Posts Tagged ‘175’

Bernard Hopkins v Karo Murat

IBF titlist Bernard Hopkins and WBA belt-holder Beibut Shumenov will stage a unification match on April 19 at the DC Amory in Washington D.C.

The 49-year-old Hopkins, who won a wide decision over Karo Murat last October, will attempt to become the oldest man to ever unify world titles. Hopkins is also hoping to end a 10-year knockout drought in the city where he made a middleweight title defense, scoring a seventh round TKO over Robert Allen back in 1999.

“It’s no secret that my one of my biggest goals has been to unify the titles and getting to do that in a city where I have a lot of history is the best-case scenario,” said Hopkins. “I’m coming back to break another record by unifying the title and I’m looking to get my first knockout since I fought Oscar De La Hoya in 2004. I know Shumenov is tough, but I’m tougher and I’m not going to let him make a name for himself by being the one to stop me.”

On the undercard, Peter Quillin¬†will be making the third defense of his WBO¬†middleweight strap against Lukas Konency. Quillin¬†is coming off a controversial 10th round cut stoppage over Gabriel Rosado on October 26. The 35-year-old¬†Konency, who’s mostly competed in his native Czech Republic and Germany, is receiving his¬†first major world title¬†shot after moving from 154 to middleweight last year.¬†¬†He has won two decisions over Karim Achour¬†and Moez¬†Fhima in his middleweight campaign.

“I can’t wait to get back in the ring and defend my title once again,” Quillin¬†explained. “I’m excited to be fighting in front of the great fans in D.C. and I will give them a show on April 19. Konecny is an experienced challenger, and you can’t overlook anyone with 50 wins, but I’m going home with the title, and I’ll be looking for another knockout.”

“I have a lot more experience than Quillin¬†and the fans will see that on April 19,” added¬†Konecy. “This is my first fight in the U.S. and I don’t plan on going home without that belt. Every fighter dreams of fighting for and winning a world championship, and I am thankful for the chance to do that against Peter Quillin.”

Tickets went on sale today via. www.ticketmaster.com.

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With the HBO embargo still in place on Golden Boy, this matchup is the best Hopkins can do. And lucky for the old master, it comes against a fighter with the plodding, come-forward slugging style that Hopkins has easily¬†dominated for most of his career. The only drama is when Hopkins will look his age in the ring and¬†Shumenov probably¬†isn’t the guy to do it. Whenever HBO and Golden Boy start doing business together, Hopkins will have two belts to his name and be able to negotiate on equal footing with whoever emerges between Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev.

Speaking of the cold war, Peter Quillin¬†is one of the fighters that has been most affected by it. He should¬†have been right in the mix as an opponent for Gennady¬†Golovkin¬†or Sergio Martinez. Instead, he has to take on useless mandatories¬†against obscure fighters. Quillin’s best hope for a significant fight this year¬†still looks to be Danny Jacobs, and that’s only if the latter takes out a name opponent in the coming months.

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QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC — Light-heavyweight champions Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev handled business last night with their respective knockouts over solid contenders Tony Bellew and Ismayl Sillakh¬†at the¬†Colisee de Quebec. HBO has made it clear that excitement will be rewarded on their network and both champs proved their careers are worth investing into for 2014, most logically being a unification match.

But like most things in boxing, there are factors that can delay the fight, most notably the “options” that Stevenson made clear in his psot-fight interview. First, left’s recap the evening that has made Stevenson vs. Kovalev one of boxing’s anticipated 2014 fights.

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THE KRUSHING OF A BLACK RUSSIAN: Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev made easy work of Ismayl Sillak, needing just two rounds to separate¬†the “Black Russian” from his senses with a few well-placed left hands and straight rights. Sillakh had the right idea coming out — he used his legs to circle and counter Kovalev’s slower hands with straight right counters and snapping jabs. Kovalev quickly adjusted by popping his jab to the body, making Sillakh hesitate just enough regarding where the punches were coming next. This allowed Kovalev to get inside, where the two clashed together roughly in several exchanges. The last one saw Kovalev snap Sillakh’s head back with a short left that bloodied his nose and put him on the floor.

Sillakh was out of it as he got to his feet, but that didn’t stop Kovalev from taunting him before landing the merciless coup de grace — a lead straight right followed by two lefts that deposited Sillakh, and his potential career as an elite fighter on the light-heavyweight division, motionless on the canvas.

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Anyone that’s seen Sillakh fight before last night knows he’s a talented fighter. The problem is his durability and it’s very hard for any fighter to prosper at the elite level when you have issues taking big shots, let alone a division like light-heavyweight that’s stacked with heavy-handed punches. From their body language, you could see Kovalev had all the confidence in the world knowing that his opponent’s glaring weakness happened to be one his greatest strengths. In addition, you could see Kovalev relished destroying a fighter from his region that received much more hype over the last few years than himself. At 28, I don’t see Sillakh hanging them up, but he should remain at the Friday Night Fights level for the foreseeable future if his team has any hopes of salvaging his confidence.

“THE DWARF KNOCKED HIM OUT!”: Tony Bellew probably has a whole new respect for little people after getting bludgeoned with straight lefts in route to a sixth round stoppage defeat to WBC champion Adonis Stevenson. Referring the division’s linear champ as “dwarf” and promising to overhwhelm him, it was Bellew who couldn’t handle the power nor speed of Stevenson’s money punch.

Bellew at times showed good defense in making Stevenson lunge after him, but the UK challenger was not fluid enough on offense to make the champ pay when he missed. Bellew’s shining mopment was in the fifth when a cuffing shot towards the back of the head in an exchange caused Stevenson to go toppling towards the canvas. Although ruled a slip, an emboldened¬†Bellew pressed the fight and threw some solid hooks, but quickly backed off after eating a left cross and realizing Stevenson wasn’t hurt.

From that moment, Stevenson turned predator and took the fight right at Bellew, firing repeated lefts that cracked the challenger in the center of his face. A short left inside provided the first knockdown. Bellew rose, but soon found himself helpless on the ropes when two more left hands barreled into his skull. Referee Michael Griffin did an excellent job jumping in to prevent another damaging blow.

Afterward, all Bellew had left was his pride, seen when he refused to stay seated on his stool for evaluation after the bout’s conclusion.

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KOVALEV NEXT? NOT IF STEVENSON HAS HIS WAY: When asked in his pot-fight interview who he wanted next, Stevenson didn’t rule out Kovalev if “HBO put up the money,” but he made it clear he had two options he preferred over the Krusher.

I don’t have a problem if HBO put up the money. But the fans of Quebec City want Bernard Hopkins or Carl Froch. The fans know them. Pascal and Bute were defeated. But if the money is right [for Kovalev], no problem.

Stevenson is no fool. He knows that Kovalev, a fellow devastating puncher, is the biggest threat to his light-heavyweight crown. Froch is a big fight, but he’d be moving up in weight and from how we saw the 36-year-old struggle with the speed and power of young George Groves, it’s not a stretch to imagine Black Superman being the first fighter to stop the Cobra. Hopkins, ancient master that he is, did good business in Canada with his two Pascal fights. However, B-Hop also struggled mightily with the last speedy southpaw he faced in Chad Dawson. These two represent two lucrative but very winnable fights for Stevenson.

Lucky for us, HBO likely shows the money and makes this fight happen. Last thing they need is Stevenson, who’s made his American name on their airwaves, heading over to Showtime to fight Hopkins. And Froch likely doesn’t fancy a fight like this when he can make much more money possibly filling up Wembley Stadium handling unfinished business with Saint Groves.

So who takes it? A win by neither would be surprising. Although 30, Kovalev has really just stepped up his competition in January. Before then, he was fighting mostly journeyman and overmatched fighters. He’s shown a better variety of punches, legit power in both hands, and adjusting strategies in the ring than Stevenson, but his chin is still a question. Stevenson’s competition has been better, but it remains to be seen if his speed can overcome Kovalev’s better timing. It’s a highly intriguing fight that needs to happen. If forced to choose an early favorite, put me in Kovalev’s camp.

HBO Boxing After Dark Weigh-In: Adonis Stevenson vs Tony Bellew

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC — Yesterday’s weigh-in for HBO’s light-heavyweight championship double-header is in the books with all four fighters make weight without difficulty. Below are pictures from the weigh-in along with predictions on what should be an explosive night of combat at the¬†Colis√©e Pepsi. The card airs tonight at 10:15 p.m.

 

HBO Boxing After Dark Weigh-In: Adonis Stevenson vs Tony Bellew

TONY BELLEW: 175 LBS.

HBO Boxing After Dark Weigh-In: Adonis Stevenson vs Tony Bellew

ADONIS STEVENSON: 174.4 LBS.

PREDICTION: If an upset happens, it’ll likely be in this fight. Bellew is coming in as the challenger but doesn’t view himself in that light from his statements over the last few weeks. Bellew has been adamant that he’ll not only bring the fight to Stevenson, but he’ll overwhelm him and score multiple knockdowns in the process.

Bellew has the skills to do it. He has solid power and works the body well, particularly when he’s able to get inside. Like the champion Stevenson, Bellew doesn’t shy away from exchanges. The deciding factors tonight will likely be two things: speed and power. Although both Bellew and Stevenson can be caught due to their tendency at times to throw wide, looping shots, Stevenson has the faster hands plus more power. When it comes down to who’ll land first (and harder), more often than not it’ll be Stevenson. Bellew will be bringing the fight and possibly might be ahead when it happens, but eventually his aggression will work against him with Bellew running into a big left hand and getting dropped. STEVENSON TKO7 BELLEW

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HBO Boxing After Dark Weigh-In: Adonis Stevenson vs Tony Bellew

ISMAYL SILLAKH: 174.4 LBS

HBO Boxing After Dark Weigh-In: Adonis Stevenson vs Tony Bellew

SERGEY KOVALEV: 174.6

PREDICTION: Sillakh has been MIA on American TV since his shocking TKO upset loss to Denis Grachev back in April 2012. While his stock as the “most feared man in the light-heavyweight division” plummeted, WBO titlist Sergey Kovalev essentially slid right into that spot courtesy of his KO wins over Gabriel Campillo, Cornelius White and Nathan Cleverly. That rep got further solidified by Adonis Stevenson, who’s made it clear that he doesn’t fancy facing Kovalev anytime soon.

With his length and punching power, Sillakh can make this fight interesting if he can somehow get Kovalev’s respect early. In addition, Sillakh has decent speed and is adept at countering. Kovalev starts extremely fast (having not gone past 4 rounds in the last 2 years), so he’ll be putting heavy pressure on Sillakh early on. And considering the issues with Sillakh’s chin, I don’t think his defense nor durability will be enough to withstand the Krusher’s offense. KOVALEV TKO4 SILLAKH

Kovalev

Ahead of his WBO¬†light-heavyweight title defense against Ismayl¬†Sillakh¬†this Saturday (November 30), HBO Sports takes a short look at feared puncher Sergey Kovalev¬†and his recent one-sided victory over Nathan Cleverly. The man nicknamed “Krusher” will be a part of a double-header featuring Adonis Stevenson vs. Tony Bellew, airing at 10:15 p.m.

004 Hopkins and Murat faceoff IMG_0156

The ageless wonder Bernard Hopkins and challenger Karo Murat will be the headliners for tomorrow night’s Showtime card coming¬†live from Atlantic City. Today’s weigh-in will be streamed from Boardwalk Hall with the co-feature of Peter Quillin¬†defending his WBO¬†middleweight crown against Gabriel Rosado. The triple-header is rounded out by undefeated heavyweight Deontay¬†Wilder facing¬†Nicolai Firtha.

The weigh-in link opens at 3:30 p.m. with host Steve Farhood and special guest Danny Garcia. Check back here this evening following the weigh-in for predictions and analysis on the entire card.

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The light-heavyweight division will once again take center stage on HBO with the confirmation of a November 30 championship double-header featuring Adonis Stevenson vs. Tony Bellew and Sergey Kovalev vs. Ismayl Sillakh.

Stevenson has had a breakout 2013, having picked up the WBC light-heavyweight crown in a one-round blowout of Chad Dawson in June, and dominating Tavoris Cloud to a seventh round corner stoppage last month. The November 30 date will mark his third HBO appearance in five months. Bellew, who earned his shot with back to back wins over Isaac Chilemba in March and May, will be making his first U.S. and HBO appearance.

Sergey Kovalev is making the first defense of the WBO light-heavyweight strap that he lifted via a fourth TKO of previously undefeated Nathan Cleverly in August. Considered by many the most feared puncher in the division, Kovalev will be facing a fighter in Ismayl Sillakh who was held in similar regard until an upset TKO loss to Denis Grachev lst year. Since that defeat, Sillakh was won four straight with three coming via stoppages in six rounds or less.

The card will take place at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City and airing in the U.S. as a HBO “Boxing After Dark” card at 10:15 p.m.

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HBO is not playing about their “Epic Fall Boxing Schedule” tagline. Obviously, the goal is a unification matchup between Stevenson and Kovalev. What’s intriguing is that the two champs aren’t being given easy “setup” fights so they can look good heading into 2014. Bellew¬†and Sillakh¬†are tough challengers to the point upsets are not out of the question. Bellew¬†proved his toughness and ability to adjust in the Chilemba¬†bouts, and Sillakh¬†has the technical boxing skill, not to the mention the range and power, to give Kovalev looks he hasn’t seen before.

Kudos to HBO for making this happen and really investing in the 175 pound division. Their work over the last few months has made Hopkins’ IBF¬†title defense against Karo Murat seem like an afterthought.

 

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CARDIFF, Wales — Sergey Kovalev shut up a lot of naysayers today with a dominating, WBO-title winning effort against previously unbeaten Nathan Cleverly. Kovalev was in control from the openingbell, showing competent skill fighting off the backfoot and keeping Cleverly on the end of his powerful shots. Although Cleverly landed several flush jabs, Kovalev never got unhinged and retaliated with hooks to the body. The big downfall began in the third with Kovalev shocking Cleverly’s equilibrium with two perfect right crosses followed by a left hook. Cleverly went careening into the ropes and seconds later to the canvas after a succession of lethal power shots. To his credit, Cleverly got back to his feet, but hit the canvas again courtesy of a left hook. Adding further insult to injury, Kovalev blasted Cleverly with several power shots on his way down that made the outgunned champion keel over head-first.

Cleverly made it to the fourth and received another barrage of hooks that had him stumbling over from pillar to post, giving the referee little choice but to call it off before a stunned Welsh crowd.

As you can imagine, the talk on Twitter is how Hopkins is in deep trouble should he face Kovalev, who the IBF will undoubtedly make the mandatory for B-Hop’s belt. I have no doubt Hopkins would take the fight in 2014, but the real issue will be the current embargo HBO has on Golden Boy fights. HBO needs fighters, especially heavy-handed KO artists, so they’ll want to get Kovalev to forego his IBF position and face the winner of Adonis Stevenson vs. Tavoris Cloud (which HBO will be airing). If Golden Boy can snatch Kovalev away, it would be a huge coup for Showtime. And let’s not rule out Kovalev’s promoter Main Events pricing him out for Hopkins, much like we’ve seen over the past week with their fighter Curtis Stevens turning down a $300k offer to face Gennady Golovkin.

Is Kovalev the future king of the light-heavyweights or just another hyped slugger for Hopkins’s resume? Time will tell, but for tonight I’m sure Cleverly holds the former opinion.

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