De La Hoya Expects Hopkins to Distract, Frustrate Kovalev

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – Oscar De La Hoya realizes Sergey Kovalev is favored, undefeated and has knocked out 23 of his 26 professional opponents.

Bernard Hopkins’ promotional partner still can’t see the legendary light heavyweight champion losing to the rugged Russian in their light heavyweight championship unification fight Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City (HBO; 10:45 ET).

“I can already see this fight panning out in a way where Kovalev, after three or four rounds, possibly gets frustrated, starts making mistakes and starts diverting from his original plan,” De La Hoya told “Kovalev, I’m sure, is convincing himself, ‘I’m not going to get distracted. I’m not going to get frustrated. I’m going to stick to my game plan.’ But in reality, when you step up in the ring against a Hopkins he knows how to distract you, he knows how to frustrate you and he just knows how to push your buttons, without saying a word. The next thing you know, it’s the 12th round and you’re losing the fight.”

De La Hoya, knocked out by Hopkins in the ninth round of their middleweight title fight 10 years ago, expects Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) to struggle once he realizes he can’t take out the 49-year-old Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs, 2 NC) the way he has other opponents throughout his five-year pro career. Hopkins has never been knocked out, despite boxing numerous punchers in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions.

“He has a lack of experience,” De La Hoya said regarding Kovalev. “How will he react to a level of fighting he has never experienced? That all has to come into play sooner or later. Whether it’s the first round or the 10th round, it’s going to catch up to you. It’s starts taking over you and it starts becoming out of your control, because you’ve never experienced it. Can he adapt? Does he have Plan A? Does he have Plan B? Does he have Plan C? I’ve seen Kovalev and he has one plan, and that plan is to knock you out.”

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Stuntman Mike on 11-07-2014

Hopkins is amazing ,he has some gonads fighting Kovalev its a even bigger task than Ali with Foreman

Comment by STEELHEAD on 11-07-2014

[QUOTE=Golovkin;15080560]Also expect him to excessively clinch, head butt, lead in with his head, act like he is hurt, try to pull out of the fight, try to get Kovalev DQd... This dirty sissy will try all of his tricks. I…

Comment by jas on 11-07-2014

[QUOTE=have_not;15080820]?Hopkins are taller and have longer reach, his dam head is bigger. how do you know kovalevs walking around weight? By your logic manuel charr is bigger than wladimir klitschko because wladimirs "walking around weight" is lower then charrs[/QUOTE] Because…

Comment by have_not on 11-07-2014

[QUOTE=jas;15080794]he is bigger, bernard's natural weight/walking around weight is lower than kovalevs.[/QUOTE] ?Hopkins are taller and have longer reach, his dam head is bigger. how do you know kovalevs walking around weight? By your logic manuel charr is bigger than…

Comment by chocolatemula on 11-07-2014

Really hope Hopkins pulls this off...I have my doubts though. Kovalev is a beast.

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