Two of boxing’s top Light Heavyweights look to defend their titles and set the stage for a unification bout tonight (Sat., Aug. 4, 2018) as Sergey Kovalev and Dmitry Bivol face Eleider Alvarez and Isaac Chilemba, respectively, inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
MMAmania will deliver LIVE coverage of “Kovalev vs. Alvarez” below, starting with the HBO Boxing broadcast at 10 p.m. ET.
Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KO) is working towards once again becoming the most feared 175er in the sport after rough losses to Andre Ward. Though he picked up decent wins over Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and Igor Mikhalkin, Alvarez (23-0, 11 KO) is easily his stiffest test since the Ward debacle and should give “The Krusher” a genuine fight.
Bivol (13-0, 11 KO) has emerged as the future of the division at 27 years old, most recently dominating and stopping the ever-dangerous Sullivan Barrera. Chilemba (25-2-2, 10 KO) is tough as nails, but came up short in consecutive bouts against Alvarez, Kovalev, and Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
“KOVALEV VS. ALVAREZ QUICK RESULTS:
Sergey Kovalev vs. Eleider Alvarez — Alvarez def. Kovalev by TKO at 2:45 of Round Seven
Dmitry Bivol vs. Isaac Chilemba — Bivol def. Chilemba by unanimous decision (120-108 x2, 116-112)
“KOVALEV VS. ALVAREZ PLAY-BY-PLAY UPDATES:
Sergey Kovalev vs. Eleider Alvarez
Round one: Alvarez looking for the body early. Kovalev sticks a right downstairs. One minute in. Both land rights downstairs, then Alvarez digs a hook to the body. Jabs from Kovalev in the corner. One minute to go. Clinch, Alvarez warned for rabbit punches. Alvarez body shot. 10-9 Alvarez.
Round two: Kovalev looking a little busier now, pumping the jab. Alvarez with a right cross, snaps Kovalev’s head back with a jab. Good 1-2. Hard right hand in close. One minute in. Body shots from Alvarez. One minute to go. Clinch. Counter right from Kovalev, Alvarez pivots off with a left hook. Good hook by Kovalev. Clinch. Alvarez hauls Kovalev to the ropes and nearly pushes him over them. 10-9, 20-18 Alvarez.
Round three: Alvarez starting to open up, taunts Kovalev. Kovalev bangs the body, eats jabs. Another body shot. One minute in. More good jabs from Alvarez, Kovalev tries to sneak a right hand around the guard. Kovalev starting to find the mark with body shots. Nice jab by Alvarez. One minute to go. Clinch. Kovalev stalking forward. Both land jabs. Kovalev with a right downstairs. Close round. 10-9 Kovalev, 29-28 Alvarez.
Round four: Alvarez warned for a low blow early on. Hard body shots. Kovalev backs him to the ropes, can’t get through the guard. One minute in. Hard right hand appears to sting Alvarez. Kovalev putting together punches, Alvarez right there with him. Hard right cross. BIG left hand knocks Alvarez back. One minute to go. Kovalev with a hard body shot, left hands upstairs. Right hands to the body. Left hook, swatting right hands. 10-9 Kovalev, 38-38.
Round five: Alvarez looking a little less jab-happy, lands a good combination to the body. Right cross by Kovalev. One minute in. 1-2-1 comes back at him. Right cross catches Alvarez mid-combo. Clinch. One minute to go. Heavy left hook from Kovalev, who follows up to the body. Right hands connect for him. 10-9, 48-47 Kovalev.
Round six: Kovalev still marking forward. Jab exchange. Left hook from Kovalev, another left sneaks through. Right hand around the guard. Kovalev upping the volume, banging the body. Clinch. 1-2 from Kovalev in the corner. Short right hand appears to wobble Alvarez for a moment. One minute to go. Kovalev with a low-high combo. 10-9, 58-56 Kovalev.
Round seven: Alvarez goes to the body, warned for straying low. Nice body work from Alvarez. Kovalev lands a right to the body. Clean overhand right from Alvarez a minute in. Kovalev lands three hard head shots in return. Kovalev to the body. Big right straight and down goes Kovalev! He beats the count but his body language isn’t great. Alvarez banging to the body. Stiff jabs upstairs, then a monster left hook that takes out Kovalev’s legs. He’s clearly done, but the ref lets him continue, only for him to get smashed back to the mat with a right hand for the finish.
Final result: Alvarez def. Kovalev by TKO
Dmitry Bivol vs. Isaac Chilemba
Round one: Bivol moving forward early. Both men jabbing. Lead hook lands for Bivol, who opens up with a heavy combination on the ropes. Bivol digs a right hand to the body. One minute in. Chilemba firing his jab. Stiffer jab by Bivol and a left hook soon afterwards. Lead hook lands for him. Low-high 1-2 from Bivol with a minute to go, then a thudding left hook downstairs. Chilemba with a right hook to the body. Left hook connects. Left uppercut by Bivol. 10-9 Bivol.
Round two: Chilemba trying to keep Bivol at range with his jab, but a left hook knocks him back. Bivol on the attack. Chilemba comes back with a left hook. Three-piece by Bivol and a chopping right a minute in. Chilemba lands a hook around the guard, but it’s all Bivol so far. Bivol with a left hook upstairs, then another as Chilemba straightens up. One minute to go. They trade in the center after a stiff Bivol jab. Right hand by Bivol. Left hook catches Chilemba leaning. 10-9, 20-18 Bivol.
Round three: Chilemba’s jab looks alright, but that’s all he’s got so far. Bivol landing his own jab with regularity as well. Bivol backs him to the ropes, clinch. Chilemba tries a hook, eats two in return. One minute to go. Chilemba lands an uppercut that’s met by a left hook. Bivol with more left hooks. 3-2 lands. Bivol landing hard shots on the ropes, Chilemba roars back with an overhand right. 10-9, 30-27 Bivol.
Round four: Chilemba just has nothing to offer right now. Bivol is holding his own in the jabbing battle and he’s roughing Chilemba up every time they fully engage. Long left hook from Bivol a minute in. Chilemba jabs the body, eats two in return. Chilemba to the body. One minute to go. Harder jab by Bivol. Good left hook on a fading-back Chilemba. 10-9, 40-36 Bivol.
Round five: Chilemba keeping up the jab, lands a right to the body. More jabs from Bivol. One minute. Jab battle continues. Bivol continues to get the better of it whenever they trade power punches. Chilemba starting to find the mark downstairs. 10-9, 50-45 Bivol.
Round six: These descriptions are getting less thorough because we’re in a groove at this point. Chilemba can only keep up with Bivol when they’re both jabbing, an Bivol is visibly affecting Chilemba every time one of his bigger punches connect. Chilemba is admittedly landing some decent body shots, but it’s Bivol outlanding him by a fair margin. One minute to go. Left hook by Bivol, 1-2-3 after taking a body shot. Another 1-2-3. Clinch. 10-9, 60-54 Bivol.
Round seven: More jabs, right hand form Bivol. Combinations piling up for the Russian, Chilemba throwing with him. One minute in. Things slow back down. Chilemba on the front foot now. Both land jabs. Jabs from Bivol as Chilemba targets the body. One minute to go. Now Bivol opening up once again, targeting the head with combinations. 10-9, 70-63 Bivol.
Round eight: We’re at that awkward stage of a fight where it’s clear neither man can easily rock the other and the skill gap is too big to make it compelling. Chilemba is still game, still in there. Jab exchange. One minute in. Left hook by Bivol. Nice jab from Chilemba. Trading jabs in the center with a minute to go. Crowd’s getting antsy as well. Snapping jab from Bivol, who tries a 1-2-3. 10-9, 80-72 Bivol.
Round nine: I had to get up at 7:00 on a Saturday this morning and this isn’t helping. No real sense of urgency from Bivol, although he does land a left hook. One minute in. Chilemba with a combo on the ropes. This is a sparring session right now. 1-3 from Bivol. More jabs. Counter 1-2-3 from Bivol and a straight right to the body. 10-9, 90-81 Bivol.
Round ten: Chilemba finds the mark with an early 1-2. Bivol with a 1-2 on the counter. Right hand by Chilemba, who tries to open up and gets repeatedly picked off in the center. Left hook, 1-2-3 from Bivol. Chilemba answers a combo with a right to the body. 1-2 from Bivol. Low-high he goes. 10-9, 100-90 Bivol.
Round eleven: More heavy jabs by Bivol. He doesn’t seem overly concerned with getting a flashy finish, content with picking Chilemba apart. Now he lands a combo in the center of the ring. It’s hard to get invested in this fight. Hard hook by Bivol. 10-9, 110-99 Bivol.
Round twelve: Last round and neither fighter appears determined to finish strong. Good right to the body by Chilemba. Both land hard right hands in the center. Left hook from Bivol. One minute to go. Nothing terribly interesting near the end. 10-9, 120-108 Bivol.
Final result: Bivol def. Chilemba by unanimous decision