Light Heavyweight Sergey Kovalev was desperate to make a statement last Saturday.
His last two bouts ended in defeat…through little fault of his own. And both of the controversial “L’s” came at the hands of Andre Ward.
A year ago, in their first fight Kovalev smacked Ward around for all 12 rounds.
He threw more, landed more and put Ward on the canvas. But when they went to the scorecards, all three judges saw it in favor of Ward (114-113, three times).
That decision was disgraceful and needed to be investigated.
The rematch took place in June of this year and was clouded by inexcusable controversy, once again.
So Kovalev slipped between the ropes to meet Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (19-2, 16 KO’s) for his “comeback” bout.
“Vyacheslav Shabranskyy” looks strange to my Italian eye because it seems there aren’t enough vowels (we stick them everywhere) and writing out the name causes my computer to overheat.
For the purposes of brevity (and to save space and ink) I will refer to him as “V”.
Both boxers tipped the scale at virtually the same weight. V stands nearly four-inches taller than Kovalev but their reach is exactly the same…Kovalev has arms like an ape.
Any questions as to Kovalev’s confidence and mindset following his two defeats were answered quickly.
After exchanging a few jabs in the opening frame, Kovalev landed a right hook to the head that rattled all of V’s consonants and dropped him to a knee.
V got right up, took the mandatory eight-count, and went back at it.
Kovalev landed a 3-punch combination to the head; a short left jab, an overhand right, and another stinging left that made V’s knees turn to water.
Kovalev stepped back, then lunged in with an overhand right that loosened V’s vowels and sent him south a second time.
He got up on wobbly pegs and took the count. The bell rang shortly thereafter.
Kovalev was patient in Round 2. He landed a few crisp shots before doubling up on overhand rights that sent V to the floor again.
He got up and said he was okay to continue, but when the action resumed V was eating too much leather. The referee saw the danger and called an end to the competition.
Good call, ref.
Sergey Kovalev collected two vacant titles and improved his record to 31-2-1 with 27 KO’s.
The New Orleans Saints (8-3) were riding an eight game winning streak when they got to L.A. last Sunday.
The Los Angeles Rams (8-3) were coming off of a tough loss to the Vikings (9-2) in Minnesota.
But the Rams rebounded from that defeat and played up to the level of their ability in all aspects of the game against the Saints.
On offense, quarterback Jared Goff threw for 354-yards with two TD’s, and special teams provided 12-points off of kicker Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein’s four field goals.
The defense has had trouble against the run and let one slip by them early for a TD. But they quickly settled in, and wound up sacking Saints QB Drew Brees three times.
What can truly be defined as a “team effort” has assured the franchise will finish the regular season with a winning record for the first time in over a decade.
Los Angeles should have an easy time with the Cardinals (5-6) this week. They shut out Arizona, 33-0 in October.
The following week the Rams will face their toughest game of the year against the league leading Philadelphia Eagles (10-1).
The Rams look ready for the task.
God Bless and rise to every occasion.
Mark Felicetti still wants more turkey. Reach him at email@example.com.