Krusher Kovalev Mows Down Yarde, Makabu Edges Papin
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Chelyabinsk, Russia (August 25th, 2019)– Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev did not have a free ride defending his World Boxing Organization World Light Heavyweight title against Anthony Yarde in the main event at Traktor Sports Palace on Saturday, August 24, 2019, in Chelyabinsk, Russian Federation. Kovalev technically outboxed the big strong Yarde for seven rounds. Then, in the eighth round, Yarde unloaded on Kovalev and battered him from pillar to post, putting Kovalev in total survival mode as he took a bad beating on his feet. Yarde, having lost the bout already on points, had nothing to lose by unloading bombs. However, unlike George Foreman, Yarde could not close the show. That proved very dangerous against a wily old veteran like Kovalev, who looked like Rocky Balboa in round two of the Mr. T rematch, getting Yarde to punch himself out. Yarde tried to take Kovalev out, and Kovalev’s defenses survived it to reach the next round.
Yarde had a big heart entering the championship rounds, but failed to make Kovalev chase him. Kovalev regrouped his game plan, and then boxed at Yarde from out of range in the ninth round, not falling for the obvious trap. Yarde’s mouth was open from the ninth round on, probably punching himself out in the eighth round, but gassing himself when he was unable to put Kovalev away. In round 10, Kovalev, with a second wind, picked up the championship pace, with his hard jabs causing bruising around Yarde’s eyes. Yarde began to slow down, eventually taking a beating on the ropes in a corner as Kovalev took command.
In the eleventh round, Yarde fell to the canvas. On arising, he got hit with a straight left jab on the chin from Kovalev, not a particularly powerful punch, but a dead-on accurate one. Yarde, exhausted and out of gas, fell backward on his back, knocked out. Kovalev, 34-3-1 with 29 knockouts, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by way or Kopaysk, Russia, could fight the winner of Artur Beterbiev versus Oleksandr Gvozdyk WBC-IBF unification bout coming up in October 2019. Yarde, 18-1 with 17 knockouts, Ilford, Essex, United Kingdom, probably needed a knockout anyway to defeat Kovalev in his home country of Russia. Easier said than done.
The mysterious Eurasian Boxing Parliament Light Heavyweight title, which Maksim Vlasov won in Gelendzhik, Russia, on July 20, 2019, when he won a 12 round decision over Isaac Chilemba, was at stake here only 44 days later. No word on why Vlasov was stripped on the belt he had just won in favor of Kovalev-Yarde, but perhaps Vlasov relinquished it for Kovalev’s homecoming.
Result: Sergey Kovalev KO 11 Anthony Yarde, Light Heavyweights (2:04)
Kovalev retains WBO World Light Heavyweight title
Kovalev wins vacant Eurasian Boxing Parliament Light Heavyweight title
Yarde was knocked out on his back. Referee: Luis Pabon
Preliminary Bout to the Main Event
Ilunga Makabu Win Majority Decision 12 Aleksei Papin, Cruiserweights
Makabu retains WBC Silver Cruiserweight title
Scoring: 114-114 Draw. 115-113, 115-113 Makabu.
Makabu, coming forward in a straight line, nonetheless did enough to defeat the kickboxer 11-0 Papin, who dropped his hands after every exchange, but at least knew how to hold. Makabu won the last two rounds clearly, and that was the difference in this close scrap.
Scoring appeared neutral and fair. Makabu, Johannesburg, South Africa, goes to 26-2 with 24 knockouts.
Untelevised Undercard Results
Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu KO2 Milner Marcano, Super Featherweights
Uulu retains World Boxing Association Asia Super Featherweight title
Erkhan Turgumbekov Win 10 Heorhii Lashko
Turgumbekov wins vacant Eurasian Boxing Parliament Super Featherweight title
Evgeny Romanov TKO 1 Dario German Balceda, Heavyweights
Eduard Skavynskyi TKO 5 Idd Pialari, Welterweights
Azizbek Abdugofurov TKO 4 Gasan Gasanov, Light Heavyweights
Enriko Gogokhia TKO 2 Rafik Harutjunjan, Super Lightweights