Hopkins v Kovalev
On Friday Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (55-6: 32 KO’s) agreed to fight Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (25-0: 23 KO’s) on 8th November in a Light-Heavyweight unification bout.
Kovalev, 31 who knocked out Blake Caparello on Saturday evening is one of the most avoided fighters in world boxing.
Sporting a 90% KO record, the Russian’s 175lb rival Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (24-1: 20KO’s) has done everything in his power to avoid facing Krusher. Stevenson signed with boxing’s Wizard of Oz advisor Al Haymon last year and moved broadcaster from HBO to ShowTime in the process.
I have to tilt my hat and credit Hopkins who at the ripe age of 49 has in his own words “not ran away from the fight but ran to it”. The Alien is from an era when the best fought the best and with negotiations only taking 24 hours it makes you wonder what the whole “Cold War” fuss has been about.
I really hope this is a defining moment.
Hopkins’ last fight on HBO was against then highly rated Tavoris Cloud who joined Kelly Pavlik in having BHop take their “0”.
Kovalev will enter this fight as the favourite, and could be the first man to KO Hopkins. I wouldn’t be shocked if The Alien made me eat my words and continues to defy father-time.
Without question he is one of the greatest fighters of his generation. Not remotely camera-shy and his interview with Steve Bunce in a caravan where he loses his rag ranks as one of the most amusing I have ever seen.
I simply can not wait for this fight!
Civic Centre, Wolverhampton
“Funtime” Frankie Gavin (19-1: 12KO’s) suffered a career-first defeat against veteran Leonard Bundu (31-0-2: 11KO’s) in Wolverhampton on Friday night.
Bundu, 39, made his experience count and Gavin, 28, bar a late rally didn’t look at his best. Southpaw Gavin was floored in the 6th by a crippling body-shot and the fight could have easily been stopped in the 8th. Bundu took a decision
“I’m gutted,” Gavin stated afterwards. “I thought I won it and even Bundu told me I’d won. I haven’t lost a fight in nine years as an amateur or pro so it’s hard to take.
“But hopefully he’ll vacate the belt and fight for a world title and I can rebuild and fight for the European again.”
Heavyweight Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne (21-0: 18KO’s) beat Andriy Rudenko (24-1: 16KO’s) via a unanimous decision on the undercard.
Rudenko was Browne’s toughest opponent to date, both men slugged on numerous occasions and the Australian always looked the likely victor.
Big Daddy won the WBA Inter-Continetal crown and his promoter Ricky Hatton is eyeing up Ruslan Chagaev next.
(Left to right) England’s Qais Ashfaq, Sam Maxwell, Joe Joyce, Nicola Adams, Scott Fitzgerald, Anthony Fowler and Savannah Marshall
The Commonwealth Games has picked up where the 2012 Olympics left off with gold medals galore for boxing. The England team picked up 7, Wales with 3 and 1 for Scotland.
The GB amateur boxing squad based of the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield are churning out some exciting talent and it’s hard to not look to the future with great hope and anticipation.
Callum Smith & Luke Campbell
Super-Middleweight Callum Smith (12-0: 9 KO’s) and Lightweight Luke Campbell (6-0: 4KO’s) make their American bows on the Porter v Brook under card.
This is music to my ears as I’m a huge advocate in getting our top talents on cards Stateside as soon as logistically possible.
Giving these fighters exposure early to the American cards will ensure that when their world title shot comes they don’t freeze.
I’ve lost count of how many fighters in the past have had to go over to America, never popped their cherry and when they had to deliver in a World title shot they didn’t.
Now I’m not saying the lack of exposure was why they failed; maybe they simply weren’t good enough. But if you aren’t good enough and you freeze, you are in for a very short night.
By building their profile in America early and with Matchroom in particular planning to crack the market promoting shows in the future, it will create more British world champions with huge profiles worldwide.