxing skills frustrate Kovalev?
  2. Will Nadjib still be light on his feet in the ring once he feels Sergey’s power?
  3. Will Sergey be able to keep focused like he did in his last two fights against Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal?
  4. Will being an underdog and fighting on a big stage for this fight help or hurt Nadjib?
  5. Nadjib is training with Kovalev’s former trainer, Abel Sanchez, will this give him some advantage? Will Abel have any secret insight into Kovalev’s game?

 

Jolene Mizzone, Main Events’ matchmaker and the current NABF Matchmaker of the Year, said about this fight, “Any fight in the light heavyweight division is an important right now. In this fight, you have Sergey Kovalev who will fight ANYONE in the division and you have Nadjib Mohammedi who has earned his spot and has been preparing for this fight for over a year. Both of these fighters are hungry; one wants to keep his belts and the other wants them from him. Also there is one guy who has that one punch knockout power and the other who has that awkward style so the question is what style will come out on top?”

About Kovalev vs. Mohammedi

WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 KOs) will compete in his first mandatory title defense against Nadjib “Irondjib” Mohammedi (37-3, 23 KOs) on Saturday, July 25 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Nevada. The co-feature will include a ten-round light heavyweight match-up between Jean Pascal (29-3-1, 17 KOs) and Yuniesky Gonzalez (16-0, 12 KOs). Tickets are on sale now and start at $25. Tickets can be purchased through TicketMaster and all MGM Resorts Properties Ticket Offices. The HBO World Championship Boxing® telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

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