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Sergey Kovalev Will Have More Than Blake Caparello On His Mind August 2nd

BY Frank Lotierzo ON July 31, 2014
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When WBO light heavyweight title hold Sergey Kovalev 24-0-1 (22) defends his title this Saturday night in Atlantic City against Blake Caparello 19-0-1 (6), he'll be fighting two opponents at the same time. In the ring he'll be looking to take Caparello out as quickly as possible, and in the eyes of boxing fans, his performance will be compared to middleweight Gennady Golovkin's signature win last weekend, when he stopped challenger Daniel Geale in the third round.

Kovalev, like Golovkin, has an impressive knockout record and can really punch. In fact, along with Golovkin, Kovalev is one of the top five best punchers in boxing today. Sergey is one of the most exciting and highly touted fighters in the world and is looking for that marquee fight to convince boxing observers that he is truly the real deal. Kovalev isn't as polished or refined as Golovkin technically, but he fights even more aggressively and brings a mean streak and attitude to the ring every time he fights. It's easy to glean from his demeanor that he truly doesn't give a damn about anybody he fights once the bell rings. He has the utmost confidence in his ability and power to hurt his opponent and as former great "Smokin" Joe Frazier used to say, "Get the job done."

Golovkin looked terrific last week and its doubtful Kovalev will stop Caparello with a beautiful counter right or as efficiently as Golovkin did Geale. However, while he may not look as sophisticated in ending the fight as Gennady, he's every bit as destructive and dangerous. And that's what he has to be against Caparello, destructive. With Golovkin looking so precise and powerful in getting rid of Geale, he's become the new flavor of the month in professional boxing. Only, Golovkin is no flavor of the month fighter and will probably be the main man in the middleweight division for the near future.

Based on the notoriety and attention that Golovkin has garnered in less than a week, it's another layer of proof in how much boxing fans love to watch punchers. Floyd Mayweather, who is a great technician and boxer, turned pro in 1996. But he never participated in a fight that fans really cared about until he fought a declining and washed up Oscar De La Hoya 11 years later. Guillermo Rigondeaux just might be the best combination of speed, style and class in professional boxing today, but all you hear about him is he isn't exciting because he doesn't tear guys apart like a prime Manny Pacquiao used to do.

Punchers don't have to be smooth and quick as long as they end fights in a memorable fashion. Most fans don't appreciate the genius or greatness of a Rigondeaux, and it took them 11 plus years to care about and appreciate Mayweather. When fans see a fighter down or concussed it doesn't take much of a boxing aptitude to understand what happened. They like dramatic endings that aren't tarnished by inept scorecards submitted by a few boxing judges.

Right now Golovkin is winning the perception battle between the two "catch n kill" style attackers. It's doubtful that Kovalev can surpass him regardless of how he looks in taking Caparello apart Saturday night. That being said, Kovalev is probably in the better position of the two of them to earn some impressive signature wins down the road. Granted, the light heavyweight and middleweight divisions aren't loaded with a plethora of outstanding opponents for either of them to face. But at least the light heavyweight division has two in Bernard Hopkins 55-6-2 (32) and Adonis Stevenson 24-1 (20). And that would be two more credible foes for Kovalev to solidify his stature against than Golovkin has at middleweight. If Kovalev can win impressively this weekend, hopefully there will be enough eyes watching that it will put some heat on both Hopkins and Stevenson to step up and fight him. I think it's fair to say that Stevenson, to this point, has been reluctant to make the fight with Kovalev. And I haven't seen Hopkins, who attends all the big fights, jumping in the ring to challenge Kovalev after his fights have ended. And Kovalev is fighting in Bernard's back yard, Atlantic City, this weekend. Let’s see if Hopkins shows up and starts issuing challenges to Sergey. Remember, it was Hopkins who strongly urged Shane Mosley to jump in the ring and challenge Floyd Mayweather after he beat Juan Manuel Marquez. The ploy worked and Mosley ended up being Mayweather's next opponent.

If Kovalev were to fight Hopkins, who at nearly age 50 has never been beaten up or stopped, and stopped him, Golovkin couldn't buy that kind of credibility unless he moved up and stopped Andre Ward. And if Kovalev beat Hopkins, how big would a fight be between him and Stevenson? It would be huge and receive monumental attention.

Sure, Miguel Cotto is the lineal middleweight champ, but he's a former junior welterweight title holder who was defeated conclusively by former featherweight champ Manny Pacquiao five years ago. Beating Cotto in four rounds would look good on Golovkin's record but nobody is going to be declaring his greatness afterward. Or should I say nobody that knows anything worth knowing about boxing will. That leaves Mayweather, but he'd have to cut off his arm to make a fight with him a reality, so forget that.

Alvarez has said that he'd fight Golovkin, but I bet he fights Cotto first. And Golovkin beating Alvarez, or Carl Froch or Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. won't eclipse Kovalev if he goes through Hopkins and Stevenson fighting at his natural weight.

Right now, Golovkin is winning the perception contest and is ahead of Kovalev in the eyes of most fans. But we don't know if he really is the better and more dominant fighter and puncher. Neither has yet faced a special opponent. However, Hopkins is out there for Kovalev and he's much more than special. And if Sergey beat Stevenson, who is a legitimate ox and puncher at 175, that would be even sweeter icing on the cake for Kovalev. In addition to Hopkins and Stevenson, Kovalev has the potential options of fighting Ward and Froch (both those guys definitely will be moving up). That gives him more meaningful --meaningful in a purely fistic sense--opportunities than are available for Golovkin. Kovalev has four "must see" fights in front of him for purists. I'm not sure that Golovkin has more than one or, at most, two.

Boxing fans should be thankful that we have a few years in front of us to watch two "catch n kill" attackers like Golovkin and Kovalev fight other contenders and challengers, as they keep their eye on each other in trying to one up the other for fan acceptance and stature.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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Comment on this article

brownsugar says:

Camparello is a slow slickster. He knows his way around the ring, knows how to use the shoulder while holding his jabbing hand low, and has good enough timing to tag his opponent with a medium speed combo if he catches them sleeping.

He has the resilience of a bedbug but the operative word is slow.
He smart enough to use his limited resources to take him much further than expected but is nowhere near as dynamic as the Krusher.

Id love to see a showdown between Kovalev and Shumenov.
It would be a great action fight with Kovalev winning a late round KO (IMO).

Something to do while he's biding his time.

Ward is not budging from 168 any time soon. And he may be embroiled with his legal activities for another few years. At this rate he'll be ready to retire before he gets chance to fight again. What a tremendous waste of talent.

Stevenson has made a lot of bold comments behind the safety of advisor Big Al but due to the lawsuit and looming challenge of the Eternal Gladiator Bernard Hopkins. I doubt the fight gets made.

The one fighter not mentioned in this article is a stealthy boxer from South Africa named Chelimba.
Best known for sending Fast Eddie Chambers back to the heavyweight division.
He's 100% defensive, mobile and slippery. He has a spoiling style that can frustrate any fighter and the stench of his defensive mastery can stink up any fight.

Pray for the sake of entertainment this fight doesn't get made.

If the Bhop somehow takes this fight he will have earned my undying respect
He won't win but he'll go down as the fighter who took on all comers.

The Commish says:

At the informal press conference last Saturday, I noticed that challenger Blake Caparello looked almost frail in comparison to Kovalev.

Caparello is not known for being a big walloper. He has six KO's among his 19 victories. I just don't see his pesky jab being able to keep the Krusher at bay.

Chalk up another KO victory for Krusher Kovalev.

Hopefully, the KJrusher will get to face B-Hop next.

After tomorrow's fight, start getting your PxP ratings together. Will Krusher make it into the Top 10?

-Randy G

The Good Doctor says:

I think in alot of ways this could look like the Shawn Porter-Paulie scrap. I have seen some of Caparello and he does have a pesky, frequent jab, and pretty decent hand speed.

However, he has not shown to have even buzzing power. His feet are decent so he may be able to dance around for a few rounds as well.

Unfortunately the lack of power will prove to be Caparello's undoing. Kovalev can be hit early on as was seen in the Agnew fight. Kovalev will eat a few jabs and maybe a straight right or two and will then realize that Caparello cannot hurt him. Kovalev will then walk him down, pound his body to slow him down and then "krush" him with some combinations. Kovalev gets in done in 7 maybe 8 rounds.

I actually hope that Kovalev doesn't dismantle this guy because if he does, he may make his list of willing opponents shrink even more than it already has. As mentioned above Hop may be out there, but after that I believe he and GGG become some of the most avoided men since the biblical lepers.

deepwater2 says:

At the informal press conference last Saturday, I noticed that challenger Blake Caparello looked almost frail in comparison to Kovalev.

Caparello is not known for being a big walloper. He has six KO's among his 19 victories. I just don't see his pesky jab being able to keep the Krusher at bay.

Chalk up another KO victory for Krusher Kovalev.

Hopefully, the KJrusher will get to face B-Hop next.

After tomorrow's fight, start getting your PxP ratings together. Will Krusher make it into the Top 10?

-Randy G


I agree. A Krusher KO will be on the menu.I also think Caparello will try and move and make it a very boring fight for as long as he can. I do not think he wants to win the fight just make it to the final bell. That will be like a win for him.

I think Kovalev should stay at whatever P4P spot he is at right now even if he runs over Caparello.

GGG deserves to take a step up on that P4P list because Geale was at the top of the division and got beaten like a novice.

oubobcat says:

I agree. A Krusher KO will be on the menu.I also think Caparello will try and move and make it a very boring fight for as long as he can. I do not think he wants to win the fight just make it to the final bell. That will be like a win for him.

I think Kovalev should stay at whatever P4P spot he is at right now even if he runs over Caparello.

GGG deserves to take a step up on that P4P list because Geale was at the top of the division and got beaten like a novice.


I respect Caparello for stepping up to take on the challenge but think Kovalev is going to destroy him.

Unlike Provodnikov more than a month ago when he faced a slicker boxer, Kovalev can cut off the ring. Those escape routes that Algieri was allowed won't be allowed for Caparello. I think this fight resembles the Campillo fight for Kovalev but maybe a little easier.

I do agree that GGG deserves a step up based on his win over Geale. I won't move Kovalev up yet regardless of his performance against Caparello (I already have Kovalev ranked fairly high). But Kovalev is charging up those rankings and mark my words he will soon be in a top five spot.

The Commish says:

QUOTE=amayseng;60094]Come on RG I implore you, take a look, Kovalev has very good timing.

Without question, Amayseng. The Krusher has much better timing than opponents think and much more skill than people give him credit for.

They think he is strictly a guy who walks straight in, cranks 'em up and throws. Not so. I think we will see the patience and boxing ability of The Krusher this weekend, as he is in with a guy who will unquestionably be on the move from the opening bell.

I think you'll see an array of skills from the Krusher this fight, but his critics will say, "He was in against a guy who couldn't punch."

Bring on B-Hop.

THAT should be a terrific fight!

-Randy G

The Shadow says:

At the informal press conference last Saturday, I noticed that challenger Blake Caparello looked almost frail in comparison to Kovalev.

Caparello is not known for being a big walloper. He has six KO's among his 19 victories. I just don't see his pesky jab being able to keep the Krusher at bay.

Chalk up another KO victory for Krusher Kovalev.

Hopefully, the KJrusher will get to face B-Hop next.

After tomorrow's fight, start getting your PxP ratings together. Will Krusher make it into the Top 10?

-Randy G


Heck no! He ain't that good.

As for him fighting the thought of Golovkin or what have you, 3K is not thinking about Golovkin AT ALL!

And good for him that he's not. Because if he does, he'll start having flashbacks to his Big Bear California thrashings that ran him to the refuge of the Sunshine State where he's safe.

This guy may hit hard but his psyche isn't as rock hard. And now he wants to face the one guy who exploits even the smallest windows of self-doubt?!

His handlers better be careful. We could have a dot-com bubble like implosion here where the principals are stuck with a useless asset in the wake of the crash -- a crash called "Alien Conspiracy."

If he doesn't win, his days as a top-level fighter will be over. Because he will not recover, mentally.

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