Hopkins-Kovalev: Who wins?
ATLANTIC CITY (Oct. 22, 2014) – One of the most anticipated fights of the year, the light heavyweight unification bout between Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins and Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, has the boxing world split with the fight just weeks away.
This will be one of the biggest obstacles of each man’s career as they look to unify titles and stake their claim as the best light heavyweight in the world.
Take a look at how top media members see the Nov. 8 unification bout going:
(Answers compiled by Jack Obermayer for the official “Hopkins vs. Kovalev” program)
BOB VELIN (USA Today): “Kovalev might be the hardest puncher Hopkins has faced, and there is no doubt Hopkins is the smartest boxer Kovalev has faced. That should make for a fascinating matchup. Hopkins is older than old for a fighter, but is probably in better shape than the Russian destroyer, and has avoided damaging punishment. That said, I don’t think he will escape Kovalev’s ample power and Kovalev will not lose patience like so many of Hopkins’ most recent victims.”
Kovalev: KO 10
DAN RAFAEL (ESPN.com): “Hopkins has been in this exact position many times, and pulled an upset. I’ve learned my lesson. It’s a tough fight, but Hopkin’s ring intelligence, experience, and chin trump a Kovalev whose opponents have not been much to write home about.”
DAVE WEINBERG (Atlantic City Press): “Hopkins
will frustrate and confuse Kovalev for the first few rounds, but Kovalev’s power will eventually be the difference.”
Kovalev: Late-round KO
GEORGE WILLIS (New York Post): “Hopkins has proved me wrong plenty of times. He hasn’t had too much trouble with punchers. He beat Trinidad and ruined Pavlik. He’ll have to prove me wrong again.”
Kovalev: KO 10
MITCH ABRAMSON (New York Daily News): “Hopkins is just too crafty, too smart and still possesses the necessary athleticism to beat a top fighter. Insane that a near 50 year old can win? No it’s not.”
RON BORGES (Boston Herald): “Hopkins will do what he does best. He’ll mystify Kovalev into a fog of inaction and find a way to outpoint him.”
KEITH IDEC (The Record, Woodland Park, NJ):
“Hopkins took this difficult fight because he sees flaws in the heavily hyped Kovalev that he knows he can exploit. Hopkins has never been stopped, either, and his vast experience advantage over Kovalev in 12-round fights will serve him well.”
BERNARD FERNANDEZ (veteran boxing writer): “Can’t believe I’m going to the well again. Hopkins has a history of success against big punchers who come forward, and try to take his head off. Will Kovalev be the guy who finally does hand it to him? No.”
DOUG FISCHER (RingTV.com): “I think Kovalev overcomes a shaky, somewhat careful start and begins making things uncomfortable for Hopkins when he hurts the living legend to the body in the middle rounds. Kovalev’s smart pressure and heavy but accurate combination punching takes over in the late rounds and puts Hopkins into survival mode.”
JERRY GLICK (FightNews.com): “At 49 years old Bernard Hopkins has proven he is still great. The pick is that he will maintain his skills against the hard-hitting Kovalev and control the action to win.”
LEE GROVES (RingTV.com): “If Kovalev fights the man instead of the icon and avoids trying to box with him, his youth, his strength and aggression should be enough. Also, John David Jackson — who fought Hopkins and worked with him in many training camps will provide Kovalev unique insights into what makes Hopkins tick, as well as what ticks him off.”
GRAHAM HOUSTON (British Boxing Monthly): “I think Kovalev will out-work
Hopkins; don’t think he will try to blast out the old ring general.”
JAKE KAPLAN (Philadelphia Daily News): “The ageless Hopkins will defy the odds again — against an opponent young enough to be his son. Like many opponents before him, Kovalev will have trouble handling Hopkins’ mind games before and during the fight.”
STEVE KIM (UCNLive.com): “I have a gut feeling that Kovalev will be the one guy to not fall into the trap that Hopkins lays so well and will continue to bang away at the arms and shoulders of ‘The Alien’ to win.”
MICHAEL MARLEY (Boxing Examiner.com): “Bernard may be an old dog, but he is an old dog who doesn’t need to learn new tricks. His old bags, of tricks still work exceedingly well, thank you. Kovalev is a typical tough Russian, but he will be out-slicked and out-tricked by BHop.”
ROBERT MORALES (Los Angeles Daily News): “I rarely go against Hopkins because of his defense and trickery, but have to go with Kovalev in this one because he’ll be unfazed by the stuff that lulls others to sleep when they are in with Hopkins.”
Kovalev: Late-round KO
TONY PAIGE (WFAN 660 Radio): “Sounds crazy, but this is it for Hopkins. Kovalev’s too strong and too busy. Dare I say…”
Kovalev: KO 9
MICHAEL ROSENTHAL (The Ring): “I suspect Hopkins bit off more than he can chew in this case. Kovalev isn’t the boxer Hopkins is, but I believe his skills are better than some might realize, certainly good enough to give Hopkins trouble. That combined with the Russian’s unquestioned punching power will be too much for Hopkins to handle.”
Kovalev: KO 10
LEM SATTERFIELD (RingTV.com): “Hopkins will be completely relaxed in this fight. He once told me that Kovalev is the virtual mirror image of Pavlik. However, I don’t think that this will be as easy, but I do believe that he’ll find a way to be victorious.”
TIM STRUBY (ESPN The Magazine): “Once again, Hopkins will defy conventional thought. He’ll stay out of range, trash talk, hold and frustrate Kovalev. Hopkins will also pick precise spots to stick and move; it won’t be pretty.”
STEVE TOBEY (MaxBoxing.com): “Yes, Kovalev has youth and power, but Hopkins is smarter and still able to execute. He wouldn’t have taken this fight otherwise.”
FINAL TALLY – Bernard Hopkins: 12, Sergey Kovalev: 11
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“Alien vs. Krusher: Hopkins vs. Kovalev” is a 12-round unification bout for the IBF, WBA and WBO Light Heavyweight World titles, presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events in association with Caesars Atlantic City, Corona Extra, AT&T, Hortitsia Vodka and Mexico, Live it To Believe It!. Ali vs. Abregu is a 10-round welterweight bout promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank.
The HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 10:45 p.m. ET/PT.
Tickets priced at $300, $200, $150, $100 and $50, plus applicable fees and service charges, are on sale now and available for purchase at the Boardwalk Hall box office, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.