Today in Russia, Sergey Kovalev will defend the WBA, IBF, and WBO light heavyweight titles against Isaac Chilemba, as Kovalev looks to pass his final tune-up test before a November date with Andre Ward.
HBO will air the fight in the United States, but on tape delay tonight at 10:15 p.m. ET. Our live coverage will begin with the BoxNation broadcast in the United Kingdom at 12:30 p.m. ET. The fight also will air live on Match TV in Russia.
Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KO) has been dominating his opposition for the last six years running, and will look to become the first man to ever stop Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KO), a solid veteran contender who will obviously be looking to pull off a humongous upset in this fight.
If you missed our preview earlier from this weekend, you can check that out before the fight goes live. Join us this afternoon for an incredibly rare bit of Monday live boxing coverage!
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Sergey Kovalev def. Isaac Chilemba by unanimous decision (117-110, 116-111, 118-109)
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SERGEY KOVALEV vs ISAAC CHILEMBA
Round 1: Kovalev boxing to start, Chilemba trying to stay out of range, moving around with his back near the ropes, but not staying in any one spot too long. Kovalev with a jab and tries to follow up, but Chilemba clinches him up quickly. Chilemba trying to work his own jab, then get out of the way, and he's countering, or at least showing a counter, at times. Feeling out round, Kovalev looking sharp at the end. Kovalev 10-9
Round 2: Chilemba not boxing badly here at all, but Kovalev continues to stalk and look for openings. Chilemba is staying crafty. Kovalev landing enough clean to keep the round. Pressing a bit but not terribly wild or anything. Kovalev 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Chilemba continuing to jab and do OK. Having some success this round. Kovalev having a bit of trouble. Not really TROUBLE, but Chilemba certainly competitive. Chilemba 10-9, Kovalev 29-28
Round 4: Chilemba...is really in this fight right now. He's having another good round, landing jabs, landing some right hands. Kovalev having some problems. Chilemba boxing really nicely. Chilemba 10-9, 38-38
Round 5: Chilemba really giving Kovalev some things to think about. Kovalev not his sharpest so far, and Chilemba is very effective with his game plan thus far. Good right hand from Chilemba. But there's a good left from Kovalev and Chilemba holds immediately. Kovalev closes the round a bit better and I nick it his way. Kovalev 10-9, 48-47
Round 6: Kovalev starting to find his range with the hook and the right's getting a little closer, too. He's pressing to start the round, but Chilemba hanging in and throws a long lead right of his own, then CRACKS Kovalev with a left! Now Kovalev pushing some shots out again in the final minute, leaping a bit with an uppercut. Kovalev 10-9, 58-56
Round 7: Chilemba getting just a bit reckless at moments when he leads the action, but mostly he's keeping range effectively. Right hand from Kovalev gets in. Chilemba back with a combination, Kovalev comes at him. Kovalev ready to jump whenever Chilemba shows any aggression, which is good. Kovalev clips him and down goes Chilemba! He's in bad shape when he gets up, but fight goes on. Kovalev rushing with 15 seconds to go, just going berserk. Kovalev 10-8, 68-64
Round 8: Kovalev stalking with intent to start the round, and trying to work Chilemba into a corner. Kovalev actually laying back a bit here now. Chilemba tying him up, Kovalev grappling with him. Kovalev swinging heavy shots and missing. Counter left potshot from Chilemba. A lead left hook from Chilemba lands. Kovalev hurts Chilemba again with a left hand, and he's pressing for the finish now! Chilemba dives trying to tie him up. Kovalev back to work and whacking the body. Kovalev looking to finish again here with 20 seconds left. He's got Chilemba in a corner, but backs off. Chopping right from Kovalev, and another shot lands. Kovalev 10-9, 78-73
Round 9: Chilemba working a little more this round, landing some, and Kovalev not landing much in the first two minutes, but he catches Chilemba a little bit. Chilemba hanging in there still. Still fighting OK. But it feels like one big shot could end this at any time, too. Chilemba has spent a lot of energy doing what he's done. Body shot from Chilemba, Kovalev throws a combo, blocked. Chilemba 10-9, Kovalev 87-83
Round 10: Kovalev trying to get in, but he's getting himself off balance, and Chilemba is trying to catch him with something. Nearly does as Kovalev slips. Chilemba is still fighting effectively, still giving Kovalev some fits. Chilemba lands a hook inside. Couple of more shots after that. Chilemba with a good round here. Chilemba 10-9, Kovalev 96-93
Round 11: Kovalev a little tired, it seems, but still coming forward. He wants a stoppage, but it's not being given to him by any means. Kovalev better here, and if there was any doubt left at all, this probably ends it. Kovalev 10-9, 106-102
Round 12: Both guys clearly tired, which is not a surprise. Kovalev has stalked all night, largely not terribly effectively. Chilemba has really taken the right hand away in this fight. They had the right plan and Chilemba executed pretty well. A tumble to the canvas! A true tumble that time. Kovalev pressing for a knockout in the final 30 seconds here. He's really throwing everything he's got. Chilemba's nose busted. Chilemba survives, and still has never been stopped. Kovalev 10-9, 116-111