Sergey Kovalev got a quick wake-up call tonight in round one against Blake Caparello, as he went down on a flash knockdown that also included Caparello happening to step on Kovalev's foot, likely causing him to lose his balance. From there, the fight went as expected, with Kovalev retaining his 175-pound belt via TKO-2, and now moving on to his November HBO date with Bernard Hopkins.
Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KO) dropped Caparello (19-1-1, 6 KO) early in round two on a vicious body shot, after which he looked to finish things as quickly as possible, perhaps realizing there was nothing to gain by not just getting this one done with before the money fight comes next. Two more knockdowns caused referee Sparkle Lee to stop the fight at 1:40 of round two.
"After the punch to the liver, I felt he was done," Kovalev told Max Kellerman. "I finished the job."
Now, it's time for Kovalev to face the 49-year-old legend that is Bernard Hopkins, who currently holds the WBA and IBF light heavyweight titles. We're just about three months away from that one. Hopkins was also in attendance, and joined Kovalev and Kellerman at ringside after the bout.
"I see a champion like myself," Hopkins said of Kovalev. "I always ran to the fire, not away from the fire. That's who I am. That's my personality. I come from an era that's not the era of today. I just happen to be here. I get to show at this stage something that you could never imagine, Max or anybody that's listening -- that I can possibly pull off the undisputed, twice in one career, and be the champion at the light heavyweight division that won four major titles. I get to do it in 2014, November 8. Pay attention and don't get sick that night."