John David Jackson, the head trainer for Sergey Kovalev, celebrated a monumental win, as Kovalev was able to annihilate Bernard Hopkins this past Saturday on November 8th at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
All three judges had Kovalev winning every round. Fans who have followed Hopkins throughout his great run in the sport had to cringe every time Kovalev landed a shot. However, Hopkins’s incredible chin assisted him in his survival of the brutal, 12-round bout.
Jackson, who was knocked out by Hopkins in a 1997 bout for the IBF middleweight title is urging Hopkins to retire.
“As a fighter and a friend, I hope he retires,” said Jackson. “You just went 12 rounds with one of the hardest punchers in boxing today. What more do you have to accomplish, to get knocked out by somebody,” questioned Jackson. “His career is cemented. He will go in the hall of fame in five years.”
Sergey Kovalev beat Bernard Hopkins like we have never seen before. With the exception of the second Chad Dawson fight, Hopkins had never been beaten so clearly in a bout. Jackson credits Kovalev’s power, especially the power behind his jab to the body.
“As the rounds began to mount, Bernard slowed down,” Jackson explained. “He would start flinching just from the body shots. Sergey is a tremendous puncher even with a jab to the body and he has stopped a couple of guys already with that,” he added.
Hopkins praised Kovalev for fighting a great technical bout and beating him at his own game. However, Jackson felt that Kovalev could have been better.
“He could have made Bernard fight a little bit more,” said Jackson. “Sometimes during the fight, he would start head-hunting trying to knock Bernard out. If he could have thrown a little more combinations, body, head, body, he might have gotten the knockout he was looking for.”
Furthermore, Jackson admits he knew the fight would be one-sided.
“Honestly, I did think it would be lopsided. I know Bernard. He was my sparring partner when I was champion. “He is an old man and this young kid proved that. He could still beat a lot of the top guys in the light-heavyweight division, but what for? It does not prove anything.”
Many people in the boxing community believe that Adonis Stevenson ran from a bout with Sergey Kovalev to seek a fight with Bernard Hopkins on Showtime. When Stevenson began to be difficult, Hopkins returned to HBO. Jackson believes that a fight with Stevenson would be easier for Kovalev.
“It would be easier because Stevenson is not Bernard,” said Jackson. He went on to say, “Stevenson is one-dimensional, he has a great left hand, but his defense is lacking and his legs are kind of shaky now. I do not think it is going to happen anytime soon.”