The best remaining boxing match of 2014 has arrived.
Boxing's oldest-ever champion, 49-year-old Bernard Hopkins, will face one of the most dangerous men in the sport, Russian knockout machine Sergey Kovalev, in the main event of HBO's boxing doubleheader, which will emanate from the legendary Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE coverage below, starting with the HBO World Championship Boxing broadcast at 10:45 p.m. ET later this evening (Sat., Nov. 8, 2014).
Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KO) captured the IBF Light Heavyweight title from Tavoris Cloud in 2013, defended it against Karo Murat and then defeated Beibut Shumenov in April to take the WBA "Super" title (whatever that means). "The Executioner" is undoubtedly a true legend of the sport, earning and defending multiple titles at both Middleweight and Light Heavyweight. His list of victims includes the likes of Felix Trinidad, Oscar de la Hoya, Kelly Pavlik, Winky Wright and Jean Pascal, among others.
Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KO), meanwhile, has made a name for himself by obliterating everyone in his path. The Russian "Krusher" has knocked out his last nine opponents in a row ... all inside seven rounds. He earned the WBO belt by thrashing England's Nathan Cleverly in Aug. 2013 in what would have been his third-straight third-round knockout were it not for the referee helping Cleverly survive another round. He is presently a slight favorite over Hopkins.
In the co-featured fight of the night, unbeaten welterweight prospect Sadam Ali (20-0, 12 KO) will face the stiffest test of his career in the form of Argentine knockout artist Luis Carlos Abregu (36-1, 29 KO), who has knocked out six of his last seven opponents.
"HOPKINS VS. KOVALEV" QUICK RESULTS:
Light Heavyweight Championship: Sergey Kovalev def. Bernard Hopkins by unanimous decision (120-107 x2, 120-106)
Welterweight: Sadam Ali def. Luis Carlos Abregu by TKO at 1:54 of Round Nine
"HOPKINS VS. KOVALEV" PLAY-BY-PLAY UPDATES:
Light Heavyweight: Bernard Hopkins vs. Sergey Kovalev
Round one: Hopkins lands a right to the body. Kovalev answers. Kovalev firing off the jab. One minute in. Hopkins clinches as Kovalev moves him to the ropes. Short-range exchange. Hopkins circling along the ropes. One minute to go. Counter right hook as Hopkins steps in drops "The Alien." He's back up in time. 1-1-2 from Kovalev. Kovalev on the pursuit. Hopkins survives the onslaught. Straight right by Kovalev. Bell. 10-8 Kovalev.
Round two: Hopkins to the body. Kovalev with some short punches on the ropes. Clinch, both fighters chisel away. Right to the body from Kovalev. One minute in. Hopkins right downstairs. Kovalev constantly moving Hopkins to the ropes. Left uppercut lands. Jabs to the body. One minute to go. Glancing cross from Kovalev. Hopkins hook falls short. Right to the body by the Krusher. Right cross. Short-range exchange. 2-3 from Kovalev. Bell. 20-17 Kovalev.
Round three: Kovalev continues to stalk forward. Jabbing the body. Overhand right connects. Hopkins shoves Kovalev to the mat. Kovalev combination on the ropes. One minute in. Kovalev straight right connects. Left hook from Hopkins. Kovalev answers with another right hand. Hopkins tries to clinch. 1-2 by Kovalev. One minute to go. Kovalev continuing to jab the body. Right hand, left uppercut upstairs. Hopkins counter right as Kovalev lands a left hook. Kovalev right to the body. Kovalev lands a left straight. He attempts to open up at the bell. 30-26 Kovalev.
Round four: Kovalev again on the front foot. Right to the body. Hopkins comes up short with a left hook. Kovalev right cross. Kovalev continuing to jab the body. One minute in. Hopkins avoids a left hook. STraight right and combintation from Sergey. Overhand right connects as he moves Hopkins to the corner. Counter right from Sergey as Hopkins jabs the body. One minute to go. Sergey with some rights in the corner. Hopkins slips a combination, Kovalev ducks a left hook. Kovalev with a few more body jabs before the bell. 40-35 Kovalev.
Round five: Kovalev moves Hopkins to the ropes early on. Hopkins blocks a three-punch combo. Right straight just misses for Sergey. Left hook lands. One minute in. More hard jabs to the body by Sergey. Both narrowly miss in an exchange. Another one, with contact this time. One minute to go. Jab exchange. Short right hands from Sergey. Hopkins counters with one of his own. Sergey looks to open up, Bernard lands a right of his own. Kovalev right to the body. Hopkins body jab. Up top. Bell. 50-44 Kovalev.
Round six: Kovalev with a pair of rights to the body. 1-2 connects for him. Kovalev continues the steady assault of body jabs. 1-2 by Sergey. One minute in. Hopkins slips a three-punch combination. 1-1-2 by Sergey. Left to the body. Lead right from Hopkins lands. Sergey with a right downstairs. One minute to go. 1-2-3 from Kovalev, mostly blocked. Hopkins tries to pursue with jabs. Hopkins to the body. Hopkins tries to pursue. Kovalev with a cross before the bell. 60-53 Kovalev.
Round seven: Kovalev right downstairs, jab up top. Again to the body. Nothing landing clean so far. One minute in. Hopkins avoids a right hand. Hopkins slips a hook. Good exchange, left hook from Hopkins. Lead right connects. Hopkins takes a glancing combination. Right to the body. Left hook upstairs. One minute to go. Straight right by Sergey. Short right cross. 1-2 by Sergey after an exchange. Clinch. Hopkins slips a right hand. Round ends, 70-62 Kovalev.
Round eight: Nice lead straight from Sergey. Another hard cross. Hopkins left hook. Kovalev jabs the body. Right straight downstairs. One minute in. Clinch. Kovalev continuing to walk him down. Chopping right by Sergey. Hard right hand stumbles Hopkins. Hopkins retreats to the corner and Sergey tries to capitalize. The finish isn't there and Kovalev backs off. Left straight in an adjacent corner. One minute to go. Check hook by Sergey. Right to the body. Right straight upstairs. Hopkins with a right of his own up top. Sergey with some glancing crosses. Sergey advances until the bell. 80-71 Kovalev.
Round nine: Hard right straight from Sergey. Another good 1-2 lands. Glancing left hook around the guard. Kovalev four-punch combo, then a pair to the body. One minute in. Clinch by B-Hop. Straight right form Sergey. Hopkins takes a right hand on the shoulder, lands one of his own. One minute to go. Hopkins left hand against the ropes. Straight right kicks off a combination for Sergey. Straight right connects. Hopkins avoids the follow-ups. B-Hop avoids a hook late. 90-80 Kovalev.
Round ten: Yet again, Kovalev moves Hopkins to the ropes with ease. Nice straight right from B-Hop. Kovalev blitzes, can't connect. Right upstairs blocked. One minute in. Kovalev hitting the guard with 1-2s. Hopkins jab knocks off some sweat. Back to the body goes Kovalev. Left hook inside. One minute to go. Hopkins lands a good 1-2. Left hook from Hopkins. Sergey clubs him against the ropes. Clinch. Sergey cracks him with a left hook in the waning seconds. 100-89 Kovalev.
Round eleven: Hopkins hook, clinch. Krusher pumping the jab. To the body now. Clinch. One minute in. Clinch. Not much activity this round. Kovalev prods him with a pair of right hands. Clinch. One minute to go. Hopkins 1-2, clinch. Straight right from Sergey. Chopping right int he corner. Body shots from Sergey. Hopkins left hook. Kovalev whacks him with a sequence of rights at the bell. 110-98 Kovalev.
Round twelve: Both exchange at short range, no clean blows. Stiff Hopkins jab. Hopkins left hook forces Sergey to stumble. Hopkins unable to capitalize. Sergey tries to unload on the ropes.. Hopkins left hook, clinch. Now Hopkins moves Sergey to the ropes and attacks the body. One minute in. 1-1-2 by the Russian. Big right hook from Sergey. Koalev stays on him and lands some heavy shots in the corner. More big shots from Sergey against the ropes. Hopkins clinches. One minute to go. Jab to the body by Sergey. Straight right by B-hop, short right hook from Sergey. Right hand around the guard, left uppercut. Kovalev continuing to unload to the head and body. Big shots by Sergey. Hopkins stumbling in the last few seconds as Kovalev pours on punishment. Hopkins survives the round. 120-107 Kovalev.
Final result: Kovalev def. Hopkins by unanimous decision
Welterweight: Sadam Ali vs. Luis Carlos Abregu
Round one: Both men tentative early on. Ali lands a right straight to the body. Two-piece to the body. One minute in. Abregu body shot. Exchange in center ring, nothing lands clean. Straight downstairs by Abregu. One minute in. Lead right hand lands for Ali. Jabs as well. Straight right connects. To the body. There's the bell. 10-10.
Round two: Straight left connects for Ali. Straight right downstairs. One minute in. Both men mostly coming up short. Ali with a straight right. 1-2 soon after. Abregu right hand to the body after ducking a right hand. Quick exchange at close range. One minute to go. Abregu avoids a 1-2-3. Abregu sticks a right to the body. Straight right downstairs. Left hook as Ali attacks. Once again. Ali meets him with a check hook. Bell, 20-19 Abregu.
Round three: Body shot from Ali right before the one-minute mark. Thirty seconds later and nothing has happened. Abregu left hook. Ali left hook, clinch. One minute to go. Abregu left hook as they exchange. Ali body shot. Ali clips Abregu on the temple with a right straight. Bell. 29-29.
Round four: Abregu left hook. This fight is terrible. 1-2 from Ali. Lead right straight and body blow. Once again, straight right this time. One minute in. 1-2 to the body from Sadam. Ali check hook after taking a glancing straight right. Abregu avoids a 1-2. Good cross by Abregu in an exchange. One minute to go. Left hook up top. Ali jabbing the body. Clinch. Ali clinches again as Abregu advances before the bell. 39-38 Ali.
Round five: Abregu moving forward, unable to land clean. Ali whiffs on a cross. One minute in. Abregu with a glancing left straight. Counter left hooks from Sadam, then a body shot. Clinch. Ali straight right downstairs. Again later on. 1-2 from Abregu connects. One minute to go. Counter left hook by Ali. Right cross. Abregu with some right hands inside. 3-2 by Ali. Short right by Ali as Abregu advances. Bell. 49-47 Ali.
Round six: Left straight by Abregu near the ropes. Ali meets him with a left hook. Two crosses, then a left hook off the top of Abregu's head. Abregu body shot. One minute in. Jab exchanges . Hard counter right cross sends Abregu to a knee. He's back up quickly and takes the 8-count. One minute in. Straight to the body from Ali. Lead left hook. Abregu on the retreat. Bell. 59-55 Ali.
Round seven: Abregu returns to his advance. Good rush from Ali. Right hand lands, Abregu tries to clinch and eats another one. Straight right and left uppercut stumble Abregu. One minute in. Clinch. Ali avoids an overhand right. Abregu left hooks near the fence. Long left connects. Clinch by Ali. One minute to go. Clinch. Ali flicking out the jab. Lead right lands. Abregu in pursuit, can't trap him. Another long left lands. Ali left hook. Bell. 69-64 Ali.
Round eight: Lead right from Abregu, clinch. Abregu stalking forward, unable to land clean. Check hook by Ali as Abregu tries to open up. Abregu lead left hook. Another good check hook. Glancing cross by Abregu. One minute in. Abregu swats him with a couple punches near the fence. Ali eats a right, lands a left hook. Clinch. Abregu lands a couple short shots near the ropes. Counter straight from Ali after a clinch. One minute to go. Straight right and body shot from Abregu. Clinch by Ali. Again. Abregu lands a solid right hand, then gets clinched again. Another straight right. Stiff jab. Quick exchange at the bell. 78-74 Ali.
Round nine: Abregu continuing to advance. Abregu opening up. Ali attempting to clinch. Ali rattles him with a left hook. Back to center ring. Abregu with a pair of straights. Good left straight. One minute in. Ali slips a right, lands a cross. Anotehr left hook backs Abregu off. Nice exchange in the corner. Ali slugs the body and lands a left hook upstairs. 2-3 by Ali send Abregu wobbling to the floor. Abregu back up in time. Straight right from Ali as they restart. Ali opens up in the corner and the referee steps in. Early in my opinion, but still impressive work by Sadam Ali.
Final result: Ali def. Abregu by TKO