Sergey Kovalev vs Isaac Chilemba Preview July 11th
Undefeated WBO/IBF and WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev of Russia will be meeting Isaac Chilemba of South Africa in Russia this Monday, July 11th. Fans in the U.S. and Canada can catch the action on a tape delay basis on HBO. Meanwhile, fans in the UK can catch the action live on BoxNation. Kovalev last defended his title against Jean Pascal of Haiti at the Bell Centre in Montreal on January 30th in a rematch of their bout the previous March. Kovalev stopped the Montreal-based Pascal after the seventh the round in their second meeting after halting him in the eighth round during the first encounter. Chilemba’s last contest took place in November and he lost a 12-round majority decision to Eleider Alvarez.
Kovalev vs Chilemba Betting Odds
Here are the winner odds from online sportsbook 5dimes.eu
- Isaac Chilemba +4000
- Sergey Kovalev -10000
The 33-year-old Kovalev has a near perfect mark of 29-0-1 along with 26 Kos to his name and has fought 102 rounds since turning pro in 2009. His draw came against Grover Young in 2011 after the fight was stopped in the second round due to an accidental foul and Young couldn’t continue. Kovalev has a 72.5-inch reach and is 6-feet tall. As his record indicates, Kovalev is a KO artist with an 87 percent knockout ratio and has enough power in his fists to drop opponents with both body and head shots. He’s an exceptional offensive boxer who also has a good defence and a solid chin. He likes to establish his snapping jab and punches in flurries rather than depending on one big shot. Chilemba represents one of Kovalev’s toughest opponent to date and the reasons for this are his style and chin. Kovalev’s biggest wins so far have been against Pascal, Bernard Hopkins, Blake Caparello, Gabriel Campillo, Darnell Boone and Nathan Cleverly.
The 29-year-old Chilemba will enter the Russian ring with a record of 24-3-2 along with 10 Kos. The challenger’s a bit of a technical fighter while Kovalev is more of a boxer/puncher. Chilemba’s still an exciting fighter though even though he doesn’t have a lot of power and his fan-friendly style is basically because he has a pretty good chin. Chilemba also has a lot of endurance and a decent defence and doesn’t mind mixing it up when he has to. He likes to use the jab and is an accurate puncher. If there is a weakness to Chilemba’s game it’s his lack of power as his current knockout ratio is just 34 per cent. Most of his fights go the distance as he’s recorded just one stoppage since 2011 and he’s gone 12 rounds nine times so far in his career.
Chilemba is 6-feet-2-inches tall with a 73-inch reach he’s boxed 222 rounds since turning pro in 2005. His other loss was to Willbeforce Shihep in 2007 and he also drew with Thomas Oosthuizen in 2010. Kovalev won’t hesitate to slug it out with Chilemba, especially in front of his home fans, but he needs to make sure he isn’t getting picked off all night long with his opponent’s accuracy. Chilemba has fought some decent boxers so far such as Tony Bellew and Edison Miranda, but he lost and drew in his bouts with Bellew. Chilemba also has pretty good footwork and counterpunching skills and he’s as tough as nails as he has been dropped, but never been stopped. Kovalev will definitely try for a knockout though if he senses his opponent is hurt.
For Chilemba to win the titles he’s going to have to outwork Kovalev and keep him on the back foot. But this is going to be difficult to do with his lack of power. Kovalev has been dropped before in his career though and can’t afford to take the challenger too lightly. Kovalev will eventually start to wade in and try to break Chilemba down with punishing shots, but it won’t be easy. Kovalev is already scheduled to meet Andre Ward in Las Vegas in November and that will motivate Chilemba. There’s a chance this fight will go the distance and there could also be a late stoppage. Either way, look for Kovalev to retain his belts.
The odds are a bit too wide here as this should be competitive for awhile, but Kovalev should prevail.
Play: Kovalev -10000 @ 5dimes.eu
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