Photos: RCC Boxing Promotions, Pavel Tabarchuk
WBO world light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) scored a hard fought eleventh round KO over previously unbeaten mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde (18-1, 17 KOs) on Saturday night at the Traktor Sport Palace in Chelyabinsk, Russia. The first four rounds were close. Kovalev clearly won rounds five and six. Yarde came on strong and had Kovalev in trouble from body shots in rounds seven and eight. Kovalev took so much punishment in round eight that trainer Buddy McGirt threatened to stop the fight.
The 36-year-old Kovalev responded and proceeded to dominate Yarde in round nine, as the heavily muscled challenger seemed to have left it all in the ring the previous round. Finally, in round eleven Kovalev knocked out the completely gassed Yarde with a hard jab! Time was 2:04.
Is a big money fight against Canelo Alvarez next up for the Krusher?