UNCASVILLE, CT- NBC Sports Network's Fight Night boxing series kicks off its second season on Saturday, January 19th, with a high-voltage double header. The nationally televised event will be shown live from the Mohegan SunArena in Uncasville, CT, beginning 9PM ET.
In the Internationally flavored main event, light heavyweights Gabriel Campillo, 21-4-1,7 KOs, of Madrid, Spain, meets Sergey Kovalev, 18-0-1, 15 KOs, Chelyabinsk, Russia, in an compelling 10-rounder. The bout looks like a classic boxer-puncher match up, with Kovalev bringing the power while Campillo provides the finesse.
Campillo is a former WBA light heavyweight champion, who came within a whisker of winning the IBF crown against Tavoris Cloud last year. Cloud retained his title by controversial decision, but most believed slick southpaw Campillo deserved the victory. "The Handsome Man" will look to bounce back by schooling the hard-punching "Krusher", but this main event is a toss-up.
Kovalev has been on the rise, knocking out almost everyone put in his path. He hasn't been extended to the final bell in more than two years, and will certainly be looking to add another KO to his resume, especially one with a name as distinguished as Campillo's.
In the 10-round co-feature, Elvin Ayala, 26-5-1, 12 KOs, takes on Curtis Stevens, 22-3, 16 KOs, in a battle between two middleweights hungry for the spotlight. Their clash before a nationally televised audience should provide them with the perfect opportunity to shine.
Ayala, of New Haven, CT, is a well-travelled vet with six straight wins, three of them by KO. He stopped John Mackey at the Mohegan Sun in his last fight, and before that, pitched a near shutout on national TV against Eric Mitchell at Foxwoods, also in CT. Against Stevens, Ayala will again have the home-state advantage.
Curtis Stevens, of Brownsville, Brooklyn, is a rising star who's kayoed four of his last six opponents. His most recent foe, Romaro Johnson, didn't make it out of the first round. Another of his KO victims was then-undefeated Pitor Wilczewski, whom Stevens starched in three rounds.
Ayala and Stevens are both boxer-punchers with something to prove, and should provide each other with a serious test.
With these two excellent bouts on tap, and their likelihood to produce knockouts, boxing fans are certain to be the big winners on this busy night of televised boxing. With other cable boxing shows scheduled for later in the evening, these excellent Fight Night wars should be settled long before the other programs even begin.
ABOUT JANUARY 19 FIGHTS
Tickets are priced at $125 and $40 can be purchased through Ticketmaster 1-800-745-3000. Ticketmaster Link to January 19 NBCSN Fight Night at Mohegan Sun. For ADA accessible sales, call Mohegan Sun Box Office 1-800-862-8499.
Seven bouts are planned for the January 19 card to be held at Mohegan Sun Arena, 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard Uncasville, CT. Sergey Kovalev, 19-0-1, 17 KOs, takes on Gabriel Campillo, 21-4-1, 8 KOs, in an international 10-round light heavyweight main event. In the co-feature, Elvin Ayala, 26-5-1, 12 KO's,battles Curtis Stevens, 22-3, 16 KO's, in a 10-round middleweight contest. The card is promoted by Main Events and Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment Sports in association with Peltz Boxing, Sampson Boxing, and Dovolani Boxing.
I don't know Bernie,.. there may not be much left of Campillo after this fight.
For those who haven't seen Kovalev,.. Prepare to see a brutal puncher with with a high degree of discipline, excellent fundamentals, and the same competitive drive to resolve fights in a conconclusive fashion (like Hager and Hearns).
Kovalev doesn't waste punches... he's always on balance... and he moves forward at brisk pace...
by the 3rd round the chase will be on as Kovalev will be in hot pursuit with no let up until the finish.
a year ago I would have predicted Andre Ward would have ruled the light heavies with an iron thumb.
Nowadays there are so many unheralded guys coming out of the woodwork with real talent and real toughness... it's not even funny,... especially for those rated as pound for pound,... That term will become increasing irrelevent as titles will begin change hands as frequently as the weather changes in the Buckeye State.
Kovalez is built like he could move up to cruiserweight if he wanted to. This is certainly no blown up middleweight.... and Hopkins definitely don't want none.........I'm also sure he has a sterling amateur pedigree.
When Shakespear wrote,... "Cry Havoc,.. and let slip the dogs of war,.... he was talking about Kovalev.