WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev made short work of unheralded challenger Blaker Caparello by knocking him out of the 2nd round in their title bout on Saturday at the Revel Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey USA.
The Krusher at Work
Kovalev (25-0-1 with 23 KOs) was the far superior and stronger fighter. He knocked down Caparello( 19-1-1 with 6 KOs) three times in the second round. Caparello went down on a body shot and although he got up before the count of eight, he never fully recovered. Moments later, Kovalev nailed him with a right straight which caused the challenger’s knee to touch the canvass.
Finally, the 27 year old Australian got up and tried to survive the onslaught, but Kovalev finished him off with a barrage of punches that sent him to the canvass for the third and final time. Referee Sparkle Lee finally ended the bout at the 1:47 mark of round 2. The win was Kovelev’s ninth consecutive by knockout and his third defense of his WBO belt.
After the bout, promoter Kathy Duva said that the win was why Kovalev “got the name Krusher”, in reference to his ward’s dismantling of Caparello.
Thinking About the Pressure
The bout though had a tense moment in Round 1 when Caparello nailed Kovalev with a left hand to the forehead while he was stepping on the champion’s lead foot. Kovalev suffered a flash knockdown which he proved to be the only moment for Caparello in the bout as Kovalev later asserted his power and crushed his challenger.
Kathy Duva later said that her “life flashed before her eyes when Kovalev got knocked down. But she said that it was a “loss of focus” and Kovalev was “thinking about the pressure.”
That pressure is Kovalev’s next fight against IBF and WBA light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins. Duva had announced on Friday that they had already sealed a “conditional contract” to fight Hopkins in November. The contract was signed just 30 hours after their discussions started on Thursday. The “condition” in the contract was Kovalev’s win on Saturday against Caparello which was still contingent when the deal was signed.
But Kovalev dismissed that thought and said that he was never thinking ahead about Hopkins nor was he feeling the pressure. He said that it wasn’t really a knockdown because he was off-balanced. He added that he was never worried because he knew he had to power to topple Caparello anytime.
All About Hopkins
But it was obvious that the night was about Kovalev vs. Hopkins right from the very start. Caparello was a fringe challenger who was Kovalev’s bridge to a shot at defeating a legend in Hopkins. HBO had the 49 year old freak of nature at ringside and even joined Kovalev in the post-fight interview.
Kovalev said that fighting Hopkins is “a dream” because he never thought Bernard would fight him. On the other hand, Hopkins said that “he sees a champion in Kovalev and a champion who wants to unify the light heavyweight division titles.
Three of those belts will be unified in November when Hopkins and Kovalev collide, and we’ll see if the freak show continues or if the new breed has officially arrived.