SERGEY KOVALEV regained his WBO light-heavyweight title in classic “Krusher” fashion with a second round stoppage of Vyacheslav Shabranskyy at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Kovalev – looking to rebound from back-to-back losses to Andre Ward – came out of the gates swinging, knocking down Shabranskyy twice in the first round. The second round continued with more hard shots from “The Krusher” and a third knockdown. Finally, at 2-36 of the second round, the referee called a halt to the action and Kovalev was named the new WBO champ.
The punch stats clearly favour Kovalev, who connected for 50 of 113 punch attempts (44 per cent) compared to 16 of 71 for Shabranskyy (23 per cent). The Krusher also landed 62 per cent of his power punches (36 of 58), compared to 30% (8 of 27) for Shabranskyy. Finally, for jabs Sergey landed 25 per cent (14 of 55) and Shabranskyy landed 18 per cent (8 of 44).
After the fight Kovalev said, “I did it and worked very hard to get to champion status. My brain, mentally, my conditioning, my body – I’m back. It’s my goal to be the best in this division.
“I am here, I love boxing, I love to make great fights. This makes boxing interesting. We can make good fights for boxing fans, and make boxing history. Let’s find out who is the best. Chickenson is on my list.This is very good for boxing. Let’s do it.”