Hopkins vs. Kovalev 2014 – Full Fight
[dramatic music] ♪ ♪ male narrator: The following is
a presentation of HBO Sports. – Hello, again.
I’m Jim Lampley. Coming up
November 19, HBO Pay-Per-View
will take you live to Las Vegas for the year’s
most significant prize fight. The light heavyweight showdown between unbeaten challenger
Andre Ward and unbeaten three-belt champion
Sergey Kovalev. To help prepare you
for that event, we’re going to give you
a look back now at the most important moment
to this point in Kovalev’s career: the night he was given
a chance to prove that with his aggressive
slugging style, he could handle a consummate,
all-around boxer. The opponent was living legend
Bernard Hopkins, who, even at age 49, was still regarded
as a difficult test for the Russian star. The night was November 8, 2014,
and there was a full house in Atlantic City’s
Boardwalk Hall with the overwhelming majority
of fans in that house rooting for “B-Hop.” Here’s how I called
Kovalev/Hopkins in company with Max Kellerman
and Roy Jones. – Okay, gentlemen, you’re
scheduled to box 12 rounds for the unification light heavyweight championship
of the world. I’ve gone over the rules
in the dressing room. I expect you to obey my commands
at all times. Most of all,
protect yourself at all times. Touch gloves.
Good luck. Kellerman: Kovalev is
no ordinary young fighter who’s too green and not really all that
set up here for Hopkins. He is a better than
two-to-one favorite because he has been destroying everything they put
in front of him. He’s the most feared
light heavyweight in the world, and yet a lot of old,
wise boxing heads like Hopkins here because this is
just the style of fighter he’s pulled it out against
so many times before. Lampley: Kelly Pavlik was
a solid favorite right here in Atlantic City. Antonio Tarver was
a solid favorite right here in Atlantic City. Félix Trinidad was favored
in Madison Square Garden. Hopkins embarrassed them all. – You ready?
[bell dings] Lampley:
But nothing lasts forever… [cheers and applause] Or does it? Jones: See Kovalev come out
with the feints early. Takin’ his time. Not wanting to commit,
but I guarantee that Hopkins is gonna try
to hit him hard early to make him respect him. Lampley:
One body shot by Hopkins. Kovalev, after all the talk
about not going for the head, threw his first punch upstairs. Jones: Yeah,
but his first meaningful punch was that right to the body. Jackson: You watch him.
Cut that ring off. There you go. Ah, there you go. Stay there with him. Lampley:
We remind you, Sergey Kovalev’s trainer,
John David Jackson, spent five years as an assistant
to Naazim Richardson working with Bernard Hopkins. He also fought Hopkins
as a middleweight. Many media people have jumped
to the conclusion that Jackson can
unlock the vault and give Kovalev the secrets
that he needs to beat Hopkins. Hopkins says, “Hey,
I schooled him in the ring. “He was my student. “How can he possibly teach
Kovalev something about me? I was his teacher.” Jones: [laughs] – All right, let him go.
Let him go. Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop,
stop, stop, stop… Kellerman: Kovalev fights have
this kind of tension… – Watch your head, Bernard. Kellerman: Because he does hit
with both hands so hard that he can change a fight
with any shot. – Let his head go. Lampley: Kovalev’s the only
fighter I can remember seeing, in my ring-commentary career, knocking opponents down
with jabs to the body. Not crooked punches to the liver
or the solar plexus. Jabs. If he can land those kinds
of shots on Hopkins, he’ll put up
an interesting test. Kellerman: Well, this is
a Hopkins-paced round so far. Lampley: Very much so.
Jones: Yeah, but he got a lot of pressure
on “The Alien.” He’s not allowing Hopkins
to rack– I mean, to rest and relax. As you see, he got Hopkins
constantly on the move. That’s what you have to do
to a older fighter. Gotta constantly–
Lampley: Down goes Hopkins! On the first solid right hand
that Kovalev threw. He has extraordinary power.
– Five, six, seven, eight… [cheers and applause]
You went down, bro. Box. Lampley: Hop– Hopkins was down twice
against Jean Pascal. [crowd shouting] Came back to earn a draw
in the fight. Kovalev had him down
here in round one. Jones: And Kovalev
better be careful now. Although you had him down, Hopkins is like
a wounded animal. He’s gonna be
throwin’ big punches back at Kovalev now. Kellerman:
And Kovalev has shown that he will cut
over both eyes, and Hopkins can cut you
in a variety of ways. Punches, elbows,
head, shoulder. Lampley: It’s on!
It’s on in Atlantic City. It was dramatically
and vibrantly on the moment that Kovalev landed
that right hand and Hopkins went down.
[loud tapping] Crowd is into it now.
[bell dings] [cheers and applause] Jackson: There you go.
That’s what I’m talking about. – All right.
[clears throat] Everything’s good.
Everything’s good. You must think this
a ordinary dude in front of you. Brother, a man,
that ain’t no ordinary dude. I know what it is. I ain’t worryin’ about this. Need the investments. As you can see,
you can make this dude miss like all the rest of ’em. I just need my chain.
I need them investments. Jones: Here you see Kovalev
make Hopkins ball up in that corner, and as Hopkins tried
to come out, Kovalev is ready
and countered that jab with a straight right
over the top. Kellerman: Not even
stepping into the punch. Didn’t even look like that was
a full Kovalev power shot. Jones: It wasn’t,
and it doesn’t have to be, long as it has the speed on it.
[whistle blows] And Bernard,
you gotta remember, is 49 years old. That’s the toughest thing
for a older fighter, is absorbing those punches.
– There you go! There you go! What I tell you? Lampley: That’s
John David Jackson’s reaction in Kovalev’s corner.
[bell dings] If you watch the first replay
very carefully, you can see Kovalev’s promoter,
Kathy Duva, rise out of her seat
and thrust her hand in the air. Kellerman: Meantime, it was
Kovalev at the end of the round that looked to touch gloves
with Hopkins. Like he wanted to make friends. Curious, after the big round and knockdown by Kovalev. Jones: One thing Kovalev did
in that round was, like he’s doing now,
he’s not allowing Hopkins to take his time and rest. He’s makin’ him use his legs
a lot, and that’s what
most young fighters don’t do, but what he better realize is
that Hopkins is smart, and is gonna be
punching his body to try to wear him down
as these fights go on– as these rounds go on.
– Come on, let’s go. Lampley: Kovalev swung big with
the right hand a moment ago. Couldn’t make the contact
he made in round 1, but he’s got Hopkins
in his sights, and he looks way more confident
than most Hopkins opponents have ever looked
in this position. Going to the body.
Kellerman: You’re seeing– you’re seeing why no one wants to get in the ring
with Kovalev, and why it took such gumption
for Hopkins to make this fight, to actively seek
to get in there with this guy. Richardson: There you go.
Let him come in. Jones: The good thing
for Hopkins is– I mean, for Kovalev is
that he realizes now that he can hurt Hopkins. That was gonna be
very important to him. Kellerman: Yeah,
if you can show a puncher that you can take
his best shot, it’s very discouraging. Jones: It makes him
very nervous. Now he knows that if he can
land another punch on Hopkins, he can beat him, but what he does have
to be careful of is the Chris Algieri/
Ruslan Provodnikov situation. Get caught chasing him and allow Hopkins to get back
in the fight. And then he gonna have
a problem. Lampley: Yeah,
but that would require Hopkins to throw more punches,
to generate volume, like Algieri did
against Provodnikov. And any volume Hopkins attempts
against Kovalev opens him up
for Kovalev’s counterpunches, and that may be too dangerous. Jones: Yeah, but don’t
make no mistake about it, Hopkins can hurt anybody because he’s
a sneakish-type fighter. He’s not gonna punch
when you punch. He’s gonna wait for you to
get yourself out of position, and try to steer you
with a big shot. Kovalev fighting
very smart now. Jackson: There you go!
There you go! Keep pushin’ now! Take your time.
Beat him slowly. Take your time.
There! There you go.
He’s too old. His feints are slow. Jones: Those feints
keep Bernard honest, keep him at home,
and keep him thinkin’, and that’s
the best thing Kovalev can do. That’s what most young fighters
won’t do to him, and you saw there,
he didn’t go at his head. He hit him on the arm.
Kellerman: John David Jackson, you hear yelling
from the corner, “There you go.
He’s too old. His feints are slow.”
[cheers and applause] John David Jackson believing,
it seems, that Kovalev can box at this pace with Hopkins and has the younger man’s
reflexes enough… [loud tapping]
To get his punches home anyway. Lampley:
Hopkins mustered no offense… [bell dinging]
– Time! Lampley:
Here in the second round. Logic tells you, he’s already
three points behind on the scorecards. [cheers and applause] – All right,
you’re finding your rhythm. All we missin’ is the chain. You’re findin’ your rhythm. All right, and that’s a good–
we have to. I mean, we can’t
go in there ignorant. I mean, you have
to find your place. You findin’ your place. Start workin’ behind that chain, and keep them investments alive,
man. This guy’s not–this guy,
he stopped swinging ’cause he don’t wanna get tired. – Give me threes and fours.
Let them hands go. Give me the combinations.
Okay? And don’t forget the body. That’s good work.
That’s good work. You want another rinse
or you good? A small one.
– [speaking Russian] man: You gotta go first.
You gotta go first, Sergey. Chase him.
– No rush. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’.
That jab is good. Keep touchin’ him.
[whistle blows] Try hittin’ him everywhere.
man: You’re doing good. You’re doing good.
– Good work, baby. man: Good job, man.
– Take your time. Lampley: CompuBox numbers
through two rounds. Hopkins 6 out of 21. That’s two rounds. Kovalev 15 out of 60.
[bell dings] No way Bernard Hopkins was
the winner of either round on the scorecards. Down three. Jones: Were we just
interpreting English? Lampley: Manager was talking
at the same time. Jones: Okay, ’cause I couldn’t
understand that. Lampley: I’ll be happy
to interpret English for you. Jones: [laughs]
Lampley: If you need it. Kellerman: Interesting watching
Kovalev’s face in the corner, as though he’s trying
to control his emotions, not get too excited,
control his breathing, not get ahead of himself,
keep doing what he’s doing. Jones: Which is–
Lampley: He’s landing punches, and Bernard’s not throwing. Jones:
Which is what he’s gotta do… [crowd roaring]
Because that’s what Bernard is gonna start doing now. That’s when you know
that Bernard’s beginning to get frustrated…
[crowd shouting and cheering] So he better keep his head
in the fight because the real
Bernard Hopkins has just shown up. Lampley: And the Hopkins fans
cheer the foul. Kellerman: Bernard deserved
a warning for that because it was so blatant
and intentional. Lampley:
This is not a great referee. The best referee
in the building was the guy who did the Abregú/Ali fight
moments ago. Kellerman: You gotta
give it to Bernard though. After that blatant trip, he pointed to it
as though he wanted credit for a knockdown, like– Jones: [laughs]
Lampley: Exactly. Jones: That’s why I said,
“The real Bernard Hopkins has just showed up.”
Lampley: Yep. [crowd shouting] Kovalev gets him into a corner, lands a one-two.
Jones: Oh. [cheers and applause]
Lampley: Hopkins coming back. Almost got Kovalev
with a left hook. Jones: Yeah, he did
get Kovalev with the left hook. Kellerman: He got him. Jones: I told you
he’d wait a little while, let a little bit of the steam
blow off Kovalev, then he’ll start trying
to sneak him. Jackson: There you go.
Lulled Kovalev to sleep. Made it seem as though
he had nothing for him, and sneaked him
with a real good left hook. Jones: And he just tried him
with a real good right hand. But Kovalev’s doin’ a great job of makin’ Bernard Hopkins
use his legs. That’s how you work
a old fighter. You have to make him
use his legs. If you make him use his legs, he can’t continue
to be as strong as he normally is
in the late rounds. The only thing Kovalev is
forgetting right here… Jackson: Body, body, body!
Jones: Is to go to the body. And I hear John David
now screaming, “Body, body, body.” Lampley:
Jabbing to the body there. A jab to the body from Kovalev
is a meaningful punch. Jones: He still gotta quit
going at Bernard’s head. Right now he’s trying so hard to land that right hand
on Bernard’s head, and it’s not the right punch
to land right now. Lampley:
Well, if he forgets the body and keeps going to the head, the knockdown
might have been fool’s gold. Jones: Yeah, but you saw
how he got caught with a shot just then,
lookin’ for a head shot. That’s what Bernard wants.
Kellerman: Well, if Bernar– if you’re in front of Bernard showing him your repertoire
for a couple rounds, he knows exactly what to do. The question is,
at his age, does he have the reflexes
to pull it off? Jones: [chuckles] Lampley: Every time Bernard
walks himself into a corner, you can almost feel
Kovalev salivating. Caught him
with another hard shot there. [bell dinging] A Kovalev rally
to end the round. [cheers and applause] – [unintelligible] – Only chance he got
is when you against the ropes. Only chance he got is when you’re on the rope
or in the corner. If you lean on them ropes,
that’s– this young boy can fire off. Jones:
Here you see Hopkins land a good left hook
on Kovalev’s chin. Right on the chin. The best punch he
probably landed all night long. Then you see him
playing possum in the corner and come with a beautiful
straight right lead because Kovalev is right there
in that no-parking zone. Kellerman: And squared up.
Jones: Yes. And that’s what I said
he can’t afford to do. [whistle blows] Lampley: Philadelphia
heavyweight Bryant Jennings seated at ringside,
no doubt rooting for “B-Hop.” CompuBox numbers in round 3: Hopkins was 4 of 12…
[bell dings] Kovalev was 14 out of 50. Harold, how do you have it
through three? Lederman: Ha, okay, Jim.
I got it 3-0, 30-26, Sergey Kovalev. You know, Jim, you gotta
give him an extra point for the knockdown in round 1. I tell you something. If he were my fighter,
I would turn him lose. No thinking, no nothin’. Just jump on Hopkins. Jump on him, hit him, and get him outta here. ‘Cause I don’t see Hopkins
doin’ a damn thing except coverin’ up
and bobbin’ and weavin’. I mean,
every time Kovalev moves in, he hurts him.
That’s all there is to it. 3-0, Sergey Kovalev. Kellerman:
Harold, you may be right. You so frequently are, but, boy,
if you go all out on Hopkins, you better make sure
you get him outta there. ‘Cause Kovalev’s
never been past eight. Jones: And you–believe me, that’s what Hopkins is
bankin’ on right now. All he wants to do
is keep Kovalev punching to hopefully get him worn down
by the eighth round. Then he’ll come on
and start trying to steal the last part of the fight, and hope
that he can steal enough that they would give him
the decision because he is 49 years old. Kellerman:
Round 8, of course, is when Muhammad Ali
got George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle. Lampley: Think about
what we just said, guys. The 49-year-old fighter wants
to get the 31-year-old in the late rounds…
Jones: [laughs] Lampley: Because he thinks
he can beat him with superior conditioning.
Bizarre. Jones: And that’s what it is–
that’s what it is though. Kellerman: Well, except you see
how relaxed Hopkins is, even under this assault, and how anxious Kovalev still seems
in the corner. Lampley:
But he’s getting hit. Bernard is getting hit flush
with hard shots much more frequently
than I, personally, have ever seen before.
Kellerman: Yeah. Jones: Yeah, but he’s knocking
the hell out of Kovalev every chance he gets too. Kellerman:
Well, he is very relaxed, but Kovalev can
all the way relax you with a right or left hand. Lampley:
He can put you to sleep. There’s a good right hand
by Kovalev again, and Hopkins backs away. Jones: It was a good body shot
by Hopkins at the same time. Lampley:
Brought him in the corner, hit him
with two hard right hands. Jones: That was a good
right-hand combination by Kovalev. Very smart combination. Because he kept his distance. Lampley:
All those jabs to the body are scoring for Kovalev. crowd: [chanting]
That right hand scores as well. Jones: Yeah, I think Kovalev’s
beginning to get a little bit frustrated…
[loud tapping] Because he can’t
really hit Hopkins with the right hand
to the head. This is the fight
that Hopkins wants. [bell dinging]
– Time! [cheers and applause] Lampley:
Perhaps true, but I don’t think Kovalev
has lost a round yet. Jones: [laughs]
Kellerman: Agreed. – Chillin’ right now. – Yeah, but here’s
what’s happening. He’s slowin’ up,
but he’s busying you. What I need you to do, anything you fire,
he gon’ hop out too. What I need you to do is, I need hard feints
if you don’t fire because he’s gonna hop out too. – Come on back–yes.
– You can’t let him busy you up by him just makin’ action.
– Time, and keep touchin’ him, but go back downstairs
a little bit. He’s gonna drop his hands,
you gonna knock him out cold. – [speaking Russian] – Beautiful work. Take your time
like you’re doin’. No rush. He don’t wanna fight. He wanna bullshit his way
through it. It’s your time.
Fuck him. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’. – Yeah, John, I got you. [whistle blows]
– Let’s go. [bell dings] Lampley:
Round 5 of a scheduled 12. So far,
Kovalev appears to have won all four of the rounds, and he knocked Hopkins down
with a right cross in round 1. Jones:
Well, you gotta think about it, I mean, in Hopkins’ case, you never expected him
to come out and blow Kovalev away in the first
three or four rounds. you knew that he knows Kovalev has not
gone the distance ever in his career. So why would he not wait and try to win
the last four rounds, or maybe try to even
get Kovalev out after the eight round limit? Kovalev went eight rounds
one time. Lampley: Kovalev almost flirted
with the danger of hitting Hopkins
in the back of the head as Bernard ducked down
in front of him. Kellerman:
Hopkins did talk yesterday, though, about having
to get on the inside of Kovalev’s power…
[cheers and applause] And to outmaneuver him
on the inside, and punchers
don’t like to punch– to fight off that back foot,
don’t like to move backward, and I’m a little surprised that
Hopkins hasn’t at least tried to muscle Kovalev in that direction so far.
Jones: Not yet, Max. He’s still giving Kovalev time
to wear down. If you look at him,
look how he’s fighting, he’s fighting very smart. Waiting on Kovalev to tire. Kovalev is not really
investing enough in his body yet
because if he would, then Bernard
would start to show a little bit
of a different reaction, but that’s what John David’s
asking him to do, but he’s not really
doing enough yet. See how Hopkins
took a gamble right there? That’s what Hopkins want. Just a gamble
every now and then until after round 7
or round 8. Then he’ll pick up the pace.
Lampley: Hopkins just missing with a hard right hand
counter shot. Would have done damage
if it had landed. Jones:
But you also notice Kovalev is not throwing
as many punches now. Lampley:
Well, Kovalev told us yesterday that he’s quite comfortable
fighting at a slow pace. Even though he was throwing
90 punches a round when he blew away
Nathan Cleverly to first become
a light heavyweight champ, he’s slowed the pace
in several fights since then. And he said
that he wouldn’t mind fighting at
a 40-punch-a-round rate with Hopkins. It’s perfectly okay with him.
Jones: That– Kellerman: Which seems like
a very bad strategy on the surface, but so far it’s working.
Jackson: Make him fight you. Jones: Yep, that–right there,
what he doing is the best thing he could do. Make Hopkins use
those old legs. That’s the best thing
he could do. [cheers and applause]
And doing that, that wears Hopkins down
as well. Kellerman: I think Hopkins
was hurt by something on the inside.
Maybe a right hook. Jones: But see how he
makin’ Hopkins work on defense? This what guys
don’t do to Hopkins. They don’t keep him busy,
and make him work his legs. They allow him to fight
30 seconds of every round, and Kovalev has not allowed him
to do that right now. Lampley: There’s been
a fair amount of infighting in this round. So far, Kovalev’s skin
is holding up. There’s no blood
around his eyes, meaning that Bernard hasn’t
been able to get anything done with his vaunted
and well-respected head. Jones: [laughs] Kellerman:
And the way Kovalev landed that right hook on the inside,
he stepped back, he shortened
the arc of the punch. He’s showing
a little more wrinkle to his offense, I think…
[bell dinging] Than Hopkins
gave him credit for heading into the fight.
Lampley: And the activity level is all Kovalev
to this point in the fight. [dramatic tones] – You’re rollin’ nice, but your not plantin’
the investments. I need you to relax.
Trust your defense. Roll it under there, man.
Smother. Get close to that guy.
Land your shots. You gotta trust your defense.
You gotta trust your chain. Uh, right now,
you not trusting your weapons. All right,
he’s not gon’ hit you… Jones: Here you see Kovalev
after they get close. He avoids the head, which Hopkins
put it straight down. He landed a good right hand
on the ear right there, and landed
another good right hand as Hopkins was tryin’
to do the same. Beating Hopkins
at his own game. Lampley: CompuBox numbers
in round 5: Hopkins was 8 out of 19. [bell dings]
The eight punches landed, highest number in the fight,
so far, for Bernard, but Kovalev was 10 of 47, and landed those hard,
right-hand shots that Roy described for you. Now there’s some red marking outside the left eye
of Kovalev. Looks as though that eye might,
ultimately, break open and show blood. Body shots. And a right hand upstairs
by Kovalev. And he grins at Hopkins. Jones: ‘Cause Hopkins told him
to come on. Oh, there he is.
Good shot. [cheering] Kellerman:
Hopkins at this age, to even roll to the extent he’s rolling
those punches to take… Jones: [laughs]
Kellerman: It’s just– it’s amazing. He’s losing every round, Kovalev is making him look old, but he’s amazing to watch. Jones:
Some of the best defense ever. Lampley: But Kovalev lands
a right over the top. Kellerman: Well,
in the Hopkins’ narrative, the Dawson–
the Chad Dawson fights, are often fre–
conveniently overlooked. Dawson wasn’t a puncher, and he’s very different style
than Kovalev, but on his youth
and speed and length, he was able
to dominate Hopkins in– really, in both fights.
Especially the rematch. Lampley: Well,
the first fight only lasted about a round and a half…
Jones: [laughs] Lampley: And some say,
Bernard wanted out. Dawson did drop him with a pro-wrestling style
body drop. Kellerman:
And though Kovalev is a very different
kind of fighter than Dawson, he has those snappy,
young reflexes. And it’s making Hopkins
look old. Jones: But as you see,
Hopkins is still gambling, you have to admit,
every now and then. Just took a good gamble
with a straight-right lead. Didn’t land,
but it’s a great gamble, and if this fight goes
three or four more rounds, he’ll start to land that shot. Kellerman: Shumenov and… Cloud didn’t have
that kind of athleticism. Jones: Well, they didn’t have
the footwork and the balance that Kovalev has. Kovalev can box,
keep Bernard at a distance to where Bernard
has to stay worried, and not be as calm and relaxed
as he usually is with the younger guys. See, right there? He has to respect Kovalev
right there. That’s what those other guys
can’t do. They can’t demand respect
at that distance. Good right-hand body shot
by Hopkins. Kellerman:
Pascal was more athletic, but tended to fade in fights and was not
the fighter Kovalev is. Jones: Can’t say
he wasn’t the fighter. He just didn’t know
how to preserve himself as well as Kovalev does. [bell dinging]
– Time! Time! Lampley: Good activity
at the end by Kovalev. Just missed
with a hard right hand that might have
finished the fight… Jones: [chuckles]
Lampley: If he had landed it on Bernard’s chin. [indistinct chatter] – Deep breath.
Deep breath. All he’s tryin’ to do
is survive now. You got him scared.
– [speaking Russian] – When you get a chance,
cut that ring off. Make him fight you.
Touch him, okay? Don’t keep following him around.
Cut the ring off. He gotta fight you then.
Okay, baby. Okay.
You’re doin’ your thing. – Workin’ a shorter distance. I need it from up there. – You need every round
from here. Every round. – He gon’ fade for us, Ex,
long as we invest. He’s gettin’ confident,
so he’s swingin’ big, and that’s gon’ be
his downfall, son. He can’t hit you clean.
– I got you. – Get that left hand up.
– I got you. – My man,
fire that jab from there. – [inhales deeply]
– Let them hands go. [whistle blows]
Even if they not hard shots. Lightning.
Let your hands go. – Move your hands underneath. Lampley: CompuBox numbers
for total punches through round 6:
Hopkins 29 out of 81, Kovalev 65 out of 254. [bell dings] More than tripling Bernard’s number
of thrown punches. Let’s see if, as we come
to the seventh round, Harold Lederman has Kovalev
7 points ahead. Harold,
how do you have it so far? Lederman: Ha, okay, Jim.
I got it 60-53, 6 rounds to 0,
Sergey Kovalev. Jim, I’ll tell you something. Bernard Hopkins
is doin’ this thing, he lays on the ropes
and then he throws a shot and then he rolls away, and I can’t see it nohow. I think Kovalev hits him
every time he rolls away. Uh, it’s not
a great defensive move in my estimation,
but he’s doin’ it an awful lot. He’s tryin’ to get in a punch
and then he just rolls away. Gets low, rolls away. But if you ask me,
I think Bernard Hopkins really, at this stage,
wants two aspirin and a glass of water…
Jones: [laughs] Lederman:
And don’t wanna be here. 6-0, Sergey Kovalev. Kellerman:
Might be right, Harold. It looks that way,
but, again, Kovalev never been past eight, and I’ve learned enough
to not write Hopkins off. Lampley: The thing about the
“never been past eight” part, and let’s just assume
for a second that Kovalev falls apart in the last four rounds
of the fight because of that, still, because of the scoring
to this point, Bernard would need knockdowns or a knockout to win it. Requires a kind of power…
[cheering] That he hasn’t often shown. Kellerman:
Bernard’s hitting him here. Jones: Just hit Kovalev
with probably the best right hand
he hit him with all night. Kellerman: Kovalev can cut. crowd: [chanting]
Crowd chanting “B-Hop.” Kovalev trying
to answer Hopkins’ right hands with right hand thunder
of his own. Jones:
That’s the mistake he’s makin’. He should keep, uh– continue hitting
his body and his arms just like John David
told him before. Because if he continues
to go at the head, his head is gonna be liable
to be taken off as well. Lampley: Hopkins landed a jab. It’s one punch at a time
for Bernard. Kellerman:
Yeah, and it may not be true, but the sense of fighters who haven’t been tested late
in fights, is that it could all unravel
very quickly when they are. May not be true
in Kovalev’s case, but there’s always that feeling
that it could be. Jones: [chuckles]
Fields: Watch your heads. Lampley:
No one has ever knocked out Bernard Hopkins. – All right,
hey, hey, hey, hey, hey. Stop, stop, stop.
Let him up. Lampley: Or stopped him.
– Don’t hold him. Watch the low blow to him,
Bernard. Lampley: Kovalev has knockouts
or stoppages in 23 of 25 fights coming in. [loud tapping] [bell dinging]
– Time! [cheers and applause] – You not swinging. That’s the only reason
we ain’t won. ‘Cause we not throwin’
our combination. That’s the only reason
we ain’t won. You threw one right hand, his whole leg wiggled–
you forgot. This kid ain’t used
to nobody hittin’ him back. He ain’t used to bein’ this far. – You gotta jab
and let your hands go. – He ain’t used
to bein’ this far. He gettin’ beat in the fight. Get that motherfuckin’ jab
poppin’. Let your combinations go. One right hand, man.
– It’s gonna happen. – Get the left hand
up in position. That’s where the jab came from. You dropped it back out.
Keep the left hand up. Pop from there.
That right hand gon’ be there. This kid ain’t use
to gettin’ hit, man. If you did the body work… Jones: Here you see
Bernard Hopkins counter Kovalev’s jab…
[whistle blows] With a straight right hand
and a left hook, and they both
kind of traded punches, but it forced Kovalev back, which is what Bernard
wants to do. If he can keep makin’ him
go back every now and then, that’s a win-win for him. [bell dings] Lampley:
Here comes round 8, and the point has been made
several times, Sergey Kovalev has never been
beyond round 8 in a professional fight. Jackson:
He don’t wanna fight. He don’t wanna fight you. Lampley:
But he’s piling up points on Harold Lederman’s
unofficial scorecard. Kellerman:
He’s never been past eight because
he knocks everyone out… Jones: [laughs]
Kellerman: And Hopkins has been hit and dropped
in this fight. Jackson: Give me that hook! – Watch your feet. Lampley: And since
that knockdown in round 1, Hopkins has taken some, but very few, calculated risks trying to do damage to Kovalev, and has generally
allowed Kovalev to carry the momentum
of the fight, and dominate
the activity of the fight. Jones:
And Kovalev is very smart as you see right there.
Lampley: Good body shot. Jones: Makin’ Hopkins
use those legs, then goin’ back to the body. Smartest thing he could do.
– All right, break, break. Stop, hey, hey, hey.
Stop, stop, stop, stop ,stop. Right there, right there.
Come on, now, back up. Let the arm go.
Let the arm go. Let’s go. Lampley:
In the center of the ring, where Bernard has
his best chance to get something done, Kovalev trying to back him up
onto the ropes again. Jones: Gotta make him use– Lampley:
Now Hopkins is in the corner, and this is where Kovalev
begins to cut loose. Jones: Gotta make him
use those legs. Can’t let him
preserve his legs to throw big punches. Like that.
[crowd roars] Lampley: Down–nope. I thought he was gonna go down. Hopkins weathered
that right hand, but he’s in trouble
in the corner, and now Kovalev backs off. Jones: Yeah, he took
a really good punch from Kovalev there.
Lampley: Sure did. Jones: A very good punch.
Very impressed by the old man. Lampley: Most Kovalev opponents
go down on that right hand. Jones: Yeah, they do. Kellerman: Well, it’s hard
to say how a guy Hopkins’ age is supposed to respond to this ’cause there’s never been
anyone Hopkins’ age in a fight like this.
Jones: Yeah, but– Lampley: Even Archie Moore
didn’t make it to 49 active at this level.
Kellerman: Nope. Jones: He just hit Kovalev
with a good body shot coming in too. Oh, good hook by Kovalev. Kellerman:
That right hand seemed to have
woken Hopkins up. The question is,
if he takes more risks and gets more aggressive,
will Kovalev put him to sleep? Lampley:
Kovalev sticking his jab. Gets in a right hand again. Kovalev has landed
double figures power punches in the round. [cheers and applause]
Hopkins lands a right. The crowd goes berserk. [loud tapping] [bell dinging]
– Time. Lampley: Sergey Kovalev
will go to the ninth round for the first time
in his professional career. – All he wanna do is survive. All he wanna do is survive. [dramatic tones] – Take your time.
You gon’ whup his ass up. – Soon as you went for it,
what happened? Lock them hands up.
You got to. It’s the only chance we got. If you incapable of doin’ it,
gotta let me know. ‘Cause it’s
the only chance we got. You gotta put them hands up.
You gotta push him back. He can’t fight in close.
– Right. – Gotta put them hands up.
Push him back. Double that jab up. Don’t reach. Double the jab up.
Don’t reach. Jones: Here you see Kovalev
throw a jab at Hopkins and follow
with that same right hand over the top of Hopkins’ jab. High on the top of the head,
and that explains why Hopkins was able
to take the punch so well. [whistle blows]
The punch landed high on the top of that alien head, and he often
can take those punches because they’re not
on the button. Lampley: Still some strength
in those legs. That’s what kept him up.
Jones: Yeah, it is. [bell dings] Lampley:
Round 9 begins. And now we’re into what Hopkins
would have described as deep water for Kovalev because Sergey’s never been to the ninth round
of a pro fight. But on Harold Lederman’s
unofficial scorecard, he’s got
the kind of scoring pad that makes that seem
irrelevant. Kellerman: But you see Hopkins
has already done something that no one
who’s ever fought Kovalev has. Here he is in the ninth round. – No pushin’. Jones: He’s a wily veteran. The best fighter by far that Kovalev has ever faced
as a professional. – Watch your feet.
Watch your feet. Lampley: And he’s also throwing
about 15 punches per round, so that he’s not
taking many risks or opening him up
to counter shot– opening himself up
to counter shots from Kovalev. So there is a science involved in just extending the fight
to the ninth round, but it doesn’t,
up to this point, involve a formula
for winning the fight. Kellerman:
No, other guys have tried to do what Hopkins is doing too
to Kovalev and survive, and they haven’t
been able to do it, but you’re right,
he’s losing every round. Jones:
Nobody has tried to survive by throwing 15 punches a round. Nobody’s been that impatient or had the type of patience
to hold themselves from throwing
over 15 punches a round. Lampley: Right.
Jones: Only “The Alien” could come up
with that strategy. [both laugh] Lampley:
Well, he’s never minded if the crowd booed.
Jones: Of course. He said,
all of his career he’s been putting the crowds to sleep, and now he’s trying
to wake ’em up and become
a little bit more entertaining, but this is not
the guy to do it with early in the fight. Lampley: A brilliant “New York Times Magazine”
article on Kovalev accurately described
the Hopkins formula for winning as “taking the fight
out of the fight,” and a simple way to
look at tonight coming in was: The more fight there was
in the fight, the better then chance
for Kovalev. The less fight there was
in the fight, the better the chance
for Hopkins. There’s been enough fight
for Kovalev to be well ahead. Jones: Oh, good right hand
by Hopkins again. And that’s all he wants to do. Land one every now and then and see if he ever
can hurt Kovalev. If he ever can hurt Kovalev,
he’ll go at him. Kellerman:
Yeah, but actually, Jim, the pace is
more of a Hopkins-style pace than a Kovalev-style pace, and so that’s–you’re right. That’s as good
as Hopkins can do, and it’s not good enough. [scattered booing] So far. Lampley:
Coming into tonight’s fight, in his last eight fights, Bernard Hopkins
had averaged throwing about 38 punches per round. Tonight, he’s throwing
12 punches per round. Jones: Because he has
to be careful, Jim. He’s fighting a guy
that really can crack. The more punches he throw, the more he’s liable
to get caught in between ’em, so he has to be really careful with a big puncher
like Kovalev. He can’t waste punches,
he can’t take risks. He’s not a risk taker anyway. [loud tapping]
Never has been. Kellerman:
And a guy who can cut the ring, forces the boxer to move…
[bell dinging] More than he has to move. [cheers and applause] man: Keep breathing.
Just keep breathing. He’s human, Jim.
He’s human. – Beautiful work.
Beautiful work. – [speaking Russian] – He has nothin’ left. Nothin’ left.
You do what you wanna do. Take your time, and you take your time.
All right? No rush.
– Yeah, I know. – Just do your thing. Beautiful work. – [speaking Russian] – We got three more rounds. – Keep it going.
Under, under, over. You gotta put him inside. We worked on this already, Ex. Jones: Here you see Kovalev
come and land a good straight-right lead that was not
so high on the head. It was right on the button,
actually. [whistle blows]
Bernard took it well. He rolled with it
so it wasn’t so effective, but, at the same time, I think he’s just starting
to tire a little bit. [bell dings]
Lampley: We’ve mentioned that Kovalev has never been past
the eighth round before, and now he’s into
the tenth round here. He has, of course,
sparred 12 rounds. He sparred
12 four-minute rounds twice in this camp
getting ready for Hopkins. Harold, how do you have it
up to this point? Lederman: Ha, okay, Jim.
I got it 9 rounds to 0, 90-80, Sergey Kovalev. You know, Jim, I think Bernard Hopkins takes
a tremendous punch, has a lot of respect
for Kovalev’s right hand, but, you know,
what can you say? Kovalev doin’ a number on him, hittin’ him harder
in every single round, gets an extra point
for the knockdown, and finds himself
in the late rounds ten points ahead, and I don’t see him
slowin’ down one bit. 9-0, Sergey Kovalev. Jones: Well, it’s not over yet. You know, you can’t never
count the old man out. He has a strategy. I’m sure he had a strategy
coming in. Jackson: There you go!
Get him with the jab. Lampley: But he hasn’t had
a knockdown– I mean, excuse me, a knockout, in ten years, and at this point it appears
he would need a knockout to win this fight.
Jones: Without a doubt. Kellerman:
And Hopkins relies on using the other fighter’s nature
against them too, and Kovalev is not fighting
a greedy fight. When he gets the upper hand,
when he lands a punch or two, he gets out and resets and doesn’t give Hopkins
a chance to counter anything. Jones: He’s very smart,
and very disciplined. And that’s what you want. Lampley: That’s what we’ve
learned tonight, incidentally. if we’ve learned
anything at all about Kovalev, it is that he is
extremely smart, and knows
how to manage himself in there. It is not just a knockout destruction
every time. [cheering] Good, hard left hooks
by Kovalev. Driving Hopkins
back into the ropes. Jones: Good jab to the body
by Kovalev. Lampley: Smartest punch
he can throw. Jones: And the safest. Kellerman: It also seems
Kovalev has the kind of power that when Hopkins has
some success in an exchange, he tastes that Kovalev power
and thinks, “Let me get outta here.”
Jones: And that helps Kovalev in a sense
because it’s hard for Hopkin– oh, good right hand by Hopkins.
[cheering] Kellerman: Oh, I think Kovalev
did a little dance there. [crowd roaring] Lampley:
But as Hopkins takes the risk, he opens him up–
himself up to take leather from Kovalev. It’s the most entertaining
round of the fight. They’re trading punches now. Jones: Of course, that’s
what Hopkins wants to do. It’s late in the fight.
It’s past the eighth round. This is when he gonna
take his gamble. – Hey, hey, hey, stop punchin’. Come on, man, stop punchin’.
Let him go. Kellerman: Hopkins got
the worst of that exchange, but he landed
some very big right hands and Kovalev felt them. [cheers and applause] Lampley:
There appears to be a red mark on the bridge
of Bernard Hopkins’ nose. I’m not certain
that it’s bleeding yet, but it does appear that Kovalev has left a calling card.
[loud tapping] Jones: Oh, good hook.
[bell dinging] Lampley:
Hard left hook by Kovalev to punctuate round 10. [cheers and applause] – Good work, good work,
good work. Deep breath. – Two more rounds.
Don’t get careless. – [speaking Russian]
– What round is this? both: Two more.
– I got you, I got you. – Two more, then you’re the
linear champion of the world. – Hey, you leave all this
right here, the guy goes down. Okay?
Movin’ behind your jab. Push him back
and jump on his ass for the body, he hurt. And stay off them ropes.
That’s the only chance he’s got. – You all right?
You good? – He’s good. Jones: Here you see Kovalev
land four clean punches. One, two, which was
a great right hand, a left hook, and followed by another jab.
[whistle blows] Fields: Let’s go.
Jones: Hopkins had no answer, but then Hopkins comes back
with a beautiful overhand right that they didn’t show, and probably
evened the round up. Lampley: At that moment…
[bell dings] But Kovalev finished the round
with a solid left hook, and prior to that,
a couple other combinations. Jones:
Nah, I think that left hook was the best left hook
he’s lan– oh, good hook by Hopkins.
– Hey, no, hey, hey, hey… Jones: That left hook was
the best hook that Kovalev landed all night.
– Sergey, back of the head… Kellerman:
And the right hand by Hopkins may have been the best punch
in the fight since Kovalev
knocked Hopkins down in the first round.
– Don’t do it no more. I got you, bro,
I got you. Lampley: 5 1/2 minutes left for Hopkins
to try to do something to turn this around. Kellerman:
Well, he’s doing things, and he’s having success
in spots, but not enough
to turn it around. Jones: That’s the smartest
thing Kovalev can do is use that jab
to keep him working like that. Make him have to reach. – Hey, don’t hit him,
don’t hit him, don’t hit him… Lampley: If Kovalev’s
still thinking knockout, it’s a mistake.
At this point, he needs to be thinking
of finishing the fight, buttoning down what he’s done
up to this point. Kellerman:
You heard Naazim Richardson throughout the fight
pleading with Hopkins for more activity. Not a way to wear Kovalev down
a little bit, but, I think, to put some doubt
in Kovalev’s mind, so that as these
later rounds approached, he would doubt himself,
and Hopkins hasn’t done that, and consequently, in spite of Bernard’s big shots
here and there, Kovalev remains
very confident and disciplined. – All right, let him go.
Let him go. Okay, stop, stop, stop. Let’s stop wrestlin’.
Come on, we wrestlin’. Let him go, let him go.
Back up. Jones: He realizes that he
can take Hopkins’ best punch, pretty much,
he’s taken that on several different occasions, so he really feels like
he has nothin’ to worry about. – Pushed the head down, man.
Come on, man. All right, hey, hey,
don’t lean on him… Jones: [clears throat] – Pick your head up too, man.
Let’s go. [scattered booing] All right, let him go.
Let the head go. Let the head go.
Come on, now. Come on, back off.
Back off. [scattered shouting
and cheering] Watch the camera, man. Lampley: No sign that Kovalev
is tiring or wearing down yet. Jones: No, he’s getting
a little bored, but he’s not tired
and he’s not wearing down. Kellerman: He is fighting
with his mouth open. Jones: He been doin’ that
since round 3. Kellerman: Yeah. Maybe a little wider now
in this round. Lampley:
Hopkins gets in a left hook. [loud tapping] [cheers and applause] [bell dinging]
– Time! Time! Lampley:
Only three minutes left… In what has so far been
Sergey Kovalev’s undressing of Bernard Hopkins. – Gotta stop him.
Gotta stop him. – Hands up.
– You gotta stop him. – We need a knockout from you. [crowd shouting] He’ll back down.
Stay right there with him. – That’s right.
You gotta put him down. Fields: Here we go, last round,
touch gloves center ring. – Come out the last round
trying to get you. He’s gon’ try to and steer you.
Watch. Lampley: So Bernard Hopkins’
corner has told Bernard Hopkins that he needs a knockout
to win the fight. And now there are
three minutes left. Quite possibly,
three minutes left in Bernard Hopkins’ career. But it’s a new
light heavyweight division. Kovalev has emerged. Adonis Stevenson,
biding his time in Montreal, may eventually take
the big fight against one of the other
top fighters in the division. Who knows?
Maybe we’ll eventually get to see Stevenson fight Kovalev
after all. Although one of the reasons
that this fight took place is that Stevenson backed out of a reported agreement
to do so. And there are other
young light heavyweights on the way up.
Kellerman: Oh. both: Kovalev is hurt…
Lampley: By a left hook! Jones: Yeah, he hurt. I told you that’s
what Bernard was lookin’ for. That’s what he been waitin’ for
all night long. Kellerman:
Kovalev got caught a shot, went back,
thought his leg was there, and it wasn’t. – Hey, hey, hey!
Let him go, let him go. Lampley: Now he thinks
he wants to punish Hopkins. Jones: Yeah, but that’s
the wrong thing to do at the wrong time.
Lampley: Again, he should button down
his business and finish the fight. [crowd shouting] Kellerman: There’s some drama
here in the 12th round. I don’t know
if Hopkins feels like Kovalev doesn’t have
the same mustard on his shots, but he seems less wary of Kovalev’s punches. Lampley: Well,
he caught a right hand there and he’s clowning…
[cheering and shouting] To try to tell Kovalev
he wasn’t hurt, but he’s getting hammered
with hard shots in the corner right now. Jones: He gonna try
to knock Kovalev out, but what Kovalev
don’t realize– Kellerman: Yep.
Jones: Right there. This is a fight that Hopkins
want for the fight. It’s stupid on Kovalev’s part
to toy with him ’cause he wear himself out. Lampley: Kovalev wants
to knock him out. Jones: Yeah, he does.
Lampley: He’s ambitious. [crowd roaring] – Hold on, hold on, break.
Let’s go. Lampley: Kovalev wants to put
an exclamation point on it. Jones: Yeah, he does.
Lampley: One minute to go. He’s dominated the fight. He’s got it in the bag. He’s taking risks
and giving Bernard a chance. Jones: Yeah, he sure is. Lampley: 30 seconds to go. Kovalev still trying
to score a knockout. Jones: Oh. [crowd screaming and cheering] Kellerman:
If Hopkins has anything left, he better put it behind
one right hand right now. Jones: Yeah, if he do,
he would get Kovalev ’cause Kovalev’s in bad trouble
just walkin’ ahead like that with his hands down. [loud tapping] Lampley: Kovalev hammering
Bernard Hopkins from pillar to post… Jones: [laughs]
[bell dinging] Lampley:
As we get to the final bell! Kellerman: And, guys,
there were many who thought if it got rough for Hopkins,
he would look for a way out. Lampley: He didn’t.
Kellerman: But there he was in the 12th round,
standing toe-to-toe with the most dangerous,
biggest puncher in the light heavyweight
division, taking shots
clean off his head… Jones: Like a man. Kellerman: Staggering back
into the corner like a champion.
Jones: Like a real man. You gotta give Hopkins credit
Well, it’s perfectly all right to give Hopkins credit, but he lost the fight big.
Jones: [laughs] Kellerman: And Kovalev was
not content with a points win. He went for the knockout,
and risked himself in doing it. Lampley:
And landed 38 of 89 punches in the 12th round
while going for that knockout. By far, the biggest round
of the fight for Kovalev. Now, someday,
Kovalev and John David Jackson will watch the tape
and they’ll say, “This maybe isn’t
the smartest round you’ve ever played…”
[cheers and applause] “But it was fun.” [cheering and booing] Kovalev’s corner lifts up
the Russian fighter. Obviously,
the winner of the fight. And, Roy Jones, take us
through some replays here. Tumultuous 12 rounds.
Jones: We now realize that last round that Kovalev
was not hurt by a left hook. Hopkins threw a punch
that landed on the neck and their knees got tangled up, and that’s what caused him
to fall off balance. We thought it was
a good punch– here it is right there.
You see the toes– you see the toe–
he’s off balance because their toes
got jammed up, and that was not a real punch. It was a push to the throat. That’s why Kovalev
came back so hard, because he really wasn’t hurt, so he came back
and tried to take Hopkins out with punches like that
right there. Hopkins takes
one heck of a punch. Lampley: Boy, does he ever.
That chin. Jones: That was a great punch
by Kovalev. The cleanest you can ask
to hit a man, and he took it like a champion. Lampley: The 38 punches
that Kovalev landed in that 12th round
are the most punches ever landed on Bernard Hopkins
in one round in 41 different
Hopkins’ fights tracked by CompuBox. Unquestionably,
the most one-sided defeat of Bernard Hopkins’ career. Let’s see what kind of a job
the judges have done. [bell dinging] Buffer:
Ladies and gentlemen, by way
of Caesars Atlantic City, we go to the scorecards. Carlos Ortiz
and Clark Sammartino score the contest 120-107. Lawrence Layton has it 120-106. All three judges
score it unanimously for the winner,
and now the unified light heavyweight champion
of the world, from Russia with love, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev!
– Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah!
[speaking Russian] [dramatic music] ♪ ♪