The CBZ Newswire

Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev Easily Dispatches Nadjib Mohammedi

by on Jul.27, 2015, under Boxing News

Written by Christopher Morgan from ringside

Photos by Rafael Calvo


Kovalev, at right, stalks Muhammedi.

Kovalev, at right, stalks Muhammedi.

LAS VEGAS, NV, July, 25, 2015 — Sergey Kovalev did what was expected of him in outclassing and annihilating mandatory challenger Nadjib Mohammedi in 3 mostly one sided rounds. The only argument among media and fans it seemed was how many rounds Nadjib would survive, with the majority response being “about 8 rounds”. Now it is your turn to find out how it all went down at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Main event is beginning as the lights dim and the light heavyweight challenger begins his ring walk. Nadjib Mohammedi of Marseille, France ( 37-3, 23 Kos) is wearing a classy Vegas themed hat and walking confidently to the ring when the lights suddenly brighten to trigger the imminent arrival of light heavyweight champion “the Krusher” Sergey Kovalev of Kopeysk, Russia (27-0-1, 24 Kos). The ring entrance music drowns everything out. It’s interesting Russian rock, uncharacteristic of what one would normally hear in a boxing ring. Kovalev is looking very serious, knocking his gloves together during Buffers customary “Let’s get ready to ruuuumbllle!”

Mohammedi has an intense look in the eyes during the stare down.  Lets see if his style can match.

Round 1: Mohammedi comes out bouncing with a very tight Euro style. A tiny contingency — and I mean 5 people in the arena — are yelling for Nadjib. Kovalev is walking his man down with white Reyes gloves ready to explode at any moment. A hard jab from Kovalev at the 2 minute mark, followed by a right hand on the hip that lands flush visibly changes Nadjibs expression. In the final 30 seconds, Nadjib lands some great sneaky left hooks flush on Kovalev’s melon and gets away in time to avoid the counters. That is until he is nailed with a left hook from Kovalev at the bell.  However, he appears to take the punch well.

Round 2: Standing between rounds while receiving instructions from his cornerman Abel Sanchez, Nadjib runs out at the bell with a confident posture and throws a right that misses. He feather dusts Kovalev with some jabs — 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in a row — before Kovalev rakes him with a left hook. In a strange sequence Nadjib catches Kovalev in an exchange along the ropes, with Kovalev getting caught between the ropes and then knocked down with a dirty punch to the back of his head. The referee rules it a slip and out comes an angry Kovalev ready to do damage.  He catches Nadjib with a lead right that forces him back.  Smelling blood, Kovalev floors Nadjib with a hook on the chin that doesn’t look like a hard shot from ringside, but I’m fairly certain it hurt. With well over a minute left in the round it appears that Nadjibs time in the limelight is quickly evaporating until he proceeds to wrestle and hold onto Kovalev. He falls to the floor twice to buy some much needed time to survive the round.

Round 3 : Nadjib is still in there, refusing to quit, Kovalev is largely inactive for the first two minutes of the round mostly chasing his man down. The crowd starts chanting “Kovalev, Kovalev!” The round is pretty uneventful.  Then, out of the blue, Kovalev connects with a hard left jab-turned-into-a-hook, then follows with a pushing right hand on the nose that drops Nadjib in a heap. Nadjib stays on the canvas, holding his nose in agony, and clearly quits.  He makes an effort to rise at 10 before being counted out at the 2:38 mark of the round.

In the post fight interview, Sergey Kovalev claimed that he carried Nadjib Mohammedi for as long as he could, as he wanted to “punish him and his trainer” for comments that they had made in the lead-up to the fight. Mohammedi was unavailable for comment ,as he was sent to the hospital with a badly broken nose.

Sergey did what he was supposed to do in fulfilling a mandatory defense against an underserving challenger who appeared to be a lot better on paper.  So, where does he go from here? Well, Kathy Duva of Main Events, Kovalev’s promoter, claimed that he will return in November in Moscow and that they are looking at undefeated light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev. Artur claims two wins over Kovalev in the amateurs and is a huge knockout puncher in his own right, however at a mere 9-0, 9 KOs, one wonders if Beterbiev isn’t a little green as a professional for the likes of Kovalev.  Either way, it  should make for a firecracker of a bout anyhow.



Gonzalez, at left, pressures Pascal.

Gonzalez, at left, pressures Pascal.

The co-main event featured a 10 round barn burner between former light heavyweight champ Jean Pascal (29-3-1, 17 Kos) of Montreal, Canada and undefeated Cuban, Yuniesky Gonzalez (16-0, 12 Kos)

Round 1 – As the bell rings to start the action, it is instantly apparent that Yuniesky is much bigger than Jean Pascal.  In fact, it looks like a heavyweight against a middleweight. Yuniesky bulls into Pascal; a thumping right hand over the top stuns Pascal a little, and bounces two punches to the back of his head as he is hunched over.  However, Pascal manages to stay on his feet. Yuni walking in throwing hard purposeful shots.  Pascal is on the ropes taking the worse of it before lashing out with a hard left hook flush on the chin.  Yuni counters Pascal quickly and viciously after Pascal throws a lazy right hand. Pascal is largely ineffective in the first with all of his punches thrown from from a little too far away.  The height of Yuni is a problem for now.

Round 2 – Pascal backing to ropes with hands down tries to counter a right with an uppercut and gets crunched on the chin with a counter right. Pascal tries and lands a 1-2 with no effect.  They trade for an extended 30 second period and woah! Both men rocked during the exchange.  Both men come out of it breathing heavily.  Pascal looks like he figured something out in there, staying out of Yunis range for the rest of the round and landing some flush, sneaky hooks. It feels like Pascal has found he can take Yuni’s heavy shots without getting rocked too badly.

Round 3 – Pascal moves quickly out of his corner at the round’s start and lands a hard left hook to the body disguised with a right upstairs. Pascal is using more movement, not staying on the ropes as much, lands one to two punches and then gets out.  Pascal telegraphs a left hook, catches a perfectly timed right hand on the beak and is wobbled.  He stops throwing for a quick 10 second spell. Then he throws three hard shots to the body (all landing) and  a left upstairs in the last 10 seconds.  Yuniesky throws his standard awkward downward sloping right cross that whiffs at the bell.

4th round – Hands up to start the 4th, a jab lands for Yuni.  Pascal blocks and lands one of his own.  A harder body shot from Yuni lands on Pascals lowered glove, but a sneaky right from Pascal lands, followed by another.  Pascal puts on a defensive head bobbing clinic, then blasts Yuni with yet another right hand. Pascal trips Yuni with a sneaky lower leg kick. that gets past the attention of the referee! Pascal rocks Yuni with a lead right, gets into a tense exchange in the last 10 seconds.  Pascal takes a heavy shot but walks through it and lands a harder hook of his own.

5th round – Lead hook to the body from Pascal, uppercut left hook lands for Pascal. Yuni, plodding now with his hands down, throws a horribly telegraphed right hand. Pascal, hands completely down at his sides, eats a jab. Yuni is throwing hard shots behind Pascals head in clinches.  Pascal answers with some really clean leather in the last 10 seconds.  They’re  flush leads that Yuni never sees coming. Pascal walks into his own corner in the last 5 seconds, a full ring away from Yuni.

6th Round – Pascal is landing at will in there, pot shotting, Yuni can’t see them em coming and can’t answer in time. Pascal sneaks in a little karate chop in a clinch.  Has this guy been training in MMA?? Pascal wobbles Yuni for the first time, then follows with  a punishing right.   Yuni steps it up and tries to end things in the end of the round, landing some hard hooks but misses a lot, opening him up wide for hard Pascal counters that send the sweat flying,

7th round – A bit of a slower round for the first 2 minutes of the 7th round with more clinches than the previous 6 rounds combined, Pascal continues to work in the clinches while Yuni takes rests. Both men take the round off a little.

In the last 3 rounds after all of the momentum seemed to be going Pascals way he seems to slow down to a complete halt, while Yuni continues with his workmanlike performance. Pascal is inactive to the point of quitting at this point although his movement and defensive ability are such that he avoids most, but not all of Yuni’s offensive output, catching some massive head shots from time to time.


The bout goes the full distance, and to the surprise of most observers at ringside, they think Yuni was robbed when the 3 identical scores of 96-94 are all announced in favor of Jean Pascal. Yuni himself can be seen laughing as the decision is announced. Myself, I could see the bout at worst scored a draw. I scored it 96-95. Pascal lost the 1st, clearly won 2-7, then dropped the last 3 on inactivity.


Non-Televised Undercard

Undefeated Cuban power puncher Sullivan Barrera (18-0, 14 Kos) scored an entertaining 8th round TKO victory over the outclassed but gutsy, all heart warrior, Hakim Zoulikha (21-7, 10 Kos) of Villeurbanne, France.

The heavy favorite, Sullivan looked to be on his way to an easy KO win in the first two rounds, landing heavy hooks to the head and body of the mostly inactive Hakim. Starting in the 3rd and continuing for much of the bout, Hakim began taking Sullivans punches better and could not miss with his wild haymaker left hook, landing it over and over and having Sullivan badly hurt on several occasions. The end came in the 8th when an exhausted Hakim got caught with a huge left hook that sent him staggering back in a delayed reaction, falling down on the canvas. He bravely rose, but the referee wisely called a halt when Hakim took another left hook on his defenseless chin.

Hakim and Barrera both put on a great show for the fans.


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