WATCH: Kovalev’s Amazing 2nd Round KO to Win Light Heavyweight Title
Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev is finally back in the winning column after unloading on Vyacheslav Shabranskyy for two rounds in their WBO light heavyweight title fight on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, New York.
Kovalev, who is so often seen and revered as one of the most powerful boxers in the world, was returning to the ring after suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of Andre Ward.
Having brought in a brand new head trainer, Abror Tursunpulatov, known for training and developing amateur boxers as they head toward the Olympic games, Kovalev was seeking to make a strong statement after his TKO loss to Ward in mid-June.
“I learned a lot from my fights with Andre Ward. When you don’t win and when you suffer adversity, it makes you stronger,” said Kovalev in the leadup to the bout. “It also shows you who your real friends are. I feel like I cleaned out my life and now I’m ready to start fresh… I’m not looking back.”
War didn’t have to work too hard to find his opponent, who basically stood straight in front of him for much of the bout, unloaded fifty punches to Shabranskyy’s sixteen.
Shabranskyy’s gloves would meet the canvas three times in less than six minutes, with the Russian powerhouse knocking his man down three times in the opening two rounds before referee Harvey Dock was forced to call a stop to the bout at 2:36 of the second.
“I did it. I reloaded my brain, mentally, and conditioned my body,” Kovalev said following the bout. “I’m back. It’s my goal to be the best in this division. I don’t think in the last fight (Kovalev’s first ever career stoppage) I was stopped. It was an illegal decision by the referee. But I’m ready to fight for all the titles, unified titles. … I love boxing and I’m looking forward to making great fights.”
Kovalev now lays claim to both the WBO and IBA light heavyweight titles and is looking on for his next challenge in the light heavyweight division. “The belts have different owners, and that makes the boxing very much interesting,” he said. “We can make good fights for the boxing fans and also for boxing history. I just want to find out who is the best in the light heavyweight division in the future.”
Check out Kovalev’s latest stoppage on the player below and let us know what you think!