One of boxing's fiercest punchers will enter the ring for the first time in 2014 this Saturday (March 29, 2014) as knockout artist Sergey Kovalev puts his WBO light heavyweight title on the line against fellow unbeaten Cedric Agnew.
MMAMania will have LIVE coverage of the event, including results and play-by-play, starting with the HBO broadcast at 10:00 PM ET.
Kovalev, 23-0-1 (21 KO), spent 2013 on what could best be described as a murderous rampage, fighting four times and ending all four in less than twelve rounds combined. His victims included perennial contender Gabriel Campillo and then-undefeated Nathan Cleverly.
He hasn't gone the distance since 2010 and was last seen obliterating Ismayl Sillakh in four minutes.
Agnew, 26-0 (13 KO) competed just once in 2013, defeating faded former contender Yusaf Mack via unanimous decision.
The card will also feature a light welterweight bout between one-time prospect Thomas Dulorme and undefeated Karim Mayfield.
Quick results and round-by-round coverage below.
Light Heavyweight: Sergey Kovalev def. Cedric Agnew by KO (body shot) at 0:58 of Round Seven
Light Welterweight: Thomas Dulorme def. Karim Mayfield by unanimous decision (98-92, 97-94, 96-93)
Sergey Kovalev vs. Cedric Agnew
Round one: Kovalev moving forward early. Good left-right combo from Agnew. Kovalev digs a right straight to he body. Kovalev jabbing. One minute in. Agnew pushes Kovalev back with a three-punch combo. Left hook lands. Kovalev with a right to the body and left hook upstairs. Lead right by Kovalev, Agnew tries to counter. Kovalev puts another right through the guard. Forty seconds left. Agnew slams a right hook to the body. Kovalev on the front foot. Low blow from Agnew as he comes off the cage forces Kovalev to one knee. After the restart, Kovalev ends the rounds walking forward. 10-9 Kovalev.
Round two: Kovalev still moving forward, Agnew giving ground. Straight right from Kovalev, Agnew flurries when he tries to press the advantage. Agnew straight left falls short. Two minutes to go. Kovalev combination bounces off the guard. Good left hook from Sergey as he punches in combination. Agnew fires back well. 90 seconds to go. Kovalev firing off combinations against Agnew's guard. Agnew tries to retaliate with a little over 30 to go. Kovalev steps in with a four-punch combo and the ending left straight sends Agnew to the floor. Cedric makes it to his feet with time to spare. 20-17 Kovalev.
Round three: Kovalev on the attack early. Left hook to the body answered by an Agnew flurry. Again Agnew swings hooks to the body and head. Kovalev jabbing the body. Agnew wraps him up against the ropes. One minute in. Agnew clinches again. Agnew eats a hard right hand and left hook, Agnew answers with a good right of his own. Kovalev fires a few shots with Agnew in the corner before backing off. Halfway through the round. Agnew clinching whenever he gets the chance now. Good lead right by Kovalev followed by a big one-two. Agnew trying to tie up as Kovalev batters him, eventually slips. He continues to stifle Kovalev after the restart and makes it though the round. 30-26 Kovalev.
Round four: Kovalev again moving forward. Agnew keeping a high guard as Kovalev jabs at him. They exchange straights to the body. Nice counter right from Agnew as Kovalev jabs the body. One minute in. Agnew with a counter body shot. Kovalev fires a right hand lead, gets tied up as he tries to continue the combo. One-two from Kovalev. Agnew tags Kovalev with a sequence of left hands just before the minute mark. Big counter right cross from Kovalev, who is now cut from a headbutt. Kovalev slips after a wild right hand misses. Round ends, 40-35 Kovalev.
Round five: Agnew has now lasted longer than any of Kovalev's four 2013 opponents.
Kovalev still moving forward, battering Agnew's high guard. Straight to the body lands. Two minutes to go. Counter right jab from Agnew. Agnew digs in a series of lefts to the body and groin halfway through the round. Kovalev with a right to the body. Other than that, he's purely defensive. Kovalev methodically throwing combinations against the guard. Good right hand gets through in the waning seconds, after which Agnew attempts to fire back. 50-44 Kovalev.
Round six: Kovalev outlanding Agnew 3-1 so far. BIG left hook from Kovalev buckles Agnew enough to call a knockdown. Agnew takes the count, Sergey immediately pursues afterwards. Kovalev punishing the body and head. One minute in and Agnew has yet to fire back; Kovalev landing well to the body and head. Left hook to the body landing with regularity. Good lead rights from Sergey. Agnew flurries after taking a body shot with one minute to go. Good one-two from Agnew. Big left hook by Sergey. Agnew puts in a good right hook. Twenty seconds. Kovalev slams a few more into the guard before the bell. 60-52 Kovalev.
Round seven: Counter jab from Agnew. HBO's signal quality is badly degraded due to local weather conditions. Kovalev throwing straights through the guard, then crumples Agnew with a big left straight to the body. Agnew goes down to one knee and stays there for the full count. Nasty shot.
Final result: Kovalev def. Agnew by KO
Thomas Dulorme vs. Karim Mayfield
Round one: Serious technical difficulties early on; I only get bits and pieces. Dulorme apparently hurts him a couple times with left hooks, so let's give him the first, 10-9.
Round two: Mayfield with a right hand early. Dulorme falls short with a counter right thirty seconds in. Good jab and left hook off the top of Mayfield's head. Lead right by Dulorme knifes through the guard a minute in. Mayfield clinches up. Dulorme ties up and Mayfield lands some short shots in the clinch. Minute to go, fighters currently at range. Dulorme plants a right uppercut in Mayfield's body as he advances, takes an overhand. Wild right hand misses. Round ends, 20-18 Dulorme.
Round three: Dulorme circling. Trading jabs. Good exchange thirty seconds in. One-two from Mayfield connects, Dulorme wraps him up. Another solid exchange, Mayfield getting the better of it a minute in. Dulorme ducks a right hand into the clinch. Solid right from Mayfield. Falls short with the next duo of hooks. Mayfield connects with another right and Thomas again wraps him up. Minute or so to go. Lead right from Dulorme, clinch. Twenty seconds. Mayfield presses forward and flurries effectively in the waning seconds. 29-28 Dulorme.
Round four: Dulorme whiffs on a right hand and ties up. Another right misses at the 30 second mark. Clinch. They trade missed right hands and clinch. Dulorme ties up again. Two minutes to go. Mayfield falls short with his own haymakers, settles for tagging Dulorme's body when he clinches. Mayfield again moves in, Thomas again ties up and they trade rights to the body. Minute left. Both narrowly miss with heavy shots. Clinch in the last few seconds, end of the round. 38-38.
Round five: Dulorme clinches right away, Mayfield tries to dig some rights to the body before Smoger separates them. Dulorme ducks a right and clinches. Stiff jab from Thomas. Two minutes to go. Dulorme connects on a left hook. Another left hook and right to the body before clinching. One-two fails to connect. Good jab, Mayfield advances and gets clinched. Minute to go. Dulorme with a left uppercut to the body before his next clinch. Good right from Mayfield. They trade jabs, Dulorme's the stronger. Dulorme clinches in the last ten seconds. 48-47 Dulorme.
Round six: Dulorme with a 1-3, Mayfield counters. Clinch. Mayfield sneaks in a left hand. Cross counter connects. Mayfield again sneaks in a right and bullies Dulorme into the ropes. Minute to go and they trade hard at point-blank. Mayfield initiates the next clinch. Both whiff on right hands. Minute left. Clinch by Dulorme. Good cross counter by Mayfield prompts another clinch. Dulorme left hook, Mayfield overhand right. Twenty seconds .Round ends in the clinch. 57-57.
Round seven: Mayfield barrels forward and digs in hard to the body against the ropes. Dulorme trying to fire back. Mayfield continues with short punches until Dulorme wraps up his arms and they reset. Stiff jab by Dulorme. Two minutes to go. Mayfield with a good jab of his own. Hard right hand from Dulorme as Mayfield presses him back. Clinch. Minute left and Dulorme clinches again. Clinch. Again. Some head contact being made. Dulorme puts a wild right hand into Mayfield's body, pushes him back, and lands a left hook at the bell. 67-66 Dulorme.
Round eight: Mayfield jabbing early. Dulorme answers. Mayfield looking to counter over the jab. First clinch comes 45 seconds in. Jabs so far pretty even, leaning a bit towards Dulorme. One-two by Mayfield, Dulorme clinches. Dulorme connects with a one-two. Mayfield overhand right prompts a clinch. Dulorme right hand strays low, leading to a pause in the action. Right when they restart, Dulorme throws the same punch and again lands one to the jimmies. Ref says Mayfield pushed Thomas' head down, so no point deduction. Back to action. Dulorme active with his jab in the last thirty seconds. Round ends, 77-75 Dulorme.
Round nine: Early right hand from Mayfield. Dulorme clinches again. Mayfield tries to press, gets tied up. Mayfield pushes him to the ropes and lands some short punches while there. They reset. Nice overhand by Mayfield, Dulorme again ties up. Jab exchange. Halfway through the round now. Dulorme ducks a right hand and clinches. Clinch again. Minute to go. Dulorme has been jabbing, though not terribly effectively. Another clinch. Jab exchange. Dulorme ducks and clinches with ten seconds left. 86-85 Dulorme.
Round ten: Dulorme clinches right away. Again when Mayfield advances. Dulorme ducks a right, they trade in the center of the ring before Dulorme again wraps him up. Mayfield digging short punches high and low. Stiff jab from Dulorme. Right hand from Thomas misses, he clinches. Mayfield lands a right and avoids a left hook. Mayfield rushes after him and gets clinched. Halfway through the round. Another clinch. I miss thirty seconds, but Mayfield is still advancing at the thirty seconds mark. Stiff jab by Dulorme, Mayfield whacks him with an overhand right in the last few seconds. 95-95.
Final result: Dulorme def. Mayfield by unanimous decision