Kovalev, the WBO Light Heavyweight champion, will be back in the ring on August 2nd as he attempts to record the 3rd defence of his title inside a year and continue his long run of T/KO's that bates back 8 fights and almost 3 years. In fact if we ignore the technical draw Kovalev suffered against Grover Young the Russian Krusher has stopped his last 12 opponents with only 2 men lasting more than 4 completed rounds.
Kovalev will be looking to extend those runs by getting rid of little known Australian challenger Blake Caparello (19-0-1, 6), a man known by the ominous moniker of "Il Capo", or for those who don't speak Italian "The Boss". Unfortunately for Kovalev this isn't a fight he'd have wanted considering some of the other big names in the division but on the other hand it's a fight he shouldn't struggle to look good in.
If you've not yet seen Kovalev then you've been missing out on one of the sports most interesting fighters. He's the very definition of heavy handed and what he hits he hurts even if it doesn't look like he's putting much effort into his shots. His jabs are like ramrods and can dismantle opponents, his power shots are like thunder and most worryingly is the fact that he combines that power with a very impressive work rate and criminally under-rated skills and movement. To the amazement of many Kovalev is far from just a power puncher.
Whilst those who haven't seen Kovalev have been missing out, big time, we can understand fans having not seen a lot of Caparello. He is a capable fighter but he has, for much of his career, been a local star in Australia rather than a fighter who has gone about marketing himself internationally. From his 20 fights so far only one, his most recent against Elvir Muriqi, was outside of his homeland and even that bout didn't prove much about Caparello when you consider Muriqi was 7 years removed from being a "contender".
From his fights in Australia Caparello has proven himself to be fairly decent, though sadly his best win is likely his decision over Allan Green who was, like Muriqi, on the back end of his career. Technically he's a capable boxer with good movement and speed but a lack of power and with his limited opposition so far it's hard to tell how he will react when he's sharing the ring with a monster like Kovalev.
What we imagine will happen is that Caparello will look confident, until the two men are in the ring together and Kovalev is staring into the eyes of the Australian who think will realise the severity of the fight. From then on it will be a case of Caparello doing his best to just survive against the very heavy handed Kovalev who is genuinely no nonsense in the ring.
We've seen Caparello in trouble in the past and we expect that trouble to be amplified and we'd be very shocked to see the Australian lasting more than 4 rounds with Kovalev who is sure to call out one of the divisions biggest names following this win.
(Image courtesy of Main Events)