Sergey Kovalev, the unified light heavyweight champion (WBA, IBF, WBO), defeated his opponent Isaac Chilemba on Monday night by Unanimous Decision. Sergey Kovalev knocked down his opponent in the seventh round in a fight where he appeared mostly slow and tired at the end.
Sergey Kovalev has done his part of a deal that pits him against Andre Ward on November. Ward will have to get past Alexander Brand, which is more of a formality.
But in a bout that was more of a warm up, and a “stay-busy” fight, Sergey Kovalev sure looked rusty and hittable.
Isaac Chilemba’s awkward style made it difficult for the Russian, who is known for his knockout power. Chilemba bordered his zone with a long jab and a straight right hand, which made Kovalev look bad and unable to gain momentum.
Despite Chilemba’s limited success, his punches didn’t appear to hurt Sergey Kovalev, but that was not what’s on the minds of boxing pundits.
Looking forward, the extent of the damage of those punches would be quite substantial if thrown by a fighter with more power, like Stevenson.
If Sergey Kovalev fights the way he did against Andre Ward, the latter would capitalize more on his defensive mistakes and will be able to put those punches together more effectively.
Prior to Monday’s match, many believe that even Sergey Kovalev at his best will have serious difficulties in defeating Andre Ward, who, not only is ranked 3rd best fighter in the world pound for pound but is one of the most completely developed fighters today.
Andre Ward may be shorter in reach compared to Chilemba, but his jab is faster and better placed. He capitalizes on punch efficiency with a well-disguised right hand of his crafty shoulder movement.
Against Sergey Kovalev, Ward’s movement will be key. He can fight from the outside and quickly step in closer, where he is just as dangerous as being able to weave in and out, and mix up his shots.
Sergey Kovalev is a natural light heavyweight with tremendous one-punch power. Andre Ward could blink at the wrong time and the fight would be over. That’s why we can’t miss the mega fight in November.
Photo courtesy: Sergey Kovalev Facebook page