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Hopkins will use Kovalev’s aggression against him, says Rosado

hopkinsBy Dan Ambrose: Former world title challenger Gabriel Rosado is picking IBF/WBA light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) to defeat WBO 175 pound champion Sergey Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) n their fight on November 8th at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Rosado sees it as being a competitive fight, but he feels that the 49-year-old Hopkins will take advantage of the large steps that Kovalev takes when he’s loading up on his punches with long right hands. Rosado thinks Hopkins will step back and nail Kovalev with shots.

“I think B-Hop will use Kovalev’s aggression against him,” Rosado said to “B-Hop will see the footwork and step back ‘pop. Kovalev has good skills, but it’s all about footwork. I see it being competitive. I don’t see it being like B-Hop’s last fight [against Beibut Shumenov]. B-Hop may go down in this fight too. He may catch a fight hand, go down and get right back up; kind of like the [Jean] Pascal fight. I think B-Hop will take his punch though. I don’t think he’ll knock B-Hop out.”

If Hopkins fights off the ropes like he did against his last two opponents Beibut Shumenov and Karo Murat, then it’s going to be difficult for Hopkins to step back as Rosado says. Hopkins will be out of real estate if he’s against the ropes. But it’s probably going to be difficult for Kovalev to land head shots against Hopkins if he stands on the outside the way that Shumenov did in his 12 round decision loss last April.

Shumenov was throwing a lot of head shots early in the fight, but he was missing frequently or having his punches defect off the gloves of Hopkins. Karo Murat was able to land a lot more head shots against Hopkins by crowding him and staying in close. Kovalev is probably going to need to either stay close to Hopkins or throw to the body, because it’s not easy to hit Hopkins consistently with anything thrown at his head.

Kovalev seems to generate most of his power from the outside rather than on the inside. If he’s unable to punch with a lot of power while in close, then he’s going to have problems against Hopkins. And if Kovalev gets too close, Hopkins will likely resort to holding him and wrestling. Hopkins hasn’t done a lot of clinching lately in his fights, but he’s very good at clinching when he’s fighting a guy on the inside.

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