Sergey Kovalev vs Isaac Chilemba - Highlights
Monday, July 11, 2016, at the DIVS of Yekaterinburg, the Russian Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) successfully defended his three light heavyweight world titles (WBA, WBO and IBF) by defeating in points the African challenger Isaac "Golden Boy" Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs). These are the official cards of the judges: 118 to 109, 117 to 110 and 116 to 111, all in favor of the champion.
It turned out to be a much more difficult test than expected for the Russian. If the initial two rounds have passed without major upheavals with Kovalev intention to study the opponent and Chilemba too wary to be preferred by the judges, from the third round it became clear to everyone that for Krusher would not have been an easy victory .
Chilemba has in fact made it more resourceful repeatedly pressing a quick and insightful left jab, moving with great skill on the legs and preventing the rival constantly to find the most suitable distance to dump its deadly blows. Third and fourth round were particularly frustrating for the champ, that went systematically empty and had to undergo a few shots too without ever giving the impression to hear them. His reaction, however willing, did not produce results worthy of note until the halfway point he saw the situation even substantially balanced.
The challenger in the seventh round went to the mat and gave the impression of being deeply shaken but the sound of the gong has in fact saved. While managing to avoid masterfully assaults of the champion for most of the eighth round Chilemba has, however, he has done again surprised a few seconds from the bell succeeding this time miraculously to remain standing and to weather the storm again.
Just when the KO seemed to be now in the air, and the Russian public already looking forward to the joy of their own favorite, however, the challenger has found somewhere the energy to get back on track by restoring its lightning-fast jab and once again managing to stem and dab the outbursts of Kovalev for entire rounds. The Russian also had to cash in some left hooks loaded arm around but did not make a turn and ended on a high going even a whisker from the anticipated victory a few seconds left in the fight. The intrepid and indomitable Chilemba is nevertheless managed to survive.
The judge who has seen nine points was probably too hard on the African boxer. More just the other two cards then, but clear victory in every case, though not overwhelming as we imagined the day before. It is not inconceivable that Kovalev may have underestimated the opponent or with the head was already projected for the great match of November 19 against Andre Ward; certainly he did not deliver his best boxing, going to empty too many times and were struggling to defuse the mobility and the challenger's jab.
Many now think that Kovalev is unable to beat Ward, just as many have expressed doubts about the American's chances of beating the Russian after his victory boring and not exciting on Sullivan Barrera. The truth is that it is really difficult to predict what will be the outcome of the marvelous confrontation that awaits us!
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