Another young gun was favored going into a bout with the old man…yes, he was “old” in 2008, too…and you recall how it turned out for Kelly Pavlik, a man who had some similarities, in perceived power, in skin tone, maybe not so much in emotional temperament.
I reached out to Bernard Hopkins refiner-tutor Naazim Richardson (seen with writer Woods in David Spagnolo photo) to see what he thought of the comparison between Kelly Pavlik, the pride of Youngstwon, who was irreversibly affected, Bernard Hopkins will and does argue, by losing to B-Hop, and Sergey Kovalev.
“The power is the only variable left. There's no way of knowing until you get in front of the power,” the trainer, who was second in command to Bouie Fisher for many moons, told me. “We feel things have gone our way thus far. It's the kind of fight you can never exhale. It's not the kind of fight that once you see you can outbox the guy you can relax, you gain control. I told Hopkins, in the Kelly Pavlik fight, I didn't feel like we had control until the tenth round, when Kelly finally hit him with the kind of shot he wanted to hit him with, and (Hopkins didn't get phased by it). Skill wise, we know we can outbox Kovalev. There's nobody out there we don't think we can outbox. Cliche is a cliche, Kovalev has a puncher's chance.”
Bottom line, Naazim, do you feel the same way, the same degree of confidence going into this Kovalev fight as the Pavlik fight?
“Kovalev may not be a better fighter than Pavlik,” Richardson said, “but Bernard is an older man, so it gives Kovalev an advantage.”
Eyes wide open from the candid Richardson. Thoughts based off these tidbits, Forum Faithful. Talk to me!
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