After close to a year long layoff and fresh off of his hotly disputed split decision loss to IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Tavoris Cloud last February, former WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Gabriel Campillo took on the very dangerous heavy handed punching Russian prospect/contender Sergey Kovalev at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville,CT.
On paper this looked to be the classic slick boxer vs. puncher match up and seemed to be shaping up to be just that as Campillo came out in the first round working behind a stiff right jab. Kovalev came straight forward as advertised and didn’t give Campillo much room to move and keep the fight at a distance as he would have liked to. The powerful Russian appeared to be a little to quick and explosive for the cagey southpaw and was able land some big right hands over the top of Campillo’s straight lefts while backing him up and keeping him off balance in the process.
In the second round Kovalev came out more aggressively realizing that he had found a home for his right hand as he began to land it with even more accuracy in this round. Campillo just didn’t have the fire power to keep Kovalev off of him and was being walked down by his physically stronger opponent.
The third round marked the beginning of the end for Campillo as he was knocked down three times with the final knockdown coming as a result of a picture perfect right hand, a punch that he just couldn’t seem to get away from all night, forcing referee Mike Ortega to waive off the bout at 1:30 of the third round in what was a surprisingly very one sided fight.
In the co feature bout of the night, the once promising hot super middleweight contender Curtis Stevens (22-3, 16 KO’s) fighting for the first time at middleweight as a pro, faced local New Haven, CT middleweight Elvin Ayala (26-6-1, 12 KO’s).
Coming off of a ten month absence from the ring Stevens showed no signs of ring rust at all and wasted no time jumping right on Ayala, dropping him early in the opening round with a monstrous left hook. Ayala was never able to recover after getting up from the knockdown on very rubbery legs. Stevens smelled blood and went in for the kill, backing up his defenseless opponent to the ropes and finishing him off with a barrage of punches while forcing him to crumple to the canvass as referee Tony Chiarantano stepped in to stop the bout at 1:10 of the first round.