Photos: Alexandr Safonov/Championat.com
WBO, WBA and IBF light heavyweight world champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) defended his title with a twelve round unanimous decision over Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs) on Monday night at the DIVS Palace of Sports in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Kovalev pressed the action, while Chilemba looked to frustrate and avoid exchanges. Difficult fight for the champion until late in round seven, when Kovalev dropped Chilemba with a crushing right hand. Chilemba survived the round. Kovalev rocked Chilemba again in round eight. The pace then slowed down for the next several rounds, but Kovalev closed the show by punishing Chilemba in the last round. Scores were 117-110, 116-111, 118-109. Chilemba fought without trainer Buddy McGirt, who had visa problems. His corner was run by his manager Jodi Solomon, who is also one of the few female trainers.
Next up for Kovalev is likely a November showdown with Andre Ward, who must have been pleased with what he saw. Ward has a bout against Alexander Brand scheduled for August 6 in Oakland.