by David P. Greisman, live from Atlantic City
Sergey Kovalev had no trouble making weight on Friday for his light heavyweight title defense this weekend against Cedric Agnew. It wasn’t so easy for Agnew.
Agnew first stepped on the scales at 175.8 pounds, eight tenths of a pound over the limit. Stripping down only brought him to 175.6 pounds. Less than an hour later, Agnew returned, had the remaining sweat toweled off him, kept his underwear on and had the scale show him at 174.4 pounds.
Kovalev, meanwhile, was 174.3 pounds. During the staredown, he handed Agnew a pair of miniature white boxing gloves with his signature and logo on them and told Agnew to hang them from his car mirror.
Kovalev, a 30-year-old Russian now fighting out of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., is 23-0-1 with 21 KOs (the draw was a technical draw in 2011). He won the World Boxing Organization’s world title last August with a fourth-round stoppage of Nathan Cleverly, then defended the belt in November with a second-round knockout of Ismayl Sillakh.
Agnew, 27, of Chicago, is 26-0 (13 KOs). This is his first bout in nearly a year; he beat Yusaf Mack by unanimous decision in April 2013.
The televised co-feature bout will see Thomas Dulorme face fellow junior welterweight prospect Karim Mayfield. Both made weight on Friday, Dulorme coming in at 139.8 pounds and Mayfield coming in at 139.6 pounds.
Their staredown started with yelling, led to Mayfield dipping down to Dulorme’s chest, continued with Dulorme putting his hand on Mayfield’s neck, Mayfield returning the favor and a brawl breaking out.
Dulorme, 24, of Carolina, Purto Rico, is 20-1 (14 KOs). The lone loss came in October 2012 against Luis Carlos Abregu. Mayfield, 33, of San Francisco, is 18-0-1 (11 KOs). The draw was a technical draw much earlier in his career.
Also on the undercard:
- Lionell Thompson came in 178.2 pounds. His opponent, Radivoje Kalajdzic came in at 173.4.
Thompson, 28, of Buffalo, N.Y., is 15-2 (9 KOs). Kalajdzic, a 22-year-old originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina who now calls St. Petersburg, Fla., home, is 14-0 (10 KOs).
- Wilky Campfort came in at 156.4 pounds. His opponent, Khurshid Abdullaev, came in at 154.4.
Campfort, a 29-year-old Haitian now fighting out of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., is 16-1 (9 KOs). Abdullaev, a 24-year-old from Kyryzstan now fighting out of Oxnard, Calif., is 6-0-1 (3 KOs).
- Ismael Garcia came in at 156 pounds. His opponent, Dushane Crooks, came in at 153.4.
Garcia, 27, of Vineland, N.J., is 5-0 with 3 KOs and 1 no decision. Crooks, a 24-year-old from Jamaica and now fighting out of Brooklyn, N.Y., is 6-0 (4 KOs).
- Wellington Romero came in at 138.6 pounds. His opponent, Gerald Smith, came in at 139.2.
Romero, a 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic now fighting out of Newburgh, N.Y., is 2-0 (1 KO). Smith, 28, of Philadelphia, is 3-0 (1 KO).
- Rafael Jastrzebski came in at 166 pounds. His opponent, Michael Mitchell, came in at 163.8 pounds.
Jastrzebski, a 32-year-old from Poland now fighting out of Atlantic City, N.J., is 4-7-1 (1 KO). Mitchell, 36, of Paterson, N.J., is 2-3-2 (zero KOs).
- Adam Kownacki came in at 254 pounds. His opponent, Excell Holmes, came in at 244.
Kownacki, a 25-year-old from Poland and now fighting out of Brooklyn, N.Y., is 5-0 (5 KOs). Holmes 35, of Buffalo, N.Y., is 2-2-1 with 1 KO and 1 no contest.
Pick up a copy of David’s new book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]