It took a little longer than normal, but Sergey Kovalev eventually got his man.
Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KO) retained his WBO Light Heavyweight Championship on Saturday night, stopping a defensive-minded Cedric Agnew with a left jab to the body in Atlantic City.
The Russian champion was the first man to go down in the fight, tasting the canvas in Round 1 after a particularly vicious low blow from the challenger. He was also cut over both eyes, both apparently the result of fouls, but persevered to break his man down and get the stoppage.
Agnew (26-1, 13 KO), who was also dropped in Rounds 2 and 6, came into the fight, seemingly, without a plan to win. He was totally committed to defense and survival from the opening bell and never mounted a significant offensive attack.
In the ring with Max Kellerman after the fight, Kovalev was very candid about his feelings about the controversy that has been surrounding him and fellow light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.
The two were widely believed to be heading toward a championship showdown later this year, but earlier in the week, Stevenson made news when he jumped to Showtime.
Kovalev clearly wasn’t happy.
“I don’t want to speak about Adonis Stevenson. Adonis Stevenson piece of s— for me. Sorry for my English,” Kovalev told Kellerman.
In the co-featured bout of the evening, Thomas Dulorme scored a unanimous-decision victory over Karim Mayfield in a junior welterweight contest.
Scores were 98-92, 97-94 and 96-94 for Dulorme.
Bleacher Report scored the contest 97-93 for Dulorme.
The fight was devoid of any real action. Mayfield (18-1-1, 11 KO) seemed content to sit on the outside in most of the rounds, and on the rare occasions that he did close the distance, Dulorme (21-1, 14 KO) tied him up.
But the Puerto Rican fighter did enough—literally just—to win an overall lackluster affair.