Welcome to Fightful's live coverage of Sergey Kovalev vs. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy for the Vacant WBO Light Heavyweight Title. After Andre Ward retired earlier this year, all three of his major world titles became vacant and one of those belts, the WBO title, is up for grabs. After two straight losses to Ward, Kovalev is back on the hunt to prove he's the best light heavyweight boxer in the world today. We'll be bringing you live results of the entire card, which includes quick results of the undercard and full, round-by-round coverage of the main event.
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Here is the televised main card (HBO 10 p.m. ET):
- Sergey Kovalev defeated Vyacheslav Shabranskyy via TKO, round 2, 2:36 to win the vacant WBO Light Heavyweight Title
- Sullivan Barrera defeats Felix Valera via unanimous decision (98-88, 97-90, 97-89): Light Heavyweight Bout
- Yuriorkis Gamboa defeated Jason Sosa via majority decision (94-94, 95-93, 96-92): Junior Lightweight Bout
Here is the preliminary card:
- Bakharm Murtazaliev defeated Carlos Galvan via TKO, round 5: Junior Middleweight Bout
- Frank Galarza defeated Jaime Herrera via unanimous decision (78-74, 80-72, 79-73): Junior Middleweight Bout
- LeShawn Rodriguez defeated Alex Sandro Duarte via KO, round 3, 1:48: Middleweight Bout
- Meiirm Nursultanov defeated Eric Moon via TKO, round 2, 1:54: Middleweight Bout
- Enriko Gogokhia defeated Jose Antonio Abreu via unanimous decision (60-53, 59-54, 59-54): Welterweight Bout
- Ismael Villarreal defeated Race Sawyer via unanimous decision (40-36, 40-36, 40-35): Junior Middleweight Bout
Jason Sosa vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa: Junior Lightweight Bout
Gamboa stepped up to fight Sosa after Robinson Castellanos suffered an injury about three weeks ago. Gamboa and Sosa landed several hard shots throughout the fight, but at times they were few and far between rounds. The crowd was completely out of it and barely reacted to any of the in-ring action. Gamboa kept slipping throughout the fight and holding Sosa, drawing the ire of referee Ron Lipton all fight long. Sosa scored a knockdown in the seventh round and appeared to dominate from that point forward.
Lipton took a point away from Gamboa in the final round for constant holding, but it proved to be a moot point as Gamboa got the win via majority decision. Very bad scoring by the judges due to the fact that Gamboa got knocked down and had a point taken away from him in a fight that Sosa appeared to have the slight collective edge.
Official result: Yuriorkis Gamboa defeated Jason Sosa via majority decision (94-94, 95-93, 96-92)
Sullivan Barrera vs. Felix Valera: Light Heavyweight Bout
The fight peaked in the first round when Barrera ate a quick left hook by Valera and got knocked down. Barrera got revenge at the end of the first round by knocking down Valera. Much like the Sosa vs. Gamboa fight was marred with holding, Valera muddied the fight by hitting constant low blows to Barrera. Three separate times was a point deducted from Valera and Barrera returned the favor with a low blow late in the fight at the cost of a point.
The fight was more exciting than the first one, but it wasn't without its problems. Valera fought on HBO for the first time in his career and showed just enough fight and heart to book himself into another television fight sometime in the future. Barrera had a shot at fighting Kovalev in the main event, but Barrera didn't like the money offered to him. This was before the announcement of the vacant WBO title being on the line and Barrera then said, had that announcement come during negotiations, we would have had a different main event.
Official result: Sullivan Barrera defeats Felix Valera via unanimous decision (98-88, 97-90, 97-89)
Sergey Kovalev vs. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy: Vacant WBO Light Heavyweight Title Bout
Round 1: The fight begins with Kovalev fighting like “The Krusher” and lands a hard right jab. Shabranskyy throws a couple of jabs and both men appear to have some red on their faces. Kovalev gets rocked by a jab but then knocks down Shabranskyy with a right hand. Kovalev continues to attack and then lands another right hand and then a flurry of shots knocks down Shabranskyy a second time.
Fightful scored round 1 for Kovalev 10-7
Round 2: Shabranskyy attacks the body, but Kovalev continues to land hard right hand punches to the younger Russian. Kovalev continues to attack and there’s another knockdown. Third time he’s down. The referee has seen enough and calls the fight. Kovalev is the light heavyweight world champion again.
Official result: Sergey Kovalev defeated Vyacheslav Shabranskyy via TKO, round 2, 2:36 to win the vacant WBO Light Heavyweight Title