By Peter Wells
Post Fight Analysis
Sergey Kovalev successfully defended his WBO Light Heavyweight title with another haunting display as he stopped the underrated Cedric Agnew in 7 rounds. Agnew not only lasted longer than many expected but he also performed a lot better, but ultimately he could not match the power coming from the fights of Kovalev.
In the opener, Agnew showed he was here to win as he fired quick three-four punch combinations behind a high guard to disrupt the Kovalev rhythm, while also not allowing Kovalev to just power through him like many had expected.
The Agnew gameplan was disrupted hugely as Kovalev unloaded midway through the 2nd as Agnew stood in the pocket too long before a wide left sent Agnew down just before the bell sounded.
In the 3rd, Kovalev continued to assert his dominance, but Agnew would not be found wanting for effort as he fired his own hurtful, if not as effective, combinations.
Kovalev was cut over the right eye in the 4th as Agnew began to find a flow, avoiding Kovalev’s attacks that were slightly crude in an off round for the WBO champion.
Kovalev regained composure late in the 5th as he teed off on a far too stationary Agnew, who enjoyed far less success than in most of the other four rounds preceding the 5th.
Agnew suffered the 2nd knockdown of the fight in the next round, even though he did not touch the canvas; the referee deemed that the ropes kept him up. Kovalev went on to dominate almost every second of the round, although replays suggested the referee got the call wrong.
Kovalev KO’s Agnew In 7
The final came in the next round as a body shot left a gutsy and impressive in spurts Agnew out for the count. The victory is arguably the best of win of his career thus far – due to the competitiveness of Agnew and the rounds it took to get the job done – for 24-0-1(22) Kovalev, while Agnew 26-1(13) can clearly come again having showed his potential under extremely difficult pressure.
Thomas Dulorme vs Karim Mayfield
In the co-feature Thomas Dulorme shocked many fans as he dominated and outpointed Karim Mayfield over 10 rounds in a Light Welterweight bout. Mayfield was never able to establish himself on the inside and found himself on the outside looking in, as Dulorme controlled proceedings, stinging Mayfield on a couple of occasions.
Mayfield was shaken by two left hooks in the opener as he did little from distance, leaving himself vulnerable to the much taller and rangier Dulorme. Mayfield was a sitting duck from the outside as Dulorme was more than willing to put early rounds in the bag, although Mayfield had some short success late in the 2nd. While not rattled, Dulorme was beginning to feel the heat in the 3rd, especially as the round wound down and Mayfield sent a volley of punches the Puerto Rican’s way.
Dulorme was still offering slightly more in terms of punches landed, but Mayfield was able to find the power punches in the fight. But the power advantage for Mayfield was not so apparent in the 6th as it was Mayfield who was forced to hold when he was clubbed twice by right hands on the inside – exactly where Mayfield wanted to be.
Mayfield came out with renewed vigour, seeming to realise he was behind on the cards. Dulorme suffered a cut high on his head also in the 7th.
Dulorme’s gameplan continued to disrupt Mayfield who couldn’t get onto the inside on a consistent basis to earn enough rounds as they entered the final one.
Mayfield tried hard to force a turnaround in the 10th, but while he was on the front foot throughout he was never able to rip victory from the jaws of defeat. Dulorme held wisely whenever in close to neutralise Mayfield’s inside work, which worked to a tee as the final bell sounded.
Dulorme 21-1(14) won by cards of 98-92, 97-94 and 96-93, while Mayfield suffered the first defeat of his career, dropping to 18-1-1(11).
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