Sergey Kovalev vs. Ismayl Sillakh on HBO this Saturday
By Allan Fox: This Saturday night unbeaten WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (22-0-1, 20 KO’s) will be taking a decent test in his first title defense of his World Boxing Organization title against #15 WBO Ismayl Sillakh (21-1, 17 KO’s) on the undercard of the Adonis Stevenson vs.Tony Bellew card at the Colisee de Quebeck, Quebec City, Canada.
Sillakh, 6’1″, has good size and excellent skills. He’s a very mobile fighter and reminds one of a shorter, lighter version of Wladimir Klitschko, but without his power and size. The 28-year-old Sillakh’s career hit a speed bump last year when he was stopped by Russian Denis Grachev in the 8th round in a fight that Sillakh was dominating at the time of the stoppage.
Sillakh had been moving for 7th rounds and doing a good job of hitting and staying out of range of Grachev’s big shots. However, Sillakh made the mistake of straying too close to Grachev and he ended up getting hit with a hard right hand that buzzed him. Grachev then flurried on him to get the stoppage. Sillakh probably should have attempted to avenge the loss, but instead he moved on and has won his last four fights against weak opposition in defeating Konstantin Piternov, Mitch Williams, Alvaro Enriquez and Daniel Adotey Allotey.
Going from facing those type of opponents to fighting Kovalev is going to be a big shock for Slillakh and it’s going to be tough on him to try and win this fight.
Kovalev, 30, recently won the WBO 175 lb. title with a 4th round TKO of former champion Nathan Cleverly last August in a fight that took place in Wales. That was an interesting fight because Kovalev overpowered the volume punching Cleverly in knocking him down twice in the 3rd. Cleverly was helped back to his corner by the referee Terry O’Connor in one of the strangest sights you’ll ever see. It didn’t matter because Kovalev continued to batter Cleverly in the 4th round and the fight was promptly halted at 0:25 of the round.
Kovalev has stopped his last six opponents with knockout wins over Darnell Boone, Gabriel Campillo, Cleverly, Lionell Thompson, Cornelius White and Roman Sinmakov.