By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Kovalev Proves He Is The Best
Sergey Kovalev is the best light heavyweight in the world and he faced French fighter Nabjib Mohammedi ,who before the fight, stated that this fight wasn’t going the distance. Mohammedi came out charging in the second round and thought he had a knock down when Kovalev went down from slip but a minute later, it was Mohammedi going down as Kovalev’s right hand connected flesh. Kovalev continued his assault through the rest of round.
Kovalev pounded Mohammedi throughout the first minute of the third round and boom, a right hand crushed Mohammedi’s face. Kovalev once again proved he was the best. The before the main event was ranked as a possible elimination bout for Kovalev’s title; Jean Pascal won a controversial decision against Cuban exile fighter Yunieski Gonzalez. Gonzalez connected on more punches, landed more punches and dominated much of the action and I agreed with HBO team that Gonzalez should have been declared the victor.
In the most intriguing fight featured Beibut Shumenov, the former WBA light heavyweight champion against veteran B.J. Flores (who also doubles up as a boxing announcer when he is not fighting). For the first two rounds Flores maneuver his opponent around the ring and landed some nice right hand but in the third round, Shumenov moved more and become a difficult target to hit. Flores also failed to cut off the ring which allowed Shumenov to escape frequently.
The fourth round was one of those rounds that became difficult to score as Flore didn’t cut off the ring and missed with many shots but Shumenov failed to make his opponent pay.
As the fight entered the second half, I had the fight 58-56 in favor of Flores but it could have easily have been scored the other way for neither fighter established any consistency in their attack or counters. (Steve Farhood had it even at the halfway mark.)
Round seven saw Flores jabbed more effectively and this opened up his right hand that connected but the eighth round was a close affair that both men landing shots as Shumenov countered more effectively than he did in previous rounds.
The ninth round saw Shumenov using his legs and he was now the one maneuvering Flores into positions for effective counters and this wa repeated into the tenth round. I had the fight even going into the final two rounds but there was a fight where almost every one round was close and NBC Steve Farhood had it 96-94 Shumenov
The final round saw Shumenov moving but punching little but Flores throwing punches but mostly missing until the final seconds when Flores connected on his best right hand that caught Shumenov off balance. The officials had it 116-112 for Shumenov and while I had it even but I had no problem with the decision. Flores had a slight advantage in punches connected but his failure to cut off the ring allowed Shumenov to connect on occasional counters and this frustrated Flores. Shumenov biggest asset is that he changed tactics from previous bouts and boxed his way to victory whereas Flores failed to adopt to his opponent’s changes.