Sergey Kovalev moved his professional record to 28 wins, 0 losses and 1 draw last night, claiming his 25th knockout in the third round against Nadjib Mohammedi.
Kovalev defended all three of his light-heavyweight world titles (WBA Super, IBF and WBO) in familiar fashion. His superior power and precision were enough to dispatch an opponent who looked very nervous from the opening bell, but began to settle down in the second round, and landed a decent right to the face halfway into the session.
Of course, Kovalev responded with a crushing right of his own and followed with a jab, another right, and a final left hook that left Mohammedi floundering on the canvas.
The Frenchman was unsteady for the rest of the round and was bundled over twice more quickly after, though, both were ruled as a slip/push by referee Kenny Bayless.
The third and final round was quieter overall but with thirty seconds left to go, Kovalev landed another puncturing right hand that sent Mohammedi sprawling again, this time wincing and pawing at his eye. He failed to beat the count
It was a typical showing from Kovalev on his return to Las Vegas, but he expressed mixed emotions to Radio Rahim of Seconds Out shortly after it’s conclusion.
“From one side I’m happy, but second side I’m disappointed because I tried to fight a little bit longer, like seven/eight rounds. But it happened they stopped the fight [in the] third round. It’s less tiring, but also less fun for fans, but what happened it happened.”
He was then asked if he felt Mohammedi was fighting scared. The challenger did appear very jittery at times and could only manage to quell his discomfort for short bursts, enough to land the odd jab-right hand on the larger Russian.
Kovalev replied in philosophical fashion.
“Before the fight he said a lot; that he’s already a world champion, he’s[going to] kick my ass. Everything you can see only in the ring who is who. And we saw who is who.”
“I think he changed his plan from my first jab.”
As do most fighters who experience the effects of Kovalev’s most dangerous asset; his power.
It seems Mohammedi was ill-equipped to handle the Mastodon who pursued him at the Mandalay Bay last night, despite his big talk before the fact.
This was another convincing, and for all the top 175-pounders a frightening, display from Kovalev. He will continue to dismiss challengers of this ilk until he meets a fighter of his worth, but we are yet to see if such man exists at this point.