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Sergey Kovalev TKOed Igor Mikhalkin In The Seventh To Retain WBO LightHeavyweight Title

It appears Kovalev has gotten his mojo back with a decisive win over fellow Russian Mikhalkin

Sergey Kovalev continued his road to redemption with an impressive seventh round TKO victory over Igor Mikhalkin to retain the WBO Light Heavyweight Championship. This was Kovalev’s first title defense since he regained the WBO crown after Andre Ward retired and abdicated his belts. Kovalev defeated Vyacheslav Shabranskyy via a second-round knockout in November to claim the vacant title.

The 34-year old Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KO) never faced much trouble from Mikhalkin (21-2, 9 KO). While he did touch the titleholder up some, Mikhalkin was never able to remotely hurt Kovalev or make him particularly uncomfortable. The champion praised his opponent after the fight, showing positives of his work ethic.

“It looked easy, but he’s a good boxer, he has good stamina and movement. He controls distance.”

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.

It was an interesting story as the fight started. In rounds one to six, Kovalev marked his territory and walked Mikhalkin until he was just gassed out. The jab was too much for Mikhalkin, and his face paid the price for it. In the seventh round, Kovalev knew that Mikhalkin was fatigued and injured. He quickly took advantage. Kovalev landed a fierce shot to Mikhalkin’s jaw, opening up room for a few headshots. This resulted in the fight being stopped with Kovalev earning another TKO win.

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Sergey Kovalev is now officially back to being the “Krusher” again, along with being a dominant world champion. He said that he is aiming for his next fight to be in July.

New York City hosting his fight for a third consecutive time is a huge possibility. At the MSG press conference on Wednesday, Kovalev said The Garden is now his favorite arena to fight in. If New York will continue to host Kovalev, it may be in for a treat. The “Krusher” would be able to continue to make history inside The World’s Most Famous Arena. It’s a recipe for success that would be too foolish not to take advantage of.

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Jason Cordner
Jason is the Entertainment Editor as well as New York Liberty Beat Writer, Rutgers Football Beat Writer, and co-host of The Box Out, a basketball podcast for DoubleGSports.com.
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