Sergey Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) knocked out Blake Caparello (19-1-1, 6 KOs) in the second round of scheduled 12-round fight to successfully defend his WBO Light Heavyweight title.
The bout was the co-main event of a triple-header presented by HBO Boxing, Main Events Promotions and DiBella Entertainment.
Kovalev, a 31-year-old Russian native, had an added incentive going into the fight: an already-contracted unification fight with Bernard Hopkins in November which was contingent on his winning tonight at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The added pressure to win, it is clear, had no effect on his destructive path.
Kolavev began the first round by stalking Caparello, feinting and throwing range-finding punches to walk down Caparello.
Caparello landed jabs and right hands, but Kovalev displayed utter disrespect for Caparello’s power.
Kovalev slipped before the round would end and referee Sparkle Lee ruled the slip a knockdown.
Kovalev, perhaps angered by the rule, upped his pressure in the second round, landing a right hand to the body that dropped Caparello.
By this point, it was clear that Caparello did not want to fight anymore.
Kovealev walked Caparello into a corner and knocked Caparello down for a second time.
Caparello complained to the referee about the knockdown, but he was clearly not giving any answers to Kovalev’s offense.
Kovalev landed another flurry to end the fight.
Kovalev will now fight Bernard Hopkins in a unification showdown this November for the IBF, WBA, and WBO Light Heavyweight titles.