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Home Boxing BERNARD HOPKINS VS. SERGEY KOVALEV, ANALYSIS
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BERNARD HOPKINS VS. SERGEY KOVALEV, ANALYSIS

 

bernard-hopkins-vs-sergey-kovalevTo go a bit more in-depth about this fight, it should be said that it is one of the best 50/50 fights this year.  It may not be super exciting, but at this point, Hopkins is exciting because of what he is accomplishing, not because of the methods he is using to do so.  Much like Mayweather, the drama is in the ability, not the action.  Style-wise, this should be a slam dunk for Bernard.  The heavy handed, forward moving puncher has always been putty in his hands: Pavlik, Trinidad, Shumenov, etc.
 
Fast fighters like Dawson, Pascal, and Calzaghe give Hopkins problems, and except for Dawson, Hopkins usually manages to stay competitive with even them.  However, the x-factor here is a big one.  Kovalev is not just a puncher, he is a deadly puncher.  He is not just a deadly puncher... he making inhuman things happen.  Much like GGG, Kovalev is knocking out otherwise durable fighters, and he is doing so with jabs, and awkward punches that catch you at bizarre angles.
 
He is also doing so with a much more measured and intelligent attack than it seems at first glance.  His stoppage wins over the better offensive fighters he fought like Cleverly, White, and Sillakh were no more or less brutal than the defensive-minded boxers he KO'd, such as Campillo, Caparello, and Agnew.  Hopkins, likewise is not so invincible.  He was dropped twice by Pascal, and twice by Segundo Mercado.  These fights represent his only two draws, and 2 of his 3 trips outside the country, so take what you want from that.
 
This fight, however, is not being fought out of Hopkins comfort zone.  This is a style each man has beaten before, and beaten easily.  However, neither man, especially Kovalev, has ever faced anyone who does it this well.  That's where the intrigue comes from, as well as the questions.  How will Hopkins react when he tastes that freakish power?  What if he isn't bothered?  How will Kovalev react to that?  What happens if/when the fight gets into deep water?  Will Kovalev freeze and follow Hopkins around, getting out-boxed.  Will each man do just enough, so as to not anger the other, once the talent of each one shows through?
 
It is a toss-up, but I think this fight is taking place at the exact right time for Hopkins, and about a year too early for Kovalev.  With Stevenson cutting and running behind Al Haymon's allergy to tough opposition, its clear he will be hiding in Canada for a while, fighting stiffs.  Kovalev and Hopkins could have killed time, but both were out of soft touches.  This may be Hopkins last stand, but I think the old dog still has a new trick or two up his sleeve.  Kovalev will fight too tentatively, thinking he is winning, and regret it later.  Hopkins by close MD.

Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

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