Kovalev vs Shabranskyy: Results, stats, facts, highlightsWritten by Lee Cleveland
Sergey 'Krusher' Kovalev (31-2-1, 27 KOs) emphatically rebounded from back-to-back losses to Andre Ward, stopping Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (19-2, 16 KOs) in Round 2 to win the WBO Light Heavyweight title.
After being knocked off balance by a Shabranskyy jab early in Round 1, Kovalev came roaring back to floor Shabranskyy with a right hand with 80 seconds left in the stanza. Moments later, Kovalev wobbled Shabranskyy with a heavy left followed by a two-punch combo that sent Shabranskyy to the canvas again.
The 30 year old would courageously survive the round.
After tasting the canvas for the third time in the following stanza, a badly hurt Shabranskyy, although back on his feet, was wobbly. Kovalev, now smelling blood, rocked Sharbranskyy a few more times forcing a halt to the fight with 24 seconds remaining of Round 2.
Return of the Krusher
We'd seen Sergey Kovalev but it had been awhile since we saw the 'Krusher.' In fact, we'd have to have to go all the way back to January 2016 (TKO Jean Pascal) for that. Sergey dropped back-to-back fights to Andre Ward and was taken the distance by Isaac Chilemba in July 2016, prior to the Ward fights.
Tonight, Sergey left no doubt he's ready to reclaim his previous status as the world's best light heavyweight.
Exactly the tonic for Team Kovalev
This is exactly what Kovalev and his new handlers needed - an impressive KO win against solid contender. Let's not forget that Vyacheslav's only previous loss was to Sullivan Barrera, another light heavyweight powerbroker and likely future opponent for Sergey Kovalev.
Sergey is back on track and his team can start thinking about bouts with Barrera as well as fights with title holders Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol... Three difficult assignments by any standard.
"It’s my goal to be the best in the division,” Kovalev said. “Last time I was stopped it was a decision by the referee [Tony Weeks]. Here tonight was great boxing for me. I love boxing and I want to make great fights.”
Kovalev vs Shabranskyy Stats and facts
- Result: Sergey Kovalev (Russia) TKO 2 (2:36) Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (Ukraine)
- Date: 2017-11-25
- Location: MSG Theatre, NYC
- Division: Light heavyweight
- Ages: Kovalev - 34, Shabranskky - 30
- Weights: Kovalev 174 lbs - Shabranskyy 174¾
- Promoter: Kathy Duva (Main Events) & Oscar De La Hoya (Golden Boy Promotions)
- Broadcast: HBO (U.S.); SKY (U.K.)
- Titles: WBO and a minor belt
- Billing: The Next Chapter
- Fight Poster
- Odds: As of Saturday morning, Sergey was a massive 1/25 favorite while Shabranskyy was a 10/1 underdog according to Paddy Power; The odds for a draw or Shabranskyy decision were 33 to 1 while Sergey was a 2/9 to win via a stoppage and 4/1 to win by decision.
- Kathy Duva, promoter of Sergey Kovalev formally requested that the WBO promote this fight as a vacant world title fight. The WBO accepted this request at their annual convention.
- Kovalev's first outing with his new trainer
- Kovalev scored 3 knockdowns
Televised portion of the fight card
Cuban Light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KO) defeated the Dominican Republic’s Felix Valera (15-2, 13 KOs) via a 10 round unanimous decision.
If you don't see the video below, access it on YouTube.