Boxing: Sergey Kovalev Retains Titles in Unanimous Decision Over Isaac Chilemba

By Brian Knapp Jul 11, 2016
Those expecting another spectacular Sergey Kovalev knockout went home disappointed. Credit the fortitude of Isaac Chilemba.

Kovalev stayed undefeated and retained the WBA (Super), IBF and WBO light heavyweight championships with a 12-round unanimous decision over the nails-tough Chilemba on Monday at the DIVS Sports Palace in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Scores were 117-110, 116-111 and 118-109, all for the “Krusher,” who improved to 30-0-1 (26 KOs).

Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs) offered far more resistance than many anticipated. The 29-year-old Malawi native stayed close through six rounds, largely because of a stinging and consistent left jab, superb movement and a stout chin. Alas, the famous Kovalev power proved too much for him to overcome. The Russian champion floored Chilemba with a wicked right cross in the seventh round and had him reeling again with power punches in the eighth. The former IBO super middleweight titleholder, having never been stopped in his 30-fight career, refused to give in.

Kovalev, 33, cruised for much of the final four rounds. He had Chilemba in real danger in the closing stages of round 12, as he flurried with e clear desire to finish, but could not close the deal and was forced to settle for the decision. Kovalev has won his last 14 fights and now turns his attention to a planned box-office blockbuster with Andre Ward on Nov. 19.

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