It’s an age-old reality in boxing. If one man’s punches are concussive and his opponent’s shots are merely dissuasive—concussive usually wins.
Such was the case Saturday night in Atlantic City, when Russian slugger Sergey Kovalev made it 12 consecutive victories via stoppage with a methodical seventh-round rubout of previously unbeaten challenger Cedric Agnew in defense No. 2 of his WBO light heavyweight championship.
The defeat of the anonymous and largely untested American was hardly unexpected, but its sheer destructive spectacle was nonetheless enough to get a rise from the few thousand on hand at Boardwalk Hall.
“This was very good for me,” Kovalev told HBO’s Max Kellerman after the fight.
And with Agnew now authoritatively in the rearview mirror, the focus shifts to what fighters within arm’s reach of the Russian’s turf at 175 pounds would make the most sense as an opponent for the next go-round. We’ve put our list of five together here and invite feedback in the comments section.