With the highly anticipated showdown between two of boxing’s most elite talents, Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward, scheduled to take place in November, only one obstacle remains before the best fight than can be made in all of boxing becomes a reality. That happens August 6 when Andre Ward takes his final tune-up bout against Alexander Brand. For his part, Kovalev just took care of business in his final bout before the mega fight with Ward when he outpointed Isaac Chilemba by unanimous decision yesterday.
The official judges’ scorecards read 116-111, 117-110, and 118-109 all in favor of Kovalev, as he successfully defended the WBA, IBF, and WBO versions of the light heavyweight world championship titles. With the victory Kovalev improves to 30-0-1 with 26 wins coming by way of knockout. In defeat, Chilemba became the second fighter to ever last the full 12 rounds against Kovalev, a feat that was first accomplished by ageless warrior Bernard Hopkins back in November 2014.
Most observers were expecting Kovalev to make quick work of Chilemba, despite the fact he had never been stopped previously. As a result Kovalev looked a bit more ordinary than we are accustomed to seeing. Chilemba was able to have isolated moments of success using movement, a decent jab, and the occassional sneaky left hook. He also fared decently well in close quarters where he was not being outmuscled or overpowered by Kovalev. Chilemba fought well, and what was most impressive about his performance was his ability to prevent Kovalev from establishing a rhythm where he can find ways to consistently land his devastating power shots.
The unexpected momentum of the way Kovalev-Chilemba unfolded only adds further intrigue to Sergey’s upcoming moment of truth against Andre Ward come November. Does this fight tell us anything about how Kovalev-Ward might unfold? What can Andre Ward learn from the Kovalev-Chilemba? This edition of Rummy’s Corner attempts to answer these questions while also providing a brief recap of Kovalev’s win against Isaac Chilemba. Please watch and enjoy the video!