If Kovalev fights at Hopkins’ slow pace, he could lose, says Jeff Mayweather
By Dan Ambrose: Jeff Mayweather sees the November 8th fight between 49-year-old IBF/WBA light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) 175 pound champion Sergey Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) one in which Kovalev could wind up losing the fight if he gets lulled into fighting at the slow pace that Hopkins like to fight at.
Jeff sees this as big test for Kovalev because he’s going to be taking a big step up in class, and he’s also someone who will be in against a very smart fighter.
Jeff isn’t overly impressed with the opposition that Kovalev has fought during his career, and he thinks he’s going to need to really prove himself in the Hopkins fight otherwise he’ll end up losing to the nearly 50-year-old.
“It’s a fight where Kovalev will need to define himself,” Jeff Mayweather said to Hustleboss. “He’s beaten some decent fighters, but he hasn’t beaten any big names. He’s a tremendous puncher and he’s got decent boxing skills. Hopkins always controls the pace of his fights. They slow down and fight at his pace where he can get his shots off, he can grab and he can hold. If Kovalev ends up fighting at Bernard’s place then there’s a chance he’ll [Kovalev] be upset.”
Kovalev usually comes out on fire in his fights in an all-out attacking style of fighting. He does this whether his opponent is fighting at fast pace or not, and it helps him get his opposition out of there much quicker. The only way Kovalev will slow down against Hopkins is if Hopkins makes him respect him by nailing him with hard shots that will make Kovalev hesitant to go in an attack like he normally does.
Hopkins isn’t that big of a puncher, but he’s got a lot of size for the light heavyweight division. Kovalev might find it difficult to land his head shots though Hopkins’ guard. Kovalev does throw body shots from time to time, but he’s still mostly a head hunter. If he doesn’t make the needed adjustments by going to the body of Hopkins then we definitely could see Kovalev taste defeat.