Igor Mikhalkin gave his best effort, but he was no match tonight for WBO light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev, who banged away and stopped Mikhalkin on cuts in the seventh round at Madison Square Garden.
Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KO) never faced much trouble from Mikhalkin (21-2, 9 KO), who did touch the titleholder up some, but was never able to remotely hurt him or make him particularly uncomfortable.
“It looked easy, but he’s a good boxer, he has good stamina and movement. He controls distance,” Kovalev said.
Kovalev also expressed some displeasure with his performance against the southpaw boxer. “I’m always ready for a big fight. But not with a southpaw! My next fight with a southpaw will be much better with this one.”
Asked about Dmitry Bivol, who won earlier on the show, Kovalev said, “If it’s a big money fight, yes, I’m ready. I’ve read on the internet that Badou Jack would be a money fight, if he beats (Adonis) Stevenson.”
Kovalev dominated statistically, landing 186 of 525 (35%) total punches, and a strong 165 of 362 (46%) of his power shots. Mikhalkin landed just 43 of 275 (16%) of his overall punches, and 32 of 172 (19%) of his power punches.