Check out a preview of the title fight and then watch all of the action live.
Where: Quebec City, Canada
When: 01.00 (GMT)
Watch live: Click here to watch on NowTV from Sky!
Sergey Kovalev (22-0) vs. Ismayl Sillakh (21-1); WBO Light Heavyweight Title
Sergey “Crusher” Kovalev was given his first big opportunity to showcase his talents on NBC Sports Fight Night Series and he took advantage of it.
His scintillating knockouts have resulted in a rise in popularity that eventually led to a WBO title shot against Nathan Cleverly on HBO.
Kovalev dominated Cleverly and knocked him out in the fourth round in Cleverly’s backyard and he’s one of the new generation of fighters that HBO appears to be strongly behind.
Kovalev lives up to his nickname of “Crusher” by annihilating his opponents. Twenty of his victories have come by way of stoppage, including his last eleven opponents. He’s defeated the likes of Cleverly, Cornelius White, Gabriel Campillo, Lionell Thompson, and Darnell Boone.
He’s strong, he’s long, and he’s exciting. Kovalev is willing to take a punch to give a punch and he does have a few holes in his defense. His stamina is unknown since the last time he has gone past three rounds was in 2011.
His opponent, the Ukrainian Ismayl Sillakh, is also a very heavy puncher. He has stopped seventeen of his opponents including three of his last four bouts. He’s younger than Kovalev and also had a deeper and more successful amateur background.
He was once considered a top flight prospect, but an ESPN Friday Night Fights bout with Denis Grachev quickly derailed his career. He was stopped in the eighth round after knocking Grachev down in the third round.
It was the first loss of his career but he has rebounded nicely since then by winning four straight bouts.
Sillakh’s amateur background is more impressive than Kovalev’s but his professional resume pales in comparison. The only fighter of note on his ledger is a 2011 victory against Yordanis Despaigne. The rest of his victories have come against average and slightly above average fighters.
If Sillakh chooses to stand and bang with Kovalev this fight will be over fast. The only way Sillakh can win is if he outboxes Kovalev and avoid unnecessary wild exchanges. However, Kovalev isn’t only a stronger puncher than Sillakh he’s also a better boxer. Kovalev should win the fight easily.