MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti) — Russian fighter Sergey Kovalev has defeated 49-year-old boxing legend Bernard Hopkins of the US on Saturday, adding two more light heavyweight titles to his collection.
The bout was held in Atlantic City and lasted the full 12 rounds. Judges Clark Sammartino and Carlos Ortiz, Jr. scored the bout 120-107 for Kovalev, and judge Larry Layton scored it 120-106 for the 31-year-old Russian.
With a unanimous decision victory, Kovalev (26-0-1 with 23 knockouts) remained undefeated and unified three world titles. He already held the World Boxing Organization title, while Hopkins (55-7-2 with 32 knockouts) had the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association belts before the fight.
"I'm very happy," Kovalev said as quoted by ESPN "This victory was for my son Alexander."
Hopkins displayed courage and held out to the final ring, but he could not match to the powerful and relentless Kovalev. Hopkins, who previously had defeated Antonio Tarver in 2006 and Kelly Pavlik in 2008, came up with no answer to Kovalev’s tactics and disciplined plan of attack.
Kovalev, 31, whose nickname is Krusher, fought with his style of aggressive attacks, while Hopkins used his defensive tactics and held near the ropes. Kovalev sent Hopkins to the mat with a right to the face in first round and again with another right in the eighth, although the veteran kept on fighting. Finally, in the 12th, Hopkins seemed to realize he would need to produce a knockout, however Kovalev landed 38 of his 89 punches in the final round.
"I was eerily calm about this fight. The only thing I was nervous about was that I wasn't nervous," Kovalev said after the fight. "I needed to keep control for the whole fight. I wanted to show to my fans and boxing fans how I can box. I think I did it," he added.
In a post-fight interview, Hopkins was asked if this would be his last fight. He admitted he was considering retiring, but the decision is yet to be made.
"It's 50-50," he said as quoted by AFP. "I will think about it."