Sergey Kovalev suffered a fluke knockdown in the 1st round, which only seemed to make him angry, and stopped Blake Caparello in the very next round. Lesson for the night on HBO so far: Do not make Kovalev angry.
Caparello scored a knockdown that was abetted by an apparent step on Kovalev’s foot in combination with a straight left, but it was kind of shocking to see at all. It didn’t take long for Kovalev to right the ship; he started landing heavy leather by the end of the round.
In the 2nd, he faked a right to the head and instead put one in Caparello’s gut, who went down and struggled to get up. With no energy, Caparello got trapped in the corner, going down twice more, first off a big right and then by a combination that nearly put him between the ropes. If Caparello’s awkward style could’ve had a chance of causing Kovalev trouble, that chance evaporated quickly and it was already very possibly preposterous that there was even ever such a chance.
Now we’re getting a crazy fight next for Kovalev: Bernard Hopkins, who talked afterward about the bout that Kovalev’s promoter said was a done deal. Adonis Stevenson, the light heavyweight champion, went from HBO to Showtime to avoid a Kovalev fight and make a Hopkins fight, only for Hopkins to move over to HBO and make the Kovalev fight. It’s a tremendous match-up of styles, with Kovalev the educated puncher and B-Hop the nearly 50-year-old master of the mind in the boxing ring. Finally, we’re getting to see what Kovalev can do against an elite opponent, and it should be fascinating as hell.
The Kovalev-Caparello bout was paired in a split-site doubleheader with Brandon Rios-Diego Chaves on HBO.