Sergey Kovalev vs Nadjib Mohammedi Preview July 25th
Undefeated Sergey Kovalev of Russia will be defending his IBF, WBA and WBO Light Heavyweight Titles against Nadjib Mohammedi of France this July 25th at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 12-round bout can be seen live in Canada and the USA on HBO, while boxing fans in the UK ca catch all of the action on BoxNation. Kovalev has stopped 11 of his last 12 opponents and will be trying to make it a dozen on Saturday night.
The 32-year-old Kovalev enters the ring with a near-perfect mark of 27-0-1 with 24 Kos while the 30-year-old Mohammedi is 37-3 and has 23 Kos to his name. The champion has a slight height advantage as he stands 6-feet tall while the challenger is just half an inch shorter. Kovalev also has the edge in the reach department as he owns a 72.5-inch wingspan compared to Mohammedi’s 70.5-inch reach. However, when it comes to rounds fought as a pro, the Frenchman has gone 227 in his career since turning pro in 2005 while Kovalev has just 92 under his belt since 2009. The reason for this of course is because Kovalev usually stops his opponent. In fact, it’s hard to believe he didn’t turn pro until he was 26.
Kovalev has the edge in power, but Mohammedi also has some weight in his fists with 23 Kos in 37 wins. In case you’re wondering who managed to go the distance with Kovalev in his last 11 outings, it was former champ Bernard Hopkins. He took Hopkins’ IBF and WBA title in that fight last year and already had the WBO crown after stopping Britain’s Nathan Cleverly a year earlier. The only light heavyweight belt the Russian doesn’t own at the moment is the WBC version, which belongs to Adonis Stevenson.
Kovalev’s last outing was an eighth-round stoppage in March over former champion Jean Pascal, who like Stevenson, now fights out of Quebec, Canada. Fans would rather see Kovalev take on a big name, but they’ll have to make do with the relatively unknown Mohammedi who is ranked as the top contender by the IBF. Kovalev possesses destructive fists, but he’s usually in no hurry to end his bouts. He has good boxing sense and skills and waits until he senses an opportunity to attack. Mohammedi has a pair of fast hands and is mobile enough and could do some damage if he catches the champ flush.
Kovalev’s chin has passed every test up to now, but he doesn’t want to walk into a shot from Mohammedi. The Frenchman’s three defeats so far have been to Thierry Karl by first-round Ko in 2009, Cleverly by unanimous decision in 2010, and a second-round to Dmitry Sukhotsky in 2011. His last fight was a sixth-round TKO over Lee Campbell in Montreal back in March. He’s in for a tough time against the hard-hitting Kovalev, and as he’s already been stopped twice before, his chin is a little questionable.
Kovalev enters the fight as a big favourite due to his knockout ratio of 86 per cent, compared to Mohammedi’s 58 per cent. The fact that the challenger has been stopped twice before doesn’t bode too well for him in this fight. He’s going to have to try to get a lead on the scorecards and stay away from Kovalev’s power at the same time. Also, he needs to make sure he doesn’t get enticed into a slugfest, but has to land some power shots on the champ to earn some respect. This is a tough task for Mohammedi and unless he lands a haymaker that catches Kovalev right on the button, he’s going to lose this fight by stoppage in the second half.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds on all of the big fights. The odds of a Kovalev victory are currently listed at -10,000 while a Mohammedi win is listed at +4000. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done.