Sergey Kovalev v Isaac Chilemba
Today ( 11/7/16) we have a start of the week treat from the boxing world with the return of light heavyweight king Sergey Kovalev. The fight will be held Ekaterinburg, Russia, and the card will be shown on UK TV courtesy of Boxnation from 5:30pm with the main event scheduled to begin at around 6 pm.
At yesterday’s weigh in both fighters made weight Sergey tipped the scales at 174.6lbs, while Chilemba weighed in at 174.8lbs. The fight it’s self is a stepping stone for the main attraction in November between Sergey and Andre Ward which is arguably the two best light heavyweights in the world facing each other in prime condition. Certainly because of this anticipated matchup Isaac Chilemba feels disrespected and this weekend was quoted saying “Clearly they see me as a stepping stone and that’s total disrespect. They are looking past me when we have not fought which means they see me as just a sparring partner. I am now going out there with more reason to beat this guy”.
So we know one fighter is coming to win and it seems that Sergey is focused on the job in hand too who has refused to talk about the Ward fight and is adamant his sole focus is on fight night on Monday .
So the fight itself well interestingly Sergey will be the shorter man in terms of height and reach at 6ft tall and 72 inches in reach in comparison to 6ft 1 and 73 inches of Issac. However it is how both men use their physical attributes to their greatest effect. Sergey is an underrated boxer and is just seen as a big banger by most. He lures people into traps with his faints and movement into opening up angles left exposed by his opponents. This is evident with Sergey’s bodywork which backs up his opponents then switches to Headwork to inflict the major damage. Example of this method would be Kovalev v Pascal 2.
Isaac is to me a much underrated fighter, a legit top 10 light heavyweight who is a handful to anyone top level but will eventually fall short. Isaac is a very very busy fighter who is on the move for the most part and very active in throwing punches to keep his opponents off of him. Issac is not a big puncher with only 10 stoppages but packs enough power to deter opponents for the most part. If he is not successful in this method he is a very capable counter puncher with his slippery movement and underrated defensive skills. The best example of this to a UK reader of this would be the clash between Chilemba and Tony Bellew number 1, after a tricky start where Chilemba used his defensive skills to counter to mainly to protect himself and stop the onslaught at times. Came on strong on the front foot and with the slick movement punished Bellew.
I can see this fight going relatively early in favour of Kovalev who I believe can be very effective on the front foot in cornering Chilemba who as I mentioned likes to get on his bike and move. The body punching from Sergey will take its toll and slow down Chilemba who has to risk trading with the big hitting Russian to keep him at bay plus Chilemba does have a minor reach advantage. But ultimately I cannot see anything but a stoppage or knockout victory in favour of the Russian.