Kovalev: I understand Hopkins’ strategy
By Chris Williams: WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) says he understands IBF/WBA light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) boxing style and that he’ll be ready to face him next month in their fight on November 8th on HBO from the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Kovalev, 31, says he knows how Hopkins fights, but at the same time he says he doesn’t watch his fights. He doesn’t study his opponents at all, and that makes it hard to understand how he’s going to know how to deal with Hopkins if he doesn’t study the old master.
At 49, Hopkins has probably forgotten more than Kovalev can ever hope to learn during his career. The odds of Kovalev still being around fighting past his 40s are so slim that they’re not worth mentioning.
“Our styles are different. American and Russian boxers are from different boxing schools,” Kovalev said via Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. “Hopkins’ style is old-school. He’s doing some things that nobody does. Nobody does it how he does it. This fight for me will be a big test. Hopkins is very good fighter. He is a very tough fighter and very smart. It will be a very good fight.”
Kovalev is going to find it very tough to try and crack Hopkins’ style on November 8th, because very few have done it over the years. The last fighter to crack the code was Chad Dawson in 2012, and that was a controversial decision that Hopkins lost in that fight. You could have called that a draw more than a win on Dawson’s part.
Hopkins deserved a win in his fight against Joe Calzaghe and he should have been given a draw in his two fights against Jermain Taylor. The last time that Hopkins really lost a fight was back in 1993 when he was edged by a prime Roy Jones Jr, and that was a very close fight. Hopkins definitely lost the fight, but not by much.
“His defense is incredible too. We’re working on everything,” Kovalev said. “I have prepared for 12 rounds because I understand his strategy, what he wants to do, and we’ll be prepared for anything.”
I don’t see Kovalev winning this fight because he’s out of his league in this due to the huge talent gap between him and Hopkins.