Sergey Kovalev first defence of his WBO Light Heavyweight title couldn’t have went smoother for him as it felt like he controlled the fight at his pace, and he never got out of 2nd gear and it felt like the referee done Mikhalkin a favour by getting a cut checked out, and the doctor done him a favour by stopping the fight and giving Kovalev a TKO victory.
With this victory Kovalev moves onto thirty two wins with twenty eight coming by way of knockout and hands Igor Mikhalkin his first defeat in twenty two contests. From the first bell Kovalev was at a relaxed pace picking his shots and working behind his jab but at no time did it feel like Mikhalkin had the skill or the power to upset Kovalev and it times he was left to lunge in with the hope of tying to create an opening.
Given the fact that this was two Russian fighters locking horns I expected there to be a better atmosphere within Madison Square Garden but it was all a bit flat, and a bit of a disappointment, the fight felt lacklustre and I hope when Kovalev is in bigger fights they are more entertaining.
As the fight went on Kovalevs punches were taking their toll on Mikhalkin, with his face marking up and coming close to the end of the sixth round he is caught with a shot that caused a bad gash under his right eye, when he went back to the corner they tried their best to stop it from bleeding. The doctor checked it before the start of the 7th round but during the 7th round the ref stopped the fight for the Doctor to check the cut again and this time the Doctor called time on the contest.
We didn’t see the best Kovalev has to offer and I am hoping the next few fights will be against the best the Light Heavyweight division has to offer, which in turn will bring the best out of him.