HBO Sports returns to Russia for the first time since 2013 to present world light heavyweight champ Sergey Kovalev’s title defense against challenger Isaac Chilemba when the fight is presented in the United States on MONDAY, JULY 11 at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT from the DIVS Arena in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
In his first fight in Russia since 2011, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs) defends his light heavyweight title for the ninth time when he faces Malawi’s Isaac Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KOs) in a bout scheduled for 12 rounds.
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Sergey Kovalev enters this fight with a 29-0-1 record that includes 26 knockouts. This will be Kovalev’s fourth fight since 2015, and he’s coming off a January win over Jean Pascal. Kovalev continues to prove he’s one of the top heavyweights in the world even at 33 years old as he continues to steamroll his way through the competition. Kovalev is an extremely smart boxer who dictates the pace of a fight and waits for his chance to end it. Kovalev has extreme power and every shot thrown has to potential to produce a knockout. In fact, 15 of Kovalev’s last 17 fights have ended in knockout. Kovalev has shown us very little weakness over his career and it will take a monster performance to give him his first loss. This will be Kovalev’s third fight in Russia, his birthplace.
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Isaac Chilemba enters this fight with a 24-3-2 record that includes 10 knockouts. Chilemba has won four of his last six fights and is coming off a November loss to Eleider Alvarez. Chilemba has never lost two fights in a row and rarely gets outclassed in the ring. Chilemba has two draws and his latest loss came by majority decision. At times, Chilemba does just enough to win the fight, which is the reason for the close results. Chilemba must be more aggressive in order to pull off the upset here and has to use his length and size to his advantage. Chilemba has also never been knocked out in his career despite being in the ring with guys such as Tony Bellew and Edison Miranda. The Golden Boy is a tough dude worthy of a title shot. This will be Chilemba’s first fight in Russia
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