Brother Naazim Compares Pavlik To Kovalev

unnamed3 ef8a1Another 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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COMMENTS

-oubobcat :

I understand the comparison but don't see it. Kovalev has much better timing in the ring than Pavlik ever had. Kovalev's timing is very underrated and does not get as much attention as it should. I also think Kovalev is quicker and has better hand speed than Pavlik. Being from northeast Ohio, I watched a lot of Pavlik. He was moved very well by Top Rank. But Top Rank knew he'd have trouble with fighters who gave movement and angles and generally stayed away from putting him in the ring with such fighters. The thought process behind the Hopkins fight was that Hopkins was done after losing to Calzaghe and wouldn't be able to use his legs like he used to. Well they were 100% wrong... Kovalev is different though. Remember the Gabriel Campillo fight. Campillo is a guy who moves and uses the ring very well. Going back to what I stated before about timing, watch that fight. Kovalev cut the ring down brilliantly and timed Campillo very well often throwing shots to where Campillo would be. It was kind of like a QB in football throwing a pass to a receiver before the receiver makes his break anticipating the spot where the receiver will be. Kovalev's timing is that good and his own foot movement in the ring is also much better than Pavlik's ever was. This will not be Hopkins-Pavlik all over again.


-Radam G :

What the ole, wise Genie Naazim said was: "Pay that young man behind that curtain no attention. He's just been pulling levels and letting smoke and candle fire fool his opponents and the quick-to-believe-in-awesome-hurt-power audience. "Bernard has been around the corner a few times, and have seem that humbug's 'great and powerful Wizard of Oz' act. "If Kovalev could do half of the physical magic that B-Hop's haters are claiming, Kovalev got the advantage over an older pug. "But since magic doesn't work, Bernard is going to humiliate this humbug of power." B-Hop wins in magnificent beat-down hour. Holla!


-brownsugar :

Agreed Oubobcat.... Nazim is very mistaken if he thinks there is any correlation between Kovalev and Pavliks career. They aren't even similar in fighting skill. Neither is there any resemblances in personality traits. In fact without going into an exhaustive comparison... Pavlik and Kovalev are nothing alike. Team Pavlik saw the "non-fight" between BHop and Calzaghe and thought BHop was ready and ripe for the plucking. Urged on by the hopeful brass at HBO and the tsunami of Pavliks rising popularity, Pavlik's team underestimated Bhops physical size and the size of his considerable pride which needed a scapegoat and a whipping boy at the time due to his horrible performance vs Calzaghe. And everybody completely forgot it was BHop who floated the idea in the first place. Pavlik was being groomed for Authur Abraham and Joe Calzaghe.........and then the world. There was no challenge too great for Super Pavlik.and Jack "double-jab" Lowe. Pavlik was irreconcilably broken after that fight... Expectations being placed so high. Even if Kovalev took a loss I seriously doubt he would fall apart like Page.... Fighters who migrate from the harsh, sparce, Russian background usually don't have time to feel sorry for themselves.


-Radam G :

I understand the comparison but don't see it. Kovalev has much better timing in the ring than Pavlik ever had. Kovalev's timing is very underrated and does not get as much attention as it should. I also think Kovalev is quicker and has better hand speed than Pavlik. Being from northeast Ohio, I watched a lot of Pavlik. He was moved very well by Top Rank. But Top Rank knew he'd have trouble with fighters who gave movement and angles and generally stayed away from putting him in the ring with such fighters. The thought process behind the Hopkins fight was that Hopkins was done after losing to Calzaghe and wouldn't be able to use his legs like he used to. Well they were 100% wrong... Kovalev is different though. Remember the Gabriel Campillo fight. Campillo is a guy who moves and uses the ring very well. Going back to what I stated before about timing, watch that fight. Kovalev cut the ring down brilliantly and timed Campillo very well often throwing shots to where Campillo would be. It was kind of like a QB in football throwing a pass to a receiver before the receiver makes his break anticipating the spot where the receiver will be. Kovalev's timing is that good and his own foot movement in the ring is also much better than Pavlik's ever was. This will not be Hopkins-Pavlik all over again.
Sorry, Oubobcat. From the amateur days, Pavlik was a prodigy. Jermaine Taylor got into the O-games by getting two-gifted decisions over him. And you saw how Pavlik showed the world who was da MAN in the pros. And Pavlik wasn't moved away from certain types of pugs by Top Rank in the pros. These pro pugs knew KP, and would not fight him until Edison Miranda got ?o?ksure. And got KTFO. Same thing with Jermain Taylor. [Though JT could not handle KP ever, the late, great trainer (GBG) Manny Steward chanced it.] Bottomline, my friend, KP was never clumsy and slow. And protected by Top Rank. And IMHO, he was a much better boxer than S-Ko. S-Ko is going to get exposed. Everybodee and dey momma are talking like he is a good boy now that he is dancing with B-Hop. But not too long ago, people were talking how surly that he was. Holla!