Kovalev tests his power on Sillakh
QUEBEC CITY – Thanksgiving may have been yesterday but WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and his first title challenger, Ismayl Sillakh, need one more day to determine which of them has more to be thankful for this year. The two 175-pounders face off Saturday night on HBO, from the Colisee Pepsi, in a 12-round title clash that will have one of them closing out 2013 in style.
Both fighters have built their reputations on punching power and are expected to once again let their fists fly, come Saturday night. The question is, which of these knockout artists will go home a champion and cap off the best year of their respective careers?
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, 22-0-1, 20 KOs, originally from Chelyabinsk, Russia and now fighting out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, has had an outstanding 2013. So far he’s scored three high-profile knockouts, including his title-winning effort against Nathan Cleverly, in his most recent bout. Kovalev is riding a 6-bout knockout streak and would like nothing more than to add Sillakh’s name to that list. Another short night for the champion would further reinforce his reputation as one of the top light heavyweights in a crowded and talent-rich division.
Kovalev said, “Sillakh is a dangerous fighter, one of the strongest punchers that I have fought so far. I know that he wants to take my title, but I will not let him. I will win on Saturday. I waited a long time to get title and I intend to keep it a long, long time.”
For Ismayl Sillakh, 21-1, 17 KOs, a native of Zaporozhye, Ukraine who now resides in Canoga Park, CA, his first crack at a world championship is by far his biggest opportunity thus far. However, he too has been on a roll this year, winning all four of his 2013 fights, three of them by KO. An upset win over Kovalev would be the perfect introduction to boxing fans for Sillakh, simultaneously making his name and vaulting him into the mix of the star-studded division.
“As soon as I was offered to fight Kovalev for the WBO World title, I jumped at the opportunity,” said Sillakh, “I believe that everything happens for a reason.” He added, “I am ready for this fight 100%. I will come out victorious. I will be the newly crowned light heavyweight champion.”
Each fighter has an astronomical knockout percentage, and can legitimately claim that they are the hardest puncher that the other has faced to date. This should make for an exciting encounter with plenty of action. However only one man can go home as the WBO champion and cap off a truly excellent year. And only then will we know for sure which boxer, Kovalev or Sillakh, will be celebrating Thanksgiving late Saturday night.
The HBO broadcast begins at 10:15PM ET/PT with a replay of the Pacquiao – Rios fight, followed by the Kovalev – Sillakh battle and culminating with Stevenson – Bellew. A must-see show for boxing fans.
Cohen Knows WBA #10 Heavyweight Kauffman Must Stay Focused on Saturday’s Fight
Greg Cohen of Greg Cohen Promotions knows his fighter, Travis Kauffman, must stay focused tomorrow night, when the WBA #10 heavyweight steps in the ring against late sub Jason Barnett of Clearwater, Florida, at the Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Kauffman (26-1, 19 KOs) will face Barnett for the WBU Intercontinental Championship in the eight-round main event of a card entitled “Let’s Get Reading to Rumble” and presented by King’s Promotions.
“Travis is in line for some big fights, so it’s very important he not look past this opponent, who has scored some upset wins in the past and always comes to fight,” said Cohen. “These are often the most dangerous fights a fighter can take because it’s so easy to have one eye on the future and not on the fight.”
Kauffman has some serious momentum going, winning eight consecutive fights. This will be his third in just over three months. He was originally scheduled to take on capable veteran Manuel Quezada, but paperwork difficulties nixed the fight on short notice.
“The recipe is certainly there for an upset, but Travis is a solid professional who has been brought along perfectly. I know he will go in and get the job done and then the future is extremely bright for him. He’s a very talented American heavyweight with everything it takes to be a star. I will be happy when the fight is over and we can begin to focus on a career-defining fight for him.”
McIntyre-Couzens: Weights and Quotes From Portsmouth
The weigh-in, for the Joel McIntyre and Danny Couzens International Light Heavyweight International Masters title clash, took place today at the Solent Hotel in Whitley.
The highly anticipated local clash headlines the TRAD TKO Events promoted BRAGGING RIGHTS event, which takes place at the Liquid & Envy nightclub, Connaught Drill Hall, Stanhope Road in Portsmouth on Saturday 30th November.
Joel McIntyre: 174.0 lbs
‘This is more important to me than everyone realises, tomorrow night can’t come quick enough. I’m fighting tomorrow in memory of a special little girl; Amelia-Mae Davies who lost her battle with Neuroblastoma’
Danny Couzens: 175.0 lbs
‘I’ve trained hard for this fight, I’m on weight and ready’