THE lasting memory of the weekend’s action is Sergey Kovalev standing in a neutral corner, urging Nadjib Mohammedi to haul himself up from the canvas to face further punishment. Such is the fearsome energy Kovalev can bring to a fight. Mohammedi did manage to rise, though he couldn’t last much longer. Kovalev smashed him out of contention in three rounds.

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It leaves the big question: Who should Sergey Kovalev fight next? There is an obvious answer. It should be Adonis Stevenson, who holds the only world light-heavyweight title currently not in Kovalev’s possession.

But if that fight was going to happen, it should have happened by now. Stevenson is represented by a rival promoter, nor does he share a television network with Kovalev. The next best fight for “Krusher” is against countryman Artur Beterbiev. That match up might face the same problems as Kovalev-Stevenson. Beterbiev is only 9-0 (9) as a pro, it might be too soon for him to go in with Kovalev. Reportedly an offer will be made for Kovalev-Beterbiev to take place in Russia. I for one quite like Beterbiev’s chances. He was the better amateur and has looked devastating so far as a professional. That’s a Russian mega-fight. Here’s hoping it can happen.

ON the domestic scene Nick Blackwell defended the British middleweight title a mere two months after winning the belt against John Ryder. Blackwell is making a habit of doing things the hard way. With little experience he went in with Martin Murray and Billy Joe Saunders but those defeats don’t appear to have done him much harm. He deserves credit for taking an ambitious young challenger in Damon Jones. The latter may have been able to outbox him but Blackwell was too tough and too relentless, breaking through to deliver an impressive finish. Blackwell may only have eight stoppages on his record, but two have come in his last two fights, both of which were British title fights. With the influence of new trainer Gary Lockett shaping him, Blackwell is a dangerman at middleweight. Who wouldn’t want to see him in with Chris Eubank Jnr?

MITCHELL SMITH made a statement at Wembley arena on Friday night, knocking out Dennis Tubieron in just one round. Tubieron had gone 12 with Josh Warrington earlier this year.

CUBA’S Yunieski Gonzalez was adamant a win was stolen from him when judges awarded a points victory to Jean Pascal on the Kovalev undercard. It was, first and foremost, a great fight to watch. Gonzalez attacked in greater volume but as the rounds progressed Pascal became more elusive and picked out single, cracking shots and frustrated the Cuban with clinching and holding. A rematch is the solution to this particular dilemma.

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Photo: Naoki Fukuda