Saturday, March 03 2018

Madison Square Garden , NY

Sergey Kovalev

(32-2-1, 27 KOs) VS.

Igor Mikhalkin

(21-2-0, 9 KOs)

12 Round WBO Light Heavyweight Championship Bout
Available in HD

Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (32-2-1, 27 KOs) confidently bested his opponent Igor Mikhalkin (21-2-0, 9 KOs), claiming a technical knockout victory in the seventh round at their bout on March 3, held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

From the start, Mikhalkin was quite guarded, swaying his upper body from side to side and moving around, making it hard at first for Kovalev to land many shots. As his opponent kept his distance, Kovalev went for smaller jabs instead of power punches, as he tried to land anything he could.

In the third, Mikhalkin landed a few strong southpaw hits and seemed to gain some confidence. He moved in closer to his opponent, leaving him vulnerable and allowing Kovalev the opportunity to land some clean counter lefts and sharp rights in the fourth. By the sixth, Kovalev was really gaining some momentum. He whacked Mikhalkin with a strong right hand before stinging him with a left hook that sent Mikhalkin lurching back across the ring.

By this point, Mikhalkin was visibly hurting, his face an absolute mess with a big cut on the right cheek and a lot of swelling in one of his eyes. In the seventh, it was becoming apparent the end was near. Another razor-sharp right from Kovalev left Mikhalkin dazed. Before Kovalev could finish him off, the referee declared a TKO and put an end to the carnage.

The stats from the fight also show a clear winner, where Kovalev landed 35% of his total punches and Mikhalkin landed just 16%. Kovalev also threw an impressive 525 punches total compared to Mikhalkin's 275. Despite the numbers, Kovalev still commended his opponent on a hard-fought match and felt his match against the left-hander was no easy feat.

"It looked easy, but he's a good boxer; he has good stamina and movement, " said Kovalev. "I'm always ready for a big fight. But not with a southpaw! My next fight with a southpaw will be much better."

©2019 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO® and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.