WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KO) headlined HBO boxing card Saturday against Igor Mikhalkin (21-2, 9 KO).
Sergey who comes off a win of the vacant WBO title after losing two straight fights to retired rival Andre Ward looked to put on a good performance. To say it was just good would be an understatement. Sergey is another class that Igor has not touched.
In the first three rounds Sergey had his way. Landing his job to set up three or four punch combinations making him very successful. Kovalev didn’t look like the “Krusher” we are accustomed to seeing. Did his best to technically box himself to a victory.
Mikhalkin had troubles getting through so he reverted to making the fight a slugfest in the fourth round. This isn’t the great idea for a guy who doesn’t even have a fifty percent knockout rate, but he needed to get through. Kovalev stayed disciplined in his game plan, hit and move.
Rounds five and six would consist of solid blows to the head of Mikhalkin. Sergey was making a bloody mess out of Mikhalkin. Between the sixth round going into the seventh corner men for Mikhalkin tried to calm the cut down.
In the seventh round Kovalev came out looking for a stoppage. He’d get just what he was looking for. After 2:24 seconds of opening the cut more and more. Doing major damage to the face of Mikhalkin the referee would call time. Once Mikhalkin walked over to the doctor the fight was already being called. Kovalev would get a TKO victory.
Kovalev has a potential fight with undercard star and WBA champion Dmitry Bivol. Earlier this week he trashed talked Andre Ward, but Ward being retired there’s no reason to speculate the possibility.
Kovalev TKO Mikhalkin 2:24 into the 7th