Friday, May 20, 2022

Metcalf Defeats Lejarraga In Bilbao, Spain

 

Jr. Middleweight contender James Metcalf scored an impressive ten round unanimous decision over fellow contender Kerman Lejarraga on Friday night at the Bilbao Arena in Bilbao, Spain. Despite the crowd being heavily in favor of the local favorite Lejarraga, Metcalf used an effective strategy with an emphasis on lateral movement and counter punching to tactically out box the power punching Lejarraga over the course of the ten round contest. Metcalf appeared to score a knockdown of Lejarraga in round three with a short right hand to the head, but it was ruled that the punch landed on the back of the head of Lejarraga.

 

Although Lejarraga tried in spots to turn the ebb and flow in his favor and did land hard punches on Metcalf periodically, it was Metcalf who remained disciplined and was not baited into a toe to toe battle. Metcalf’s combination punching, and ring generalship ultimately were enough to earn the convincing unanimous decision, despite being in his opponent’s home territory.  Official scores were: 97-94, 96-94, and 96-95 James Metcalf advances to 23-2, with 14 Knockouts. Kerman Lejarraga falls to 34-3, with 26 Knockouts.

 

Also on this card:

 

In a battle for the vacant European Flyweight championship Jairo Noriega scored a twelve round unanimous decision over multi-time European title challenger Angel Moreno. From the opening bell, Noriega’s hand speed, combination punching, and punching power were simply too much for Moreno to combat. Late in the first round a hard and short right hook to the jaw dropped Moreno, but it was not ruled a knockdown. In round five a left hook to the head did drop Moreno. Despite being tactically outgunned and appearing as though he was on the verge of being stopped the “Game” Moreno hung in there and never stopped trying to turn the fight in his favor in what was his fourth attempt to win the European Flyweight championship. Official scores were:116-110, and 118-109 (On two scorecards) in favor of Noriega. Jairo Noriega advances to 12-0, with 3 Knockouts. Angel Moreno falls to 21-5-3, with 6 Knockouts.

 

Undefeated Welterweight Jon Miguez scored a sixth round knockout of James Moorcroft. A competitive bout, Miguez’ harder punches dictated the combat though Moorcroft did attempt to fight fire with fire in spots throughout. The effects of the punishment dished out by Miguez to the body and head of Moorcroft gradually took a toll. In round six, a left hook to the body crumbled Moorcroft to the canvas. Moorcroft struggled to get to his feet, but did manage to beat the count. Despite this, his refusal to turn and face the referee when questioned if he was okay to continue resulted in the bout being stopped.  Official time of the stoppage was 1:21 of round six. Jon Miguez advances to 17-0, with 8 Knockouts. James Moorcroft falls to 16-2, with 5 Knockouts.

 

Undefeated Bantamweight Fran Mendoza pounded out an eight round unanimous decision over Alexander Mejia. An entertaining bout from the outset, Mendoza consistently forced the action and landed several thudding hooks to Mejia’s head. Despite taking punishment that would likely drop most fighters, Mejia hung in there and even landed some solid shots of his own in some heated exchanges in the latter rounds. Official scores were: 80-72, (On two scorecards) and 78-74 in favor of Mendoza. Fran Mendoza advances to 14-0, with 7 Knockouts. Alexander Mejia falls to 18-3, with 7 Knockouts.

 

In a clash of unbeaten Women’s Lightweights Rhiannon Dixon scored a six round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Mahjouba Oubtil. Dixon found a home for her right hand as she frequently landed it to the head of Oubtil throughout the bout. In round three it was a right hand that knocked Oubtil to the canvas. In a strange move, Dixon was deducted a point moments later by the referee for leading with her head, but she was the one wounded by an accidental head clash that opened a cut in her hairline. Despite the cut and the deduction, Dixon continued to press the action and in round six, would score her second knockdown of Outbil to secure the victory. Official scores were: 60-52, 58-53, and 57-54 in favor of Dixon Rhiannon Dixon advances to 5-0, with 0 Knockouts. Mahjouba Oubtil falls to 4-1, with 1 Knockout.

 

Jr. Welterweight Saul Luna began the evening by scoring a six round decision over previously undefeated Rikar Urrutia. An interesting clash of styles occurred in this fight as Urrutia stalked Luna for the majority of the bout, but Luna’s slick counter punching cleaver elusiveness and harder punches were enough for him to earn the decision victory. Official scores were: 58-56, (On two scorecards) and 57-57 (Even). Saul Luna advances to 7-2, with 1 Knockout. Rikar Urrutia falls to 5-1, with 0 Knockouts.  

 

With the Boxing world still abuzz over Dmitry Bivol’s twelve round unanimous decision over superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez several weeks ago, a victory that some called an upset due primarily to Alvarez’ standing within the sport, despite Bivol being the unbeaten WBA Light-Heavyweight world champion and the naturally bigger man going into the fight, some were also surprised that Bivol was able to get the decision victory over Alvarez in Las Vegas considering that Alvarez is viewed as the biggest star in the sport and a hot ticket seller in the United States, particularly whenever he competes in Las Vegas. Nevertheless, Bivol simply did what he needed to do, and even with a crowd firmly against him, was able to get the job done.

 

Though on a smaller scale in terms of mainstream attention, James Metcalf followed a similar approach against Kerman Lejarraga from the standpoint of having to go into hostile territory and seemingly taking the crowd influence out of the equation with his tactical Boxing performance. While some may also consider this victory an upset seeing as Lejarraga was seemingly on the verge of a potential world championship opportunity later this year, Metcalf should be given credit for sticking to his fight plan and making it work for him no matter what the circumstances were. Although one of the appeals of the sport of Boxing is to see fighters go toe to toe, there is something to be said when a fighter produces a performance like that one Metcalf was able to put forth in this fight. The type of performance that could well revitalize a career.

 

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

 

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

 

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison  


Thunderdome 38 Results From Metro City In Perth, Australia

 

In a rematch for the vacant Western Australia State Jr. Middleweight championship, Fano Kori scored a fifth round knockout of Joe McCoy in the main event of Dragon Fire Boxing’s Thunderdome 38 event on Friday night at Metro City nightclub in Perth, Australia. A rematch from one of the best fights of 2021 last December at Thunderdome 37, which received global attention due not only to what was an exciting bout, but also the fact that there was a rare double knockdown in the midst of a battle that saw both fighters score knockdowns of each other before the rarity occurred in what was scored a draw by the official judges. This time, the fight was fought at a more measured pace, which favored Kori who used lateral movement and a consistent jab to control the tempo of the combat. Gradually Kori’s approach visibly frustrated McCoy who became more aggressive as the bout progressed. Unfortunately for McCoy, his aggression played into Kori’s strategy as the bout increasingly became a solid Boxing performance by Kori.

Credit: Dragon Fire Boxing

 

While it seemed that Kori was on his way to what would be a convincing unanimous decision in the scheduled six round bout, he had other ideas. Lat in the fifth round Kori connected with a right hand to the head followed by a flush left hook to the jaw that sent McCoy down for the ten count. McCoy tried to make it to his feet, but was unable to beat the count. Official time of the stoppage was 2:32 of round five. Fano Kori advances to 8-5-1, with 5 Knockouts. Joe McCoy falls to 1-1-1, with 1 Knockout.

 

Also on this card:

 

In a bout for the vacant Australian State Cruiserweight championship, undefeated Glen Austin out boxed veteran Nick Xipolitas over six rounds to win the championship via unanimous decision. Glen Austin advances to 8-0, with 2 Knockouts. Nick Xipolitas falls to 4-13-2, with 1 Knockout.

 

Middleweight Jude Grant successfully made his pro debut by a first round stoppage when his opponent  Paul Gould apparently injured his shoulder when attempting to duck underneath one of Grant’s punch and iy appeared as though Gould's shoulder inadvertently contact with Grant’s chest. The injury was immediately apparent and the bout was stopped due to Gould being unable to continue. Official time of the stoppage was :54 of round one.

 

Light-Heavyweight Daniel Stewart needed just 1:14 to stop Michael Te Pou. A barrage of unanswered punches put Te Pou on the canvas in a corner. Although Te Pou tried to get up the bout was stopped.  *Records for both fighters in this bout are unavailable as of this writing. This article will be updated with the appropriate record information if/when made available. *

 

In a Middleweight bout for the Alan Pond Cup unbeaten prospect Jordan La Ruccia scored a four round unanimous decision over a very “Game” Habib Kheirkhah. Kheirkhah began the fight extremely aggressive and pushed La Rucccia back consistently.  In round two, LaRuccia found his rhythm and began to gradually out box Kheirkhah.  It was late in the round that a short overhand right dropped Kheirkhah and La Ruccia was able to secure the decision victory.  Jordan La Ruccia advances to 3-0, with 1 Knockout. Habib Kheirkhah falls to 0-1, with 0 Knockouts.

 

Light-Heavyweights Ahmed Almady and Luke Armstrong fought to an entertaining four round split decision draw to begin their respective careers. From the opening bell tge two fighters traded heavy hooks and the momentum continued to shift between the two in what was a closely fought contest where neither fighter was able to stand out from the other. Luke Armstrong advances to 0-0-1, with 0 Knockouts.  Ahmed Almady advances to 0-0-1, with 0 Knockouts.

 

 

In a clash of Middleweights making their professional debuts, Josh Izatt scored a four round majority decision over Liam O'Connor. Izatt landed some hard hooks in the first two rounds and was able to withstand a rally by O’Connor in rounds three and four to earn the majority decision to start his career unbeaten.  Josh Izatt advances to 1-0, with 0 Knockouts.  Liam O’Connor falls to 0-1, with 0 Knockouts.

 

The evening began with two exhibition bouts, in a Middleweight exhibition bout Bahityar Sonyol scored a three round unanimous decision over Daniel Desierto. In a Super-Middleweight exhibition bout, Ryan Daye scored a three round unanimous decision over Joshua Macpherson.

 

The thirty-eighth installment of promoter Tony Tolj’s Dragon Fire Boxing’s popular Thunderdome series continued in what has become a tradition of providing a solid mix of well-matched bouts as well as showcasing fighters at various stages of their respective development. While this card, much like the one that proceeded it last December faced some struggles created in part by the ongoing global COVID-19 epidemic, the series continues to thrive and this observer has no doubt that another entertaining evening of Boxing featuring some of the best up and coming talent the Australian Boxing scene has to offer will occur when Thunderdome 39 takes place later this year.

 

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

 

Photo Courtesy of: Dragon Fire Boxing Used with permission.

 

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

 

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison

 

 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Kovalev Takes First Step In Successful Cruiserweight Debut

 

After a lengthy absence from in ring competition, the career of former three-time Light-Heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev resumed at The Forum in Inglewood, CA on May 14th. While the thirty-nine year old former world champion is not a stranger to the process one goes through following a defeat, this time it was a little different for Kovalev.

Not only was Kovalev coming off of a two and a half year layoff following his knockout loss at the hands of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in November 2019, but for the first time in his career, Kovalev would not be competing as a 175lb. Light-Heavyweight. A division where he has been the cornerstone for much of the last decade. After a career spent in the Light-Heavyweight division, Kovalev chose to move up in weight to the 190lb.-200lb. Cruiserweight division to face undefeated contender Tervel Pulev in a scheduled ten round bout.

The primary question that I had going into this fight was what did Sergey Kovalev have left to give as a fighter. It was after all a logical question to ask about not only a fighter that has had a long career, not only one that was coming off a long hiatus, but more specifically a fighter that had also suffered some severe knockouts along the way as well. Even though Kovalev had been enjoying a career resurgence under the guidance of former two-division world champion and Hall of Fame trainer Buddy McGirt and was holding his own prior to being caught and knocked out by Saul Alvarez, a question like that more often than not should be asked under circumstances like Kovalev’s prior to this fight.

For Tervel Pulev, I felt it was crucial that he look to establish himself early in the fight and test Kovalev out of the gate. To his credit, Pulev began the fight aggressively and did try to impose his will on Kovalev. Despite the lengthy absence out of the ring as well as a delay in the fight taking place due to an issue regarding the gloves of a fighter competing in the final preliminary bout prior to Kovalev and Pulev getting in the ring, Kovalev looked extremely relaxed, perhaps more relaxed than this observer had ever seen him in any fight I have covered in his career. It was not long before Kovalev was able to nullify the aggressive start of Pulev.

The primary weapon Kovalev used to do that was his jab. Not only did Kovalev’s jab help him in establishing distance between himself and Pulev, but he also used variations of it in frequently changing his level of attack from the body to the head as well as beginning and ending combinations he threw with the jab. Although this aspect of Kovalev’s Boxing style had emerged in several fights before his loss to Saul Alvarez and did carry Kovalev to significant success against him before he got caught, it was refreshing to see that Kovalev was still disciplined in his approach and had not forgotten the tactical adjustments that McGirt had brought to his arsenal prior to his hiatus. What was also noticeable was the calm approach McGirt implemented in this fight in returning to Kovalev’s corner.

While there were not much in the way of highlights in this fight in the sense that there were no knockdowns or instances where either fighter appeared to be hurt, if one is a Boxing purist, they should be impressed with Kovalev’s performance in this fight. The consistency of his jab as both a table setter and main course of his offense resulted in Kovalev Boxing his way to a convincing ten round unanimous decision victory.

Although it is hard to really gauge where Kovalev is off of one performance, it is important to keep in mind that this was his first bout in two and a half years. What should be important for Kovalev, which he did touch upon shortly after this fight is that he needs to be active. For his part Kovalev said that he wants to be fighting every three or four months, which tells me that he is not intent on relying strictly off of his name recognition value alone to try and secure a world title shot as a Cruiserweight. If he does continue to perform as he did in this fight against Tervel Pulev however, it will not be long before Sergey Kovalev is back in a world championship fight, perhaps as soon as early 2023.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison


SUNNY EDWARDS SENDS ‘ONE BILLION PER CENT’ NEXT FIGHT MESSAGE TO WORLD CHAMPION PAUL BUTLER

Credit:Probellum 

Press Release:  By Probellum –

LONDON, MAY 16 – Sunny Edwards is “one billion per cent” serious about challenging new world bantamweight champion Paul Butler.

But Edwards, the unbeaten flyweight title holder, doesn’t believe Butler would accept the fight even though ‘Showtime’ would be moving up two weight divisions to make it happen.

Edwards said: “If I was Paul Butler, I would stay every possible mile in this world away from me”.

Butler has been elevated to full WBO world bantamweight champion after John Riel Casimero was stripped of the belt having contravened weigh-making rules in the build-up to Probellum Liverpool.

Jonas Sultan stepped in as the replacement but found Butler in the form of his career as the Ellesmere Port fighter won convincingly on points to take the interim title.

In a post on social media last week, Edwards threw his hat in the ring to be the opponent for Butler’s first defence of his WBO crown and the 26-year-old has doubled down on his challenge to the new champion.

Yet the IBF king at 112lbs is not convinced Butler, and his team, would be prepared to risk the title in a fight with him.

“I am one billion per cent serious about fighting Paul Butler,” said Edwards.

“I don't say things that don't mean. Not in boxing, not in my private life.

WATCH PAUL BUTLER OUTCLASS JONAS SULTAN
EDWARDS VS MARTINEZ ‘AGREED’ LIVE ON AIR

“It's a fight I'd be 100% confident with, it would be an inter-Probellum fight, it would be an all-British world title fight, but I couldn't really see it happening, if I'm honest, because if I was Paul Butler, I would stay every possible mile in this world away from me and I think that will be the response.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH SUNNY EDWARDS HERE

“I think Paul’s coach, Joe Gallagher, is probably much smarter than that, as well. But it's a fight that I would like, it was never really on my radar until a few months ago when I got dragged into a back and forth on Twitter with his dad. But Paul’s a good fighter, don't get confused.”

Edwards has described Butler’s victory over Sultan last month, as a “good win” but believes he would be too much for the bantamweight title holder.

“For me, there are levels to boxing,” Edwards said.

It's a fight that would allow me to prove the mindset that I'm willing to go up and down in weights to where the fights make sense."

To keep up to date with the latest news on Edwards and Butler, as well as the other fighters in Probellum’s roster, sign up to our newsletter or follow Probellum on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook  

You can also follow our official news, results and information account, Probellum News, on Twitter.

NEXT FIGHTS FOR FOSTER AND GEVOR AFTER WBC UPDATE
WATCH FIGHT OF THE YEAR CONTENDER WITH KO FINISH
 

Material and Photo Courtesy of: Probellum Used with permission.

 

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Friday, May 13, 2022

De Carolis KO’s Scardina In 5 In Milan, Italy

 Super-Middleweight contender Giovanni De Carolis scored an exciting five round knockout over previously unbeaten Daniele Scardina on Friday night at the Allianz Cloud in Milan, Italy. De Carolis badly staggered Scardina with a right hand to the head in the first round. In round two, he began to mix hooks to the head into his offense. In round three and most of round four, Scardina appeared to be getting into a rhythm and did manage to hurt De Carolis with a left hook to the body in the third round, but things suddenly changed late in round four when a right hand to the head followed by a flush left hook to the jaw sent Scardina down hard on the canvas. Clearly badly hurt, Scardina managed to get to his feet on very unsteady legs. There appeared to be some confusion following the knockdown as the bell rang with about seven seconds remaining in the round. Due in part to the confusion, there was a question briefly as to whether the fight was stopped and some clarification with ringside officials prior to the start of the fifth round. Despite being inadvertently given extra time to recover, Scardina had nothing left and De Carolis promptly pounced on him at the start of round five flooring him for a second time with a barrage of unanswered punches forcing the fight to be stopped. Official time of the stoppage was :10 of round five. Giovanni De Carolis advances to 31-10-1, with 15 Knockouts. Daniele Scardina falls to 20-1, with 16 Knockouts. 

 

Also on this card: 

 

Women’s European Jr. Featherweight champion Mary Romero scored a ten round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Maria Cecchi. A very ugly bout that saw almost constant grappling and roughhouse tactics, usually initiated by Cecchi, Romero simply did what she needed to do to retain her title. Cecchi was penalized two points in round seven for intentionally headbutting Romero with her head facing the opposite direction. The result was Romero being sent to the canvas and a gash over her left eye. Although this would have been grounds for disqualification, Cecchi was able to continue to the final bell. Official scores were: 100-88, (On two scorecards) and 98-90 in favor of Romero. Mary Romero advances to 8-2, with 2 Knockouts. Maria Cecchi falls to 7-1, with 2 Knockouts.  

 

Welterweight Luis Romero scored a come from behind seventh round stoppage of Maxim Prodan. Romero used lateral movement and a slick Boxing style to dictate the combat for much of the fight. Just as it appeared Romero was comfortably ahead, Prodan decked him hard with a left hook to the head in the closing seconds of round six. Romero struggled, but did manage to get to his feet and survive the round. As it appeared Prodan was on the verge of finishing Romero off at the beginning of round seven, Romero responded by staggering Prodan with a right hand to the head that set off a barrage of unanswered punches that resulted in a standing eight count being implemented by the referee. Romero pressed forward at the conclusion of the eight count and continued his assault resulting in the referee issuing a second standing eight count. This time Prodan was walking away as the referee counted and the bout was stopped. Official time of the stoppage was 1:15 of round seven. Luis Romero advances to 11-5-1, with 7 Knockouts. Maxim Prodan falls to 19-2-1, with 15 Knockouts. 

 

Cruiserweight Oronzo Birardi had a tough test to earn the fourth victory in as many pro bouts in being forced to go the distance for the first time of his career in scoring a six round unanimous decision over Ovidiu Enache. Birardi had success in keeping the fight at a distance where he could get his jab working as the focal point of his offense. As the fight progressed however, Enache came on and landed hard hooks to the head with both hands that appeared to have Birardi stunned down the stretch, the unbeaten Birardi was able to hang on to earn the hard fought decision victory.  Official scores were: 59-55, (On two scorecards) and 58-56 in favor of Birardi. Oronzo Birardi advances to 4-0, with 3 Knockouts. Ovidiu Enache falls to 6-10, with 1 Knockout. 

 

Unbeaten Middleweight Joshua Nmomah  scored a workmanlike eight round unanimous decision over veteran Gabor Gorbics. Nmomah was in control from the opening bell and appeared at times as though that he may have been able to force a stoppage of the fight, but Gorbics hung in there until the final bell. Official scores were: 80-72 (On all three scorecards in favor of Nmomah. Joshua Nmomah advances to 12-0, with 3 Knockouts. Gabar Gorbics falls to 26-27-2, with 16 Knockouts.  

 

Super-Middleweight Daniele Reggi began the evening by successfully making his professional debut by scoring a third round stoppage of a very “Game” Luca Barbessi. A fight fought at a furious pace from the outset. Reggi wore Barbessi down with body shots and got knockdowns in rounds two and three with left hooks to the body. It was after the second knockdown that the bout was stopped at :53 into round three. Daniele Reggi advances to 1-0, with 1 Knockout. Luca Barbessi falls to 0-4, with 0 Knockouts.  

 

What was billed as perhaps the fight of the year to be held in Italy in 2022, Givonni De Carolis, who briefly held interim/regular championship status in the WBA Super-Middleweight ratings several years ago, has catapulted himself back into the discussion of contenders in the division off of an upset knockout victory over Daniele Scardina. With the status of the Undisputed Super-Middleweight world championship perhaps in limbo following undisputed champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’ recent loss to WBA Light-Heavyweight world champion Dmitry Bivol last week in Las Vegas, NV, there might be room to maneuver if Alvarez does seek a rematch with Bivol and perhaps the undisputed championship is broken up due to the championships that make up the crown not being defended within a certain timeframe. While that is a subject for another time, Givonni De Carolis has re-established himself as a player in the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division. 

 

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.” 

 

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved. 

 

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison  

 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

What Does Kovalev Have Left?

 

One of the most common storylines that is associated with the sport of Boxing and by extension all combat sports that most can identify with is one of a former world champion trying to re-emerge into competition after a lengthy absence. A storyline is most commonly known as “A Comeback.” 

 

While there are certainly no shortage of comeback stories that range from highly successful to at times tragic in the sense of the outcome of a planned return, each comeback story has its own unique circumstances. In the case of former three-time World Light-Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, his career has seen several highs and lows that often come with a long career in the sport. In his last bout in November2019, Kovalev's third reign as a Light-Heavyweight world champion came to an end when he was knocked out by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for the WBO world championship in eleven rounds. Since then, Kovalev has been inactive due in part to testing positive for banned substances for a second time, which derailed a planned return against Bektemir Melikuziev in January of last year. While obviously the circumstances of the ongoing global COVID-19 epidemic likely has also contributed to Kovalev’s inactivity,  now at age thirty-nine he prepares for the next chapter in his career. 

 

This chapter for Kovalev will begin on Saturday, May 14th when he faces undefeated Tervel Pulev on a Triller promoted Boxing card at The Forum in Inglewood, CA. The bout, which will be the main event of the card will be broadcast on Triller's TrillerVerz digital subscription-based streaming platform through FITE. The fight for Kovalev will also mark his debut in the Cruiserweight division. 

 

Although the 190lb.-200lb. Cruiserweight division has traditionally been lightly regarded as it has never been thought of as a career destination for most boxers, the division has served a purpose either as a stepping stone for lack of a better term for fighters who want to test the waters before moving up to the Heavyweight division or as a fall back option either for smaller Heavyweights who feel that they may be able to compete more effectively at Cruiserweight or for Light-Heavyweights who either cannot make the 175lb. Light-Heavyweight limit or simply want to seek opportunities in a division that normally seems to lack mainstream attention. For Kovalev, his notoriety is such that if he is successful in this fight, he may be able to springboard himself right into contention for a world title shot in the division based largely on his name recognition alone. 

 

An obvious question as this fight approaches is what does Sergey Kovalev have left to give as a fighter. In addition to a lengthy layoff, it is important to remember that much of the last decade in the Light-Heavyweight division saw Kovalev in one way or another in the role of a division cornerstone in compiling three separate reigns as a world champion over the course of that time. While a lengthy absence out of the ring might be viewed negatively by some, three of Kovalev’s four career losses including his last bout against Saul Alvarez came via knockout. Though the potential of ring rust is very real and should not be dismissed, there are times where a long layoff can allow a fighter to recuperate from not only the effects of a loss, but also the wear and tear that comes from a long career. 

 

What does Tervel Pulev bring into this fight? The younger brother of multi-time Heavyweight world title challenger Kubrat Pulev, who will also coincidentally be fighting on the undercard, is unbeaten in sixteen professional bouts having scored knockouts in thirteen of those fights. While Pulev will be at a disadvantage when it comes to big fight experience as compared to Kovalev, the advantage at least theoretically that Pulev should have going into this encounter is that he is a natural Cruiserweight and has been more active than his opponent. 

 

Although Sergey Kovalev will always have a Boxing style that should be respected due to it often being a style where the objective is seek and destroy, regardless of how long he has been out of competition, it will be interesting to see if Pulev attempts to impose his will on the former world champion early. While Pulev should approach Kovalev with caution at least early in the fight, he needs to find a way to establish himself as the naturally bigger fighter and cannot be awed by the occasion of fighting someone of Kovalev’s caliber. 

 

As someone who has covered Sergey Kovalev’s career extensively through the years, my gut instinct suggests that we are likely to find out what he will bring with him into this fight sooner rather than later in the sense that he likely will not be interested in going the scheduled ten round distance. Even though it is tempting to say that a loss for Kovalev at this stage of his career could bring retirement, this observer would not feel comfortable in suggesting that at least until we see how he looks both after the lengthy layoff as well as now fighting in a new weight class. There is little doubt however, that the pressure will be on Kovalev and whether he wins or loses this fight, it might be how he performs that will determine how he will move forward in his career. 

 

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.” 

 

Kovalev vs. Pulev takes place on Saturday, May 14th at The Forum in Inglewood, CA. The fight can be seen globally on digital combat sports and entertainment streaming network FITE as part of Triller’s Trillerverz digital subscription streaming platform beginning at 9PM ET/6PM PT. (U.S. Times only.) For more information about Triller, Trillerverz, and to subscribe please visit: https://www.fite.tv/join/ and click the Trillerverz Pass tab. FITE is available on mobile, tablet, and connected streaming devices/platforms/Smart TVs. For more information about FITE including schedules, list of compatible streaming devices/platforms/smart TVs, event availability in your area, local start times in your area, and for instructions on how to download the FITE app on your device of choice please visit: www.FITE.TV.  

 

 

The Boxing Truth® is a registered trademark of Beau Denison All Rights Reserved. 

 

Follow Beau Denison on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Beau_Denison