On Saturday, March 3, 2018, Sergey Kovalev headlined an HBO World Championship Boxing card from Madison Square Garden as he successfully defended his WBO Light Heavyweight title against fellow Russian, Igor Mikhalkin.
In the co-main event, WBC Light Heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol took on his toughest test to date in Cuban Light Heavyweight, Sullivan Barrera. Bivol scored a 12th-round stoppage.
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Kovalev vs. Mikhalkin: Live Boxing Results
Sergey Kovalev vs. Igor Mikhalkin
Sergey Kovalev defeated Igor Mikhalkin by seventh-round stoppage to retain his WBO Light Heavyweight title.
Dmitry Bivol vs. Sullivan Barrera
At the end of one round, Bivol looks to have a narrow advantage. The two fighters are displaying a similar output, but Bivol is landing the sharper, more significant shots. A clash of heads momentarily bothered Barrera in Round 3, but his larger issue is that he’s being outclassed so far. Through six frames, it’s tough to find a round you’d give to Barrera. In what’s shaping up to be his coming out party, Bivol is showing accuracy and power against the Cuban Olympian.
Vaughn Alexander vs. Devaun Lee
Bit of a feel-out process in Round 1, Lee has the height advantage but Vaughn throws with bad intentions. Action picks up a bit in the 2nd frame, Vaughn flashes a nice combination but Lee is game and retaliates with left hands of his own. The round ends with Lee absorbing body punches in the corner. Lee’s game has come unraveled in rounds 3-5, Vaughn’s imposed his will with thudding body and head work against the ropes.
Devaun’s appeared to be on spaghetti legs for the last couple of rounds, ringside physician looked to pay close attention to his corner. Lee ended the 6th showboating with his arms down, likely out of exhaustion more than ego. Vaughn clocked him with a left hook as the bell sounded. I’m inclined to think the ref or doctor will stop this before long. We enter the final round with Vaughn staked to considerable lead. Lee definitely regained his composure after a few disastrous rounds earlier, though the story here is Alexander’s poise/excellent skills on the biggest stage of his career. 97-93, 96-94, 98-92 all for Vaughn Alexander.
Frank Galarza vs. Norberto Gonzalez
Galarza has a solid Brooklyn contingent behind him at the venue. Though he accepted the fight on short notice, Gonzalez has fought a who’s who of middleweight contenders and projects to be a stiff test for Frank. Opening frame could have gone either way, Gonzalez landed a couple of power punches but was often on the retreat.
I’m not sure you could give any of the following 6 frames to Gonzalez, Galarza has consistently gotten the better of him in exchanges. Gonzalez breathing with his mouth wide open as Galarza connects to his body in the last round. Props to Norberto for taking him the distance on short notice. Galarza claims a UD with 80-72, 79-73, 78-74 scorecards.
Bakhram Murtazaliev vs. Kenneth McNeil
Right hand floors McNeil in Round 5! Murtazaliev pounces on the Alabama native after the knockdown, throwing lefts and rights at a dizzying pace. One of Bakhram’s rights connects on McNeil’s temple, causing him to slump over defenseless. Murtazaliev claims the IBA Junior Middleweight title with a TKO at 1:08 of the 5th.
Meiirim Nursultanov vs. Alejandro Torres
A left straight followed by a right hand rocks Torres in the first frame. Nursultanov can really crack, when Torres attempts to clinch he’s pummeled with significant body and head punches. Nursultanov swarms Torres in Round 4, and for a moment it looks like the fight may be stopped…but Torres bobs and weaves his way to the end of another round.
Torres is checked out by the ringside physician before Round 5 and is allowed to continue. Not content to earn a lopsided decision, Nursultanov again swarms Torres in the final round, this time earning the stoppage amid a flurry of left and right hands. TKO at 1:55 of Round 6 for Nursultanov.
Cassius Chaney vs. Tim Washington
A former NCAA basketball player, Chaney brings an impressive 11-0 record into the bout. Washington didn’t have momentum on his side in this one, having most recently lost to journeyman Daniel Martz.
After an uneventful first round, Chaney traps Washington in the corner and whales away with right hands. Washington handles the storm until a right hook turns his lights out; Cassius Chaney is your winner via KO at 1:28 of the 2nd round.
Alexey Evchenko vs. Khiary Gray
Pair of close rounds to start the contest. Evchenko is stalking Gray around the ring, but Khiary is having his moments. Alexey drags him into deep water in the latter stages of R2, putting combinations together nicely. Each fighter is in new territory tonight; Evchenko is making his US debut, while Gray is competing outside of New England for the first time. A right hand stunned Gray right as the bell sounded to end the fourth.
The ringside physician took an extended look at Khiary in between rounds, ultimately opting to stop the fight; Gray apparently suffered a laceration from a headbutt. We go to the scorecards after the abbreviated contest- Evchenko is your winner with unanimous 48-47 scorecards.
LeShawn Rodriquez vs. Martez Jackson
LeShawn is the longer, leaner fighter, and he’s using that reach to his advantage, picking Jackson apart with jabs and the occasional right hand in R1. Jackson lands his best shot of the fight in the final seconds of R2, an overhand right that lands flush on Rodriquez’s jaw. That punch notwithstanding, LeShawn looks on pace for an easy decision entering the third frame.
LeShawn’s corner is yelling out “he [Martez] don’t want to fight,” and deservedly so; Jackson’s output has crawled to a halt in Round 3. Rodriquez ties up after getting clocked with a clubbing right hand in R4. LeShawn then resumes the pattern of jabbing Martez to death from a comfortable distance. Jackson probably wins his only round in the 6th, and receives a low blow from Rodriquez. For a guy with 7 of his 8 wins by KO, LeShawn didn’t show much of a finishing instinct. Rodriquez scores a UD with three 58-56 scorecards.
Madiyar Ashkeyev vs. Jose Antonio Abreu
Abreu hits the deck from a right hand in Round 1. He beats the count with time to spare but didn’t appear to have his legs under him, so the referee calls an end to the contest. Ashkeyev wins by TKO at 1:52 of Round 1.
Ismael Villarreal vs. Anthony Woods
Woods takes Villareal the distance in what should be a shutout UD for the 20-year-old. Woods spat out his mouthguard twice and was allowed a long break from the ref in each instance. 40-36 scorecards for Villareal.