By Rick Reeno
Soon to be cruiserweight contender Ismayl Sillakh (21-2, 17KOs) is very familiar with WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. Sillakh suffered a vicious second round knockout loss at the hands of Kovalev in November of 2013.
This coming November, Kovalev (25-0-1, 23KOs) will take part in a unification showdown with WBA/IBF champion Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32KOs).
BoxingScene caught up with Sillakh, who in his younger days was a highly decorated amateur with a 302-16 record, to get his thoughts on the fight.
"Kovalev hits very hard and he's a good boxer. He could very well win the fight easily. But let's not forget, Bernard Hopkins is a classic boxer. He might also win easily. It's a very interesting fight, it's 50-50. Bernard Hopkins has done it many times, where everyone thinks [he's going to lose] and then he makes everyone look like fools," Sillakh told BoxingScene.com.
"Kovalev is a better boxer than Beibut Shumenov [who Hopkins recently beat for the WBA title] and he hits a lot harder. Like I said, it's a 50-50 fight. On one end you have a fighter who is a classic boxer and on the other end your have a good boxer who brings a big gun to the ring."