Kovalev conquers Caparello to set up Hopkins unification bout

03/08/2014 07:26

WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) rose from a first round knockdown to stop previously unbeaten Blake Caparello (19-1-1, 6 KOs) in the second round on Saturday night at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Kovalev was dropped in the first round when his foot was stepped on while he was being hit by a straight left from the Australian southpaw that forced him to touch down with a glove as he stumbled backwards.

In the second round, the Russian, who is now based in Fort Lauderdale, came out firing in knocking Caparello down three times with huge power shots. A right hand to the body caused the first knockdown and Caparello never seemed to recover. He got up at the count of eight, but he was visibly in pain and was soon knocked down twice more, before the referee stepped in to spare the challenger from taking any further punishment. The official time of the stoppage was 1:47 of the round.

The victory paves the way for him to face IBF and WBA light-heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins in a unification bout, likely in November.

"I'm very happy," Kovalev said afterwards.  "Fighting Bernard Hopkins is a big fight and interesting fight for me and for the boxing world. I'm not scared to fight him. He's called 'The Alien,' but I'm a 'Krusher' and I'll send him to Mars."

Other results on the card:

Isaac Chilemba W Cory Cummings TKO 7

Dmitry Mikhaylenko W Sechew Powell UD 8

Joey Dawejko W David Williams TKO 1

Decarlo Perez W Marcus Willis MD 6

Adam Kownacki W Charles Ellis TKO 5

Hakim Bryant W Anthony Watson TKO 4