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Kovalev: I Didn't Expect Easy Fight, I'm Surprised I Stopped Yarde

Sergey Kovalev feels ready for a mega-bout with Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez.

On Saturday night in Russia, Kovalev knocked out undefeated Anthony Yarde to retain the WBO light heavyweight title in his first defense since winning back the belt in February.

Kovalev was rocked by heavy punches from the British challenger in the eighth round but Yarde tired, allowing Kovalev to floor him with a left jab in the 11th.

kovalev-yarde-fight (14)

After Yarde's eighth-round flurry, Kovalev's trainer Buddy McGirt warned the Russian veteran he would throw in the towel if he kept taking punishment.

It is one month since another Russian fighter trained by McGirt, Maxim Dadashev, died from injuries sustained in the ring. The light welterweight suffered a brain injury against Subriel Matias despite McGirt intervening to stop the fight when Dadashev took heavy punches to the head.

"It's hard for me now when everyone is celebrating, and I have to think about him," Kovalev said, referring to Dadashev.

The previously unbeaten Yarde (18-1) hadn't gone beyond seven rounds before Saturday and appeared exhausted in the latter stages. He has had just 12 fights in the amateur ranks and 18 as a professional.

"I didn't expect an easy fight. There was nothing that shocked me. I expected it to be a long fight and I am really surprised that I stopped him," Kovalev said.

"Sixth or seventh round I got a feel for him with my left and I could tell he was getting tired so I hit him with the left more and that's what we worked on in training."

It was the 16th consecutive world title fight for Kovalev (34-3-1). He lost his belt to Eleider Alvarez in August 2018 but won it back in a rematch six months later.

Kovalev, who was hugged in the ring by his mother at the end, was fighting in Russia for only the fourth time as a pro.

He could now be heading for a big-money bout with Canelo, on a date in November.

"Canelo is a great fighter and if he wants to fight, I am ready," Kovalev said.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by PunchyPotorff on 08-26-2019

[QUOTE=1hourRun;20012052]Sergay Kovalev's performance was appalling, simply awful. A bum like Anthony Yarde should never go past five rounds with any top five Light-heavyweight. Hang them up Sergay, its over for you.[/QUOTE] It's Sergey... as in the first word of the…

Comment by MDPopescu on 08-26-2019

[QUOTE=MDPopescu] ... People usually forget that it was Canelo who wanted Kovalev... not the other way around...[/QUOTE] [QUOTE=Shadoww702;20012700]Same with Mikey. I don’t get it when there is GREAT fights at their current weight classes.[/QUOTE] ... Canelo vs Kovalev would rather…

Comment by alexjust on 08-26-2019

[QUOTE=Vlad_;20013435]Now you're just moving the goalposts. The initial argument was about Yarde's chin, not his endurance/stamina. You just wrote a paragraph about something entirely different.[/QUOTE] Oh, the infamous "writing about something different" police...I always thought I navigated the internet too…

Comment by Vlad_ on 08-25-2019

[QUOTE=alexjust;20012937]Its a common excuse for boxers - oh, he was doing great, but just got tired as if this is something outside of boxer's control just happened - like gloves fell off or he slipped on a wet mat and…

Comment by alexjust on 08-25-2019

[QUOTE=Vlad_;20012791]The jab that knocked Yarde out was not what knocked Yarde out. Yarde just had ZERO energy left at that point. He had already fell down by himself prior to the knockout.[/QUOTE] Its a common excuse for boxers - oh,…

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