Ageless boxing legend Bernard Hopkins will be back in action November 8th against dangerous Russian Sergey Kovalev for the the undisputed light-heavyweight title. Hopkins, 55-6-2, 32 KO’s, most recently staved off a better than expected challenge from 3 to 1 underdog Beibut Shumenov in a majority decision win. Kovalev, 25-0-1, 23 KO’s, is the best contender the light-heavyweight division has seen in years and is considered one of the hardest pound-4-pound punchers in the sport. Our ESPN2 Boxing expert panel broke down this title bout. Bernard Hopkins vs Sergey Kovalev Betting Odds are projected to have Hopkins as a +235 underdog (Wager $100 to win $235 at BOVADA.LV
Bernard Hopkins – Boxer: The long-armed Philadelphia counterpuncher Hopkins, 49, is a well-proportioned 6′ 1/2″ with a granite chin. Hopkins has never been stopped and possesses excellent defense, agility, timing and accuracy. Hopkins can fight outside as a textbook boxer, mid-range as a counterpuncher or get nasty inside grappling and bodypunching. “The Alien” is a ring general that knows the ring like the back of his hand with nearly 500 pro rounds logged. Hopkins fights in spurts and can be outworked. “The Executioner” has never been a big puncher and rarely throws combinations. At 49 years-old you never know when Hopkins reflexes and aging legs will abandon him. Bernard Hopkins vs Sergey Kovalev Betting Odds give Kovalev a 73% chance of winning
Segey Kovalev – Boxer: The powerfully built 6’0″ Kovalev, 31, is a menacing Russian that seeks and destroys with an aggressive approach. Kovalev is an excellent finisher with big ammo in both barrels. Kovalev likes to work at range before unloading punishing combinations to the head and body with good accuracy. Kovalev is sound technically with good fundamentals. Kovalev has a good amateur pedigree but is a relative novice as a pro with only 72 rounds logged. Like most big punchers, “Krusher” has questionable endurance having never been past 8 rounds. Kovalev appears to take a good shot but his chin has yet to be tested against a huge puncher. Kovalev is somewhat mechanical, has a hole in his defense for right-hands and goes straight back when pressured.
Expert Boxing Predictions Analysis: Sergey can punch but the cagey old master “B-Hop” will squeak out a decision on the scorecards. Hopkins is hard to tag and the slugger Kovalev must be set to punch. Hopkins will move, give angles and sharpshoot with scoring powerpunches. Kovalev will unload bombs and hammer Hopkins body but will not catch the old man with a knockout shot. Expect Hopkins to outbox Kovalev in an ugly affair on his way to a 115-113 to 114-114. Taking a flier on the draw at 25 to 1 is also a bright idea for wiseguys only.
Expert Boxing Picks: Bernard Hopkins +235 (Bet$100 to win $235)
Brad Marchetti Dirty Dozen Boxing Power Ratings
Bernard Hopkins/Sergey Kovalev
Boxing Science: 8/7