Sergey Kovalev was the heavy favourite in his tilt against Blake Caparello on Saturday’s Boxing After Dark match on HBO and he left no doubt as to why.
The light-heavyweight only needed two rounds to put down his undefeated opponent, and while he was knocked to the canvas by Blake Caparello in the first, it was a brief glitch in an otherwise perfect display. This clears the way for Kovalev to meet Bernard Hopkins in November in a title unification clash.
Kovalev said that the although the Hopkins fight was finalized just prior to the fight with Caparello (and was contingent on him winning), it didn’t really change his focus.
“I didn’t think about Bernard Hopkins tonight. I was focused on this fight,” he said. “It is very important. A big step for me. If I do not win the fight there is no fight with Bernard Hopkins.”
Caparello did deliver a minor scare in the first after he landed a low blow and then caught Kovalev (while also stepping on his foot). Kovalev’s glove touched the canvas and, as a result, referee Sparkle Lee called it a knockdown which gave the challenger a 10-8 round and put a hurdle in front of the champion. Clearly this was just a brief stumble as Kovalev looked dominant in the second round. He unloaded a few heavy power shots before dropping Caparello with a body shot. Caparello did manage to stand back up but it was only to be met with another Kovalev flurry, which resulted in him hitting the canvas again, rising again and getting dropped again which led to the fight being called off.
When the fight was finished, no one really wanted to talk about what just happened. It is now all about Kovalev and Hopkins, who even watched the fight from ringside and joined his November opponent during his post-fight interview on HBO.
“He’s very smart. He’s very sneaky. He’s very experienced,” Kovalev said of Hopkins, who will turn 50 two months after the fight. “I am surprised he is almost 50 years old. But my next fight is against Bernard Hopkins and I am very happy. It’s a big fight, interesting fight. I was surprised he said yes. It is one of my dreams to fight him.”
The fight, likely to be November 8 either at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City or the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, came together quickly – and in a bit of a surprise – on Friday, after only a little more than a day of negotiations between Duva and Oscar De La Hoya and Eric Gomez of Golden Boy Promotions, Hopkins’ promoter.
Tags: Bernard Hopkins, Boxing, Sergey Kovalev