Hopkins-Kovalev Predictions

By Boxing News on November 7, 2014
Hopkins-Kovalev Predictions
Considering his age, this time the old master may have bitten off more than he can chew.

The 49-year-old Hopkins has made a career out of defying odds, going all the way back to Graterford Prison…

Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, IBF/WBA light heavyweight champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs), from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, gets it on with WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs), from Chelyabinsk, Russia. The 49-year-old Hopkins has made a career out of defying odds, going all the way back to Graterford Prison. But defeating 31-year-old Kovalev, a knockout artist in his prime, may be more than he bargained for. Kovalev’s power might be the great equalizer, but Hopkins, who has made naysayers eat their words over and over again, has forgotten more about boxing than Kovalev will ever know. Still, given his advanced age, this time the old master may have bitten off more than he can chew. But no matter what transpires, Hopkins deserves credit for actually fighting the best, rather than just saying it. This is how the Boxing.com writers see Bernard Hopkins vs. Sergey Kovalev.

Adam Berlin: “Kudos to Bernard Hopkins for choosing an opponent worthy of a half-century celebration. Hopkins has beaten heavy-handed fighters before, but Sergey Kovalev strikes me as a man whose will is also powerful. To combat a veteran who knows how to slow a fight’s pace to an ugly crawl, you need a strong mind to keep away frustration and a strong punch to bring a self-proclaimed Alien back to earth. Kovalev possesses both. Krusher’s heavy hands may not touch Hopkins’ head at first, but they’ll touch his body, they’ll weaken his legs, and they’ll eventually tenderize that left shoulder, Hopkins’ shield against damage. If Hopkins opens up against Kovalev the way he opened up against his last two mediocre opponents, Murat and Shumenov, he’ll face trouble early. That probably won’t happen. For a few rounds, Hopkins will retain some of his freak-of-nature youth, for a few rounds Hopkins will control the ring, but as the rounds progress, the balance of power will move from smart dictator Hopkins to brutal dictator Kovalev. Hopkins won’t go out on his shield. He’ll go more gently into the night of his retirement. And we’ll forgive him. Kovalev by decision in a less-than-thrilling fight.”

Cheekay Brandon: “All Hopkins fight descriptions are exactly the same, have been for over eight years: ‘If Hopkins doesn’t age, he’ll embarrass the big puncher.’ I say this because there are no fighters, with possible exception of Mayweather, who are smarter. Who know more. Who study more. Who are more comfortable in the ring. Who know how to frustrate an opponent. His only Kryptonite is tall, rangy, nimble athletes with elite hand speed (Jones Jr., Calzaghe, Dawson etc.), rather than big punching studs. Kovalev fits the brawler bill, the one everyone has been predicting would put Hopkins on his back for years. Kovalev is impressive. More impressive than Pavlik at the time of his fight with Hopkins? Definitely not. More impressive than Jean Pascal at the time of his fights with Hopkins? Probably, but only slightly. More impressive than Tavoris Cloud? Yeah. But enough for me to believe that this Kovalev could have beaten that Hopkins? No. If Hopkins has aged, which he will eventually, Kovalev wins a lopsided decision by virtue of being able to find, outwork and penetrate Hopkins’ notorious shell. Otherwise, expect another counterpunching clinic where Hopkins makes another good fighter look like they are putting on the gloves for the first time. But he’s 49 years old, for god’s sakes, and at some point it has to happen. I’m going Kovalev 8 rounds to 4, finally aging one of the sports world’s great wonders.”

Teron Briggs: “Sixty-two punches per round. That’s how many Kovalev has averaged in his recent fights. In Bernard’s last decisive loss, his rematch with Chad Dawson, he allowed Chad to average 36 punches thrown per round and to land 48% of his power punches. Kovalev will be able to do better.His technique and boxing skills have been overlooked because of his punching power, but Kovalev does have a high ring IQ. It’ll be on display in this fight and with the help of a good game plan from his trainer John David Jackson he will solve Hopkins’ defense. After a slow start, I expect Kovalev to find more openings by the middle rounds, likely by focusing his attack on the old man’s body, and stop Hopkins by the 10th.”

Jay Bulger: “Kovalev is dangerous and tough and fearsome, but I’ve got to go with Hopkins by split decision. Hopkins doesn’t have to prove anything to himself, but he can continue to prove to the rest of us what is physically possible. He might not be the most entertaining fighter, but he does whatever it takes in there to protect himself, and to win. As an American, it’s continually bothersome to see the sport shifting to Eastern-Eastern Europe where these dullards dwell. What’s more bothersome is how we continue to question the character and the integrity of champions. Max Kellerman’s post-fight interview with Hopkins was disgusting. I look forward to seeing Hopkins retire on top as an American superhero.”

Mike Casey: “I have continued to pick Bernard Hopkins throughout all his ‘possible last fights’ because it is very hard to pick against a winner of such vast experience and resolve. Love him or loathe him, BHop remains the super fit and single-minded Marvin Hagler of his generation, totally committed to his cause. Hopkins might well be in denial but it’s a very positive form of denial in his case, even though I wish he could have upped his general appeal over the years by fighting and behaving a lot more positively. This, however, is the end game. We know that Sergey Kovalev can be cut and knocked down. Possibly he will be befuddled for a while by a man of BHop’s guile. But we also know that Sergey is a bomber, the ‘Krusher’ if you’re into nicknames, a very hurtful and destructive puncher to head and body. My gut feeling is that Hopkins will come apart all at once in this fight, possibly very early but more probably beaten into a TKO defeat around the middle stage. But then I thought that the Royals would pinch game seven from the Giants in the World Series.”

George Thomas Clark: “You’ve got to be a helluva fighter to compete with Bernard Hopkins who, excepting an irrelevant setback in his first pro fight, has lost only close decisions to Roy Jones, a generation ago in 1993, twice to Jermain Taylor in 2005, to Joe Calzaghe in 2008, and Chad Dawson in 2012. While Hopkins has continued to win championships, Jones has too frequently been knocked out, Taylor has lost four times, three by KO, and Dawson has suffered three setbacks and two knockouts. A realistic observer can be excused for believing Hopkins must be 15 years younger than his chronological age of almost 50. I’ve several times tried to deny that but have been wrong. Maybe I’ll be wrong again. But I believe power-punching, combo-throwing Sergey Kovalev at age 31 will initiate a series of mini-brawls, and win most, while earning a unanimous decision. Being the greatest 50-year-old athlete in the world isn’t the same, or at least should not be the same, as being the light heavyweight champion.”

Jill Diamond: “For all the emotional reasons, I would like to see the world’s oldest champion win but I think there’s a strong chance of an early knockout from his younger, powerful opponent.”

Clarence George: “Sergey Kovalev is a good fighter and an even better puncher, but Bernard Hopkins has more tricks up his sleeve than Santa has goodies in his sack. Tricks that are no less effective for being tiresome and downright ugly. ‘The Alien’ will flummox ‘Krusher,’ eking out a win by split or majority decision.”

Mohummad Humza Elahi: “In recent years (or in Hopkins’ case, decades) the enemy of most fighters the wrong side of 30 (or 40) has been Father Time. In the case of the newly re-branded Bernard ‘The Alien’ Hopkins, Father Time is getting some assistance in the form of punching powerhouse Sergey Kovalev. Many have spoken of this fight as being the end of the road for the Philly legend but by his own estimation, he only sees this fight as a means to get to the next, not as a swansong on a storied career. As for his opponent, the calm exterior belies the type of power that would shake most heavyweights to their boots; he’s called ‘Krusher’ for a reason, a more astute boxer than he’s given credit for, Kovalev is a fluid and devastating puncher, puts his combinations together well and has enough nous to know when to hold off and when to go for the kill. Hopkins, on the other hand, has been down this road many times before and has been written off at nearly every juncture. He doesn’t take beatings and uses every single (dirty) trick in the book to dictate the fight. The unstoppable force against a relatively unmovable object? Not quite, but Krusher may be so amped to try and get B-Hop out of there he might play into the old master’s hands. Hopkins will make it ugly, Kovalev will make it exciting. I’ve been leaning towards Hopkins edging a decision, out-smarting his foe as he’s done countless times before, but the sheer determination and brutality of Kovalev has me questioning that conclusion. As much as the purist in me is backing Hopkins, I can’t see how he’s going to cope with the volume and viciousness of Kovalev’s punches. So I’m making a qualified prediction. If Hopkins gets past 8 rounds, he wins, if not, well, those at light-heavy are going to have a lot of sleepless nights.”

The Fight Film Collector: “As much as this looks like a genuine contest, it’s hard to count Hopkins out. Kovalev brings in substantial firepower, but so did Kelly Pavlik, who also brought size, and little did it matter. Hopkins is light years ahead of Kovalev in ring savvy and experience. He will do, and has done whatever it takes, including theatrics, to come out ahead physically and financially. Kovalev will likely need a KO to win. He certainly has the tools. There’s the age factor as well, but Kovalev will have to keep the pace fast enough and trap Bernard often enough for youth to make a difference.  The statistics look good for Kovalev. The probability still favors Hopkins.”

Johnathan Lee Iverson: “Sergey Kovalev is blessed with fantastic punching power, but so was Kelly Pavlik, Felix Trinidad, Antwon Echols, Jean Pascal, and numerous others Bernard Hopkins has completely dominated. Lest we forget, the ‘Alien’ possesses good power also. The difference is he comes with a vast array of tools that Kovalev has never come close to experiencing or even attempting to apply. To best Bernard Hopkins one has to set the pace. Generally he must be an uptempo, volume puncher, and it doesn’t hurt to be a bit unorthodox, ala Joe Calzaghe. Hopkins dominates when he sets the pace. John David Jackson has the right approach and is telling his charge the right thing; unfortunately he can’t make Sergey Kovalev into what he is not. I predict Bernard Hopkins stops Sergey Kovalev inside six rounds.”

Norman Marcus: “The odds are 2-1 against Hopkins for this fight. We have seen these kind of odds against Hopkins before. He is old, lacks a knockout punch for years now. He is almost 50 years old. But strategy and experience may yet save the day for Bernard again. It’s a given that he has a game plan ready for the young strong Russian called the Krusher. One solid punch from Kovalev and Father Time will finally catch up with Hopkins. But if Hopkins can stick and move, clutch and hold, he may win again. We may witness another 12-round snoozer with Bernard declared the undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world. Wish he would just walk away Sunday morning, win or lose. A class fighter deserves a classy exit into the history books. Marciano understood that, so should Hopkins.”

Gordon Marino: “I think Hopkins has stepped over the line in this one. I am picking Kovalev by an UD. Kovalev is aggressive but he is also patient. The Russian’s very formidable power will make the ever wary Hopkins even more wary. Kovalev will not be tied up by ‘The Alien’. Kovalev is going to keep busy and he will push Bernard into retirement.”

Matt McGrain: “There is a kind of fighter that imbues me with a reluctance to pick against him, even in favor of wildlife or trucks. Hopkins is such a fighter, but the sense that Kovalev may have too much wild and too much truck even for him is growing. The nagging question then: why did Hopkins pick him? He chose him, from a short list, why?  The temptation to imbue Hopkins with an almost mystical wisdom is now overwhelming; I’m reluctant to stretch the point. But I have found myself thinking occasionally of Iran Barkley and his struggle to master the smaller, older Roberto Duran; Evander Holyfield and his refusal to budge for an enraged Mike Tyson. Both of these fighters recognized in their opponents a sense of entitlement, a surety in their own destructive prowess that was premature, or inappropriate. My last straw where Hopkins is concerned is that he has seen this same thing in Kovalev and that Kovalev isn’t experienced enough to realize what is happening until it is too late – much like pound-for-pounder and undisputed middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik was. Kovalev is better than Pavlik, Kovalev hits harder. Where are these threads drawn together in the ring? Hopkins astounds us one more time.”

Richard Mendel: “Actually may be a lot more interesting than it initially appears. I have to disclose that I am very biased having been born and raised in Philadelphia, so I admit that I am not objective at all. Bernard Hopkins’ father Jimmy Hopkins was supposed to have been a very sharp fighter who trained at the Yorkside Boy’s Club in North Philly. Bernard Hopkins had a rough start to his now legendary career. Bernard is heading into his sixth decade and still fighting because he has been smart and doesn’t take much at all in the way of punishment. His defensive skills are perhaps is greatest asset now. He changed his moniker from ‘The Executioner’ to ‘The Alien’ for a reason; and that is because his last KO victories came a decade ago against greats: Oscar De La Hoya and Tito Trinidad. While he did have a recent knockdown in the Beibut Shumenov fight Bernard has (from a financial standpoint) really nicely feathered his retirement nest in a manner that I wish other fighters could have done. I think he has taken care of himself and his body very well and I hope he has a wonderful retirement. I know Sergey Kovalev is a ferocious puncher, but like many Soviet fighters and also many European fighters he at times seems much less dimensional to a classic Philly fighter who usually will be dangerous with either hand (most often a left hook). Kovalev throws a monstrous straight right hand, but a straight right hand is about the toughest punch to land on a slick experienced fighter given that it travels such a long distance. I always pull for the Philly fighter and certainly will for Bernard on Saturday. Hopkins has really done great things, but maybe the greatest accomplishment ever was not ever going back to Graterford Prison. It is what made all the other accomplishments possible. Ultimately Bernard took control of things and got his house in order…he lost his pro debut but he didn’t give up. The silly American fantasy of being perfect and undefeated is not reality. Winston Churchill: ‘Failure isn’t fatal, and success isn’t permanent, it is the strength to keep going that means everything.’ So when you get disgusted that Adrien Broner is flushing twenty dollar bills down the toilet, think about Bernard Hopkins who simply just kept going against huge odds. He is a fighter from a different era. His is a storied career and it will be bolstered with a Saturday night victory, but a loss won’t diminish him much at all.”

Robert Mladinich: “Hopkins will annoyingly whine and complain loud and often about imagined fouls, but will still have enough to win a one-sided decision over the powerful but one-dimensional Kovalev. At his age, I hope he leaves that ridiculous alien mask at home or in the dressing room. He is to old and too well-respected for such childish gimmicks. Hopkins W 12.”

Ezra Salkin: “I’ve picked against Hopkins before and been wrong, most notably in the Pavlik fight, an amazing accomplishment at the time. But I’ve also been right. I thought Calzaghe would beat him. Dawson, too. Punchers and destroyers seem ready-made for the old man, while mobile boxers with high activity rates seem his bane. If you look at it that way, you can make a case for the old master to turn back the clock again. Conversely, no way does a 49-year-old Bhop beat Kovalev. The Krusher, by KO by the middle of the fight. Bernard is smart enough to stay down.”

Caryn A. Tate: “A lot has been said about Bernard Hopkins’ historic displays of ring IQ and boxing skills against younger, supposedly stronger fighters, so I won’t repeat that here. Statistically speaking, Hopkins should pull off another of his almost unbelievable (due to age alone) wins against the much less experienced Kovalev. Kovalev is a pretty good boxer and is effective at delivering his exceptional power to his target, showing better than average ability to cut off the ring. Most importantly, he’s displayed an under-acknowledged talent of reading and timing his opponent, clearly shown when he knocked out Sillakh last November. It’s largely this, not simply his power, that makes him a viable threat. So far, he’s also shown no signs of letting Hopkins intimidate him (the language barrier might play no small part in this). If the fight goes the distance I don’t see a way for Kovalev to win a decision in the good old USA, but I don’t think it’ll go the distance anyway. I’m going with Kovalev by TKO.

Peter Wood: “Hopkins-Kovalev is Louis-Marciano redux—except this time, the older man wins. I’ve never been overly impressed with Kovalev’s skills. Can he go full-tilt for the entire distance? Can he take a punch? Will he be able to catch Hopkins? Will he be forced to fight Hopkins’s fight? Will he fold under pressure? Hopkins has the tools, craftiness and guile to win. If Hopkins doesn’t win, he will see the handwriting on the wall (around round 6) and somehow manage to lose on a disqualification. But if it goes the distance, Hopkins will win on a split decision.”

Jarrett Zook: “Bernard Hopkins has had one hell of a run and he’s still one of the top fighters in the light heavyweight division. He’s recently beaten numerous top ten contenders and has continued to box himself out of harm’s way. Hopkins’s decision to fight Kovalev is admirable, but I feel that it may be his downfall. Kovalev is young, vicious, heavy-fisted, hungry, and aggressive—no matter the style of his opponent. Hopkins may have beaten some good fighters of late, but each one of them has had flaws that played to his strengths. For example, while Tavoris Cloud was undefeated when he faced The Alien, he showed that he was susceptible to being outboxed in his previous bout. Gabriel Campillo gave Cloud all he could handle and thus Hopkins knew that Tavoris would likely struggle against a master boxer such as himself. Kovalev, though never having faced a caliber of fighter in Hopkins league, has never had a problem with any style and has dispatched all comers with ease. The Krusher was even able to pound out Campillo in just three rounds. My brain tells me that Hopkins will suffer his first knockout loss in the late rounds. On the other hand, my heart says that Hopkins will squirrel his way to hear the final bell, only to see his opponent’s hand raised in victory. Therefore, I’m going to split the difference and predict that Hopkins will lose by unanimous decision and be knocked down at least once.”

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WCB: Hopkins vs. Kovalev Preview (HBO Boxing)

Bernard Hopkins vs Sergey Kovalev | GP Promo

Hopkins VS Kovalev Promo - Rumble Boxing Prod.

ALIEN vs KRUSHER - Hopkins vs Kovalev Promo

Bernard Hopkins vs. Sergey Kovalev | Promo


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  1. Sam Young 08:01pm, 11/09/2014

    A lot of the people posting comments about the fight between Sergey and Bernard Hopkins don’t really know anything about boxing. I actually saw at least 2 people predicting Bernard Hopkins stopping Sergey by Knockout. You must be drugs or just a plain idiot. When was the last time Bernard actually stopped a fighter, was it when he stopped Oscar Dela Hoya about 10 years ago. Some people just have opinions, and don’t know what they’re talking about. I made a statement that Bernard had 2 chances to win this fight - NONE and ABSOLUTELY NONE. I have to admit I felt Sergey would win by Knockout. He dominated every round though.

  2. Jethro Tull 05:05pm, 11/09/2014

    “I predict Bernard Hopkins stops Sergey Kovalev inside six rounds.”

    When did Hopkins last stop an opponent? What a stupid prediction.

    “And if Dempsey doppelganger, Max Schmeling, could put away Louis, can’t see any reason why the real Dempsey couldn’t. “

    I can. Louis was a green fighter with a flaw in his defence that Schmeling spotted and used to win. You conveniently gloss over the elementary fact that Louis won the rematch by first round massacre.

    Also, Jack Dempsey has a first round defeat on his record so why doesn’t that mean that Louis would beat him or are you just extremely good at imposing double standards?

  3. nicolas 03:00am, 11/09/2014

    RAXMAN: I didn’t want to be mean to Lowe, couldn’t even remember his name at the time. While I am sure John David is a better trainer, I say that because I feel some who are considered geniuses today may not be the geniuses that some say they are.

  4. raxman 07:43pm, 11/08/2014

    Nicholas - is John David Jackson a better at trainer than pavliks trainer - is he what!!! jack “double your jab” lowe is one of the worst trainers of a world champion ever. the only instruction you ever heard him give pavlik was to double his jab.

  5. Clarence George 07:23pm, 11/08/2014

    I at first read “rusty,” thinking you had something vintage, maybe with Betty Grable on there…not that there’d be anything wrong with that.  Or maybe something by Vargas.  Huge fan.

  6. Robert Ecksel 04:34pm, 11/08/2014

    Yes, Clarence. Without my trusty pin-up calender for reference, I can’t tell up from down, let alone in from out.

  7. Clarence George 03:49pm, 11/08/2014

    “Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.”—Tony Galento, er, Plautus.

    All right, perhaps that’d be excessive.  Still, I’m very pleased, Robert.  And your prediction for tonight is in tandem with mine and, of course, correct.

    By the way, you mean the week after next, right?

  8. GlennR 03:46pm, 11/08/2014

    Nice one Robert.

  9. Robert Ecksel 03:28pm, 11/08/2014

    Y’all twisted my arm. Going with Hopkins by decision in this one. Next week, when we run predictions on Pacquiao vs. Algieri, I’ll climb off my white steed and join the troops.

  10. GlennR 03:10pm, 11/08/2014

    Yes, i know raxman, call if gut feeling.
    Im thinking cuts will stop him

  11. Pete The Sneak 02:50pm, 11/08/2014

    Also agree with VC, Clarence and Co. there Mr. Fearless Editor. A quick prediction/thought about who you may think will win would not (in my humble opinion) be seen as specifically calling attention to yourself. Simply put, Just a boxing person giving his thoughts like all the other writers/posters here. Just so happens he created/owns the site, but hey, we won’t hold that against you…LOL…Peace.

  12. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 02:34pm, 11/08/2014

    Looking for a NC or a DQ here….or some other stupid shit from Bernard after he feels the pain and starts to contemplate his mortality….Kovalev giving way too much respect here….he needs to channel Robinson Castellanos right out of the gate and knock this 50 year old megalomaniac dead spark out and stop talking about how dangerous Hopkins is.

  13. Ezra 02:20pm, 11/08/2014

    I agree with Clarence, Robert. I’ve always wondered about how you see the fights going. You’re also a writer.

  14. VC 12:00pm, 11/08/2014

    We are going to see history tonigh, one way or another.

  15. Eric 10:53am, 11/08/2014

    If Jack jumped on Louis & Marciano out of the gate the way he did against Willard, he could very well stop either man. Marciano was somewhat of a slow starter and could be caught early ala Walcott & Moore. And if Dempsey doppelganger, Max Schmeling, could put away Louis, can’t see any reason why the real Dempsey couldn’t. However, Dempsey vs. Marciano or Louis could definitely go either way. Sonny Liston would definitely be a problem for Dempsey. I don’t know if you could have hurt a prime Liston with an ax. I can envision Dempsey having a shot at either Rocky or Louis, but a prime Liston, not so much.

  16. George Thomas Clark 10:30am, 11/08/2014

    Wills was far past his prime when he fought the Basque Woodchopper, Uzcudun, who put on a gymnastics exhibition after the fight.  He was a stud.  We’ll never know how Dempsey would’ve done around top black fighters, Jack made sure of that.  But I’ll take Jack Johnson over Dempsey.  Also Louis, Marciano, Liston, and most champions thereafter would be favored.  But that pushes us back to the acknowledgement that Dempsey and Marciano and Charles and Quarry and Patterson and Tunney would be cruiserweights today, and they’d be great in that division.

  17. Matt McGrain 10:16am, 11/08/2014

    I watched that one just the other day.
    Yes, there’s a real dearth of footage from Wills’ prime that makes it almost impossible, frankly, to pick him over Dempsey, although I do always say that Wills early success against Langford is enough to make me wonder.

  18. Clarence George 10:00am, 11/08/2014

    Completely hypothetical, Matt, of course.  I mean, who would pick Wills over Dempsey?  A rhetorical question.  But I didn’t want to make it 20 to 0, for that would have been too monolithic.  There should always be one guy who, right or wrong, stands against the crowd.  Henry Fonda in “Twelve Angry Men,” for example.

  19. Eric 09:34am, 11/08/2014

    I’ve only seen 2 clips of Wills fighting, his fights with Firpo and Paolino Uzcudun. Judging by those clips, Wills was in the wrong sport, he should have become a wrestler. They talk about modern heavyweights clinching excessively, seems Wills was always initiating a clinch. He was only 33 for the Firpo fight, while not young, he wasn’t decrepit either. Dempsey would have wrecked Wills. I’ve seen more skill exhibited in street fights than the display put on by Wills & Firpo. Looked like a couple of club fighters. Dempsey was too fast, too mean, too skilled, and too powerful for Wills.

  20. Matt McGrain 09:09am, 11/08/2014

    I think pissing contests are ok when you can actually measure the height at which one can piss…anyway, just a thought, would be fun I reckon plus I like to see guys put their mouths where their money is…so to speak?
    Clarence, who’s the 1?

  21. Clarence George 08:31am, 11/08/2014

    Robert didn’t invite suggestions, but I’ll make one recommendation that I trust won’t be perceived as either impertinent or anarchic, namely, that there be a summary—e.g., By a virtual shut out of 19 to 1, Boxing.com’s writers predict an easy win for Jack Dempsey over Harry Wills.

  22. Robert Ecksel 08:26am, 11/08/2014

    Matt—The reason I haven’t pitched in, in this context, is based on an attempt, no, make that a conscious effort, to make sure Boxing.com isn’t identified as Ecksel’s site. It’s not false modesty. It’s being confident enough to avoid calling attention to myself. With the bloated egos floating around this sport, I figured going against the grain is the way to go. It’s contrary to the norm, but my intent is to be graceful and generous. Insofar as turning the predictions into a competition, when the writers start competing against each other, instead of competing against their lower nature, it devolves, as we have witnessed, into little more than a pissing contest.

  23. Matt McGrain 07:43am, 11/08/2014

    Robert can pitch in or not, same as everyone else associated with the site, as I see it. As long as we’re discussing the format though, I find the alphabetical listing overly polite.  It should be a league, with the most accurate contributor listed first and the least, yes, listed last.  Introduce some meaning and some competition!

  24. nicolas 02:05am, 11/08/2014

    I have to go with Kovalev. First, on Hopkins. This man will be a shy short of 50. Something has to give, and of course a few years ago it gave against Dawson. to compare Kovalev to Pavlik we have to remember a few things. First Pavlik did have some issues, does Kovalev have these issues. I don’t think so. Second Pavlik was a middleweight, while Kovalev is a light heavyweight. Hopkins while amazingly beat Pavlik some over six years ago, this is six years later, and something is going to give. Also is John David Jackson a better trainer than the man Pavlik had, very possibly so. Logic tells you that Kovalev will win. Of course with Bernard, we have at times learned logic is not part of his equation.

  25. raxman 01:20am, 11/08/2014

    glennr - lets not get carried away there mate. bhop may well win but he hasn’t stopped anyone since Oscar and before that tito - neither of which really belonged at 160.

  26. GlennR 11:11pm, 11/07/2014

    I watched the Kovalev - Agnew fight the other day and i see flaws in Kovalev that im sure stick out as plain as day to Hopkins.
    Ill stick my neck out, Hopkins stops him late rounds

  27. raxman 09:57pm, 11/07/2014

    kovalev’s boxing skill shouldn’t be underestimated. he’s a smart fighter. its easy to get obsessed with Kovalev’s power and not realise that most often his power shots are set up with some very smart jabs, angle movement and brilliant timing

  28. Clarence George 08:52pm, 11/07/2014

    Since the topic has been broached, Robert…I absolutely think you should reconsider; never understood why you didn’t participate.  There, I said it.

  29. Robert Ecksel 08:24pm, 11/07/2014

    Mea culpa, Mathew and Artem. I’m not being evasive. And I’m not opinion-free. I wrote the intro, but the predictions are a platform for the writers, by design. However, if you lobby hard, and campaign contributions are always welcome, I’ll be forced to reconsider.

  30. Mathew 07:55pm, 11/07/2014

    Also…no Ecksel?

  31. Bob 07:38pm, 11/07/2014

    I thought Trinidad would beat Hopkins. What was I thinking?

  32. Mathew 07:38pm, 11/07/2014

    I can’t see this being a snooze-fest. We’ve got the crushin’ Russian, the Soviet express with one punch knockout power and the boxing equivalent of the ol’ master, the jailbird redeemer, who’ literally an old man, it’s better than a movie narrative. Actually if this was a movie plot, I wouldn’t believe it.
    Whatever happens, this fight it is going to be fun. Major kudos to Bernard for getting in the ring with a powerful fighter like Kovalev, at 49. Doubt any of us will see a spectacle of this paticular sought in boxing again. I’m excited man.

  33. bikermike 07:20pm, 11/07/2014

    Cupla guys here are much better informed than most fight fans….and I agree with them…...insofar as Hopkins ...has become
    a boring fighter…

    Time for some fresh talent..  Hopkins is not a poor man…nor has he been damaged ..he should reap the rewards of his toil…and retire with dignity

  34. bikermike 07:15pm, 11/07/2014

    ...what OLD YANK said !!

  35. Darrell 03:54pm, 11/07/2014

    Kovalev by smashing early KO!

  36. Koolz 02:20pm, 11/07/2014

    Kovalev by TKO

  37. Clarence George 01:43pm, 11/07/2014

    Interesting the number of predictions for Kovalev by decision.  But that implies that he’ll not only outwork, but outwit, Hopkins.  I don’t see it, though I disagree with those who call Kovalev limited or one-dimensional.  What it’s likely to come down to, I think, is a win for Hopkins by close decision (which is what I anticipate) or a win for Kovalev by stoppage.

  38. Artem 01:43pm, 11/07/2014


  39. artem 01:39pm, 11/07/2014

    Why ECKLES silent???? =)))

  40. Old Yank 12:28pm, 11/07/2014

    If Hopkins is an Alien, then Roy Jones, Jr. must have been the master of the universe. We forget how impossible it was to touch the amazing Jones when he was in his prime. Reset. He was in his prime when Tarver was perhaps the only non-believer in the universe.

    In the universe occupied solely by The Alien’s mind, a Tarver/Jones moment is impossible.

    But Hopkins is not in his prime – no reset needed. And he’s not the master of Kovalev’s mind any mote than Jones was the master of Tarver’s.  And Kovalev is not the only non-believer in the universe. Kovalev and Tarver have something’s in common – beyond being non-believers, they both approach/ed their bouts with the aliens of their day with utter, and shear destruction on their minds – wills of materials unaffected by Kryptonite. Neither Tarver nor Kovalev were/are slicksters – both having speed and mobility deficits compared to their “unbeatable” opponents.

    The proviso: However, Jones heard the sound of his bell getting rung for the first time against Tarver. This time Mr. Alien, the bell tolls for thee.

    Kovalev via stoppage – stoppage of any and all possible varieties including another shoulder “injury” for the Alien.

  41. Leigh 12:09pm, 11/07/2014

    I’m not too worried about kovalev going in to the later rounds Hopkins will not be making kovalev work hard and i can’t see kovalev getting frustrated I think kovalev will surprise us with another level in his game ,having a trainer in his corner that has been in with Bhop will do no harm albeit he lost to him but it’s the small things that will count on fight night, I’m going for the krusher by ud and ol popkins to cry a rip off and come out with the old “everybody knows I beat him and he knows I beat him” scenario. Even with all his power I just can’t see kovalev knocking Hopkins out ,one of the best punchers in the business against one of the best chins in the business ,but will it be a good fight ? I very much doubt it.

  42. Eric 12:00pm, 11/07/2014

    Wasn’t that long ago when 31 was considered a little on the “old” side for a fighter. I remember when people were talking about a 32 year old Ali being too old to take on Foreman, and how a 32 year old Duran turned back the clock beating Davey Moore. A 49 year old top contender, much less a champion, was a fantasy akin to purchasing a winning lotto ticket. Remember Ali shouting, don’t bet against him until he turns 50, after he upset Foreman. We actually have a shot at having a 50 year old world champion if Hopkins can pull it off. Unbelievable.

  43. beaujack 11:24am, 11/07/2014

    I’ll go out on a limb. Kovalev is one of the most heavy handed light heavyweights I’ve seen and will make Bernard Hopkins look his age and stop Methuselah in the 6-8 round…And to compare Kelly Pavlik with Kovalev as fighters is silly. Sergey is bigger, stronger, and can hurt you with a jab to the body…

  44. Clarence George 11:09am, 11/07/2014

    What the French call coup de vieux, eh?  Possible, yes, but Hopkins isn’t a fool, at least not when it comes to boxing.  He took this fight knowing full well what he’d have to do to win, and I’m confident he’ll do just that.

  45. George Thomas Clark 11:02am, 11/07/2014

    We should remember - and perhaps some above have - that Hopkins has fought much better boxers than Kovalev.  But I’m not betting against Hopkins because Kovalev hasn’t fought great fighters.  I’m taking Kovalev because Hopkins must surely age soon, and when boxers get old they often do so instantly.  In another sport, even Michael Jordan lost his crown.

  46. Clarence George 11:02am, 11/07/2014

    The only prediction that surprises me is Hopkins by stoppage.  Nothing’s impossible, especially in boxing, but I think that’s a most unlikely outcome.

  47. Pete The Sneak 10:55am, 11/07/2014

    Fighters like Kovalev, who possess the equalizer (serious punching power) can certainly end their fights quickly once they connect. However, what will happen if by the 6th, 7th, 8th rounds and up, Krusher has still not been able to get B-Hop solidly? Will frustration begin to set in and make Kovalev do things he normally wouldn’t do? Kovalev has never been past 8 Rounds (I think) and believe me, those are the waters in which Bernard wants to take him in. Bernard has trained to hold, grip, clutch and grapple, with sneaky flurries and wide punches when they are in the clinches. He will not give Krusher the necessary space and opportunity to set himself to throw his power punches. B-Hop is one of the best fighters to slip punches this side of FMJ and that’s where I believe Hopkins will have the advantage. So unless the equalizer lands for Kovalev, he will be outworked and outhinked by the Exe-clutchinor/Alien and lose a boring decision to the Old man…Peace.

  48. Pete The Sneak 10:41am, 11/07/2014

    OK…Every time I’ve picked against Hopkins, he’s made me (and many others look bad)...So this time, I’m pulling the Ol’ George Costanza (Seinfeld) routine of doing everything the exact opposite of what I have been doing for things to work out. So I’m picking B-Hop by a boring, snoozefest decision over frustrated Krusher. There, that should fix his (B-Hops’s) Wagon…War (opposite of Peace).

  49. Eric 10:12am, 11/07/2014

    Krusher by UD. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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