MOSCOW, December 1 (R-Sport) - Sergey Kovalev retained his WBO light heavyweight title in devastating fashion on Sunday, knocking out Ukrainian challenger Ismayl Sillakh less than a minute into round two in Quebec City.
After a cagey opening round the 30-year-old Russian landed a hard right hand to send Sillakh to the canvas, and finished off his bloodied opponent with the same punch after the Ukrainian took a standing eight count.
"This is the result of my hard work in the gym," said Florida-based Kovalev. "It was automatic. I wanted this fight for a very long time," added Kovalev, who takes his unbeaten record to 23 wins, 21 KOs and 1 draw. It was a second career defeat for Sillakh, who goes to 21-2.
The Chelyabinsk native, who lived up to his alias of "Krusher," said he was angling for a shot at U.S. fighter Adonis "Superman" Stevenson next, although he added: "I'm ready for any champion in my division."
That matchup came a step closer to reality after the Kovalev-Sillakh bout, when Stevenson floored mandatory challenger Tony Bellew in the sixth round to defend his WBC light heavyweight title.
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The British experience can be instructive for Russia. London retains its British Commonwealth if it wants to use this as a foundation for integration in the future. That’s a valuable lesson for Russian experts who are calling for an end to “ineffective” associations like the CIS, the Russian World and others.