Image result for kovalev vs shabranskyy

This past Saturday night was a big night in boxing, as Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (31-2-1, 27 KO’s) showed the world that he is not yet done, when he decisively defeated Slava Shabranskyy (19-2, 16 KO’s) with a second round TKO victory.  Yuriorkis Gamboa (28-2, 17 KO’s) also resurrected his career with a controversial split decision victory over Jason Sosa (20-3-4, 15 KO’s).   Gamboa was seemingly way behind on the score cards, but somehow got the nod from the judges.  The co-featured bout of the evening was a wild one.  Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KO’s) defeated Felix Valera (15-2, 13 KO’s) after the two fighters traded knockdowns in the first round.  Valera was penalized 3 times for low blows, and ultimately lost on the cards by a huge margin after being thoroughly outboxed by Barrera.  Barrera is now the mandatory contender for Dimitri Bivol’s Light Heavyweight title.

So the question of the night was, which Sergey Kovalev would show up?  The Krusher, or that other guy that lost to Andre Ward twice?  The answer was The Krusher.  Right out of the gate you knew Kovalev was coming to rip someone head off, as he threw a huge right to start the fight.  About halfway through the first round, Kovalev landed a big overhand right that put Shabranskyy on the canvas for the first time in the fight.  Later in the first round, Kovalev landed a right cross/left hook nomination that really hurt Shabranskyy and put him down for the second time in the round.  In the second round, Kovalev nailed Shabranskyy with another right hand that stunned him, and then finished him off with a combination.  Pinned against the ropes and badly hurt was Shabranskyy, so referee Harvey Dock was forced to step in and stop the fight.  Kovalev gets the TKO victory and regains his WBO Light Heavyweight title that he lost to the now retired Andre Ward.

The final punch stats read as follows:  Kovalev landed 50/113 punches (44%), while Shabranskyy landed a mere 16/71 (23%) punches.  Before the fight, Kovalev admitted that he lost his way between the two Ward fights.  He stopped training and stated drinking.  He just wasn’t right.  But he got himself back together, and it sure did show in the ring.

 

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE

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