There are just six days and counting until the next hotly anticipated FIGHT NIGHT boxing show on NBC Sports Network. On Saturday, January 19th, an explosive double header of important 10-rounders goes down at the Mohegan Sun Casino. Both fights will be nationally televised beginning 9PM ET.
In the volatile main event, former world champion Gabriel Campillo, 21-4-1, 7 KOs, and hard-hitting Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, 18-0-1, 15 KOs, clash in a classic boxer-puncher contest that will narrow the field of light heavyweight hopefuls.
Southpaw Campillo has every slick move in the book. He’s a skilled counter puncher who is harder to catch than a fly. On paper, he has all the experience and savvy needed to out box Kovalev. He also will enjoy advantages in height and reach. But at 34 years of age, he’d better not miss a beat in the ring, because Kovalev has the punch to make him pay.
So far “Krusher” Kovalev has knocked out all but three of his foes, and against Campillo, he’ll be looking to keep his KO percentage on track. The Russian can crack with either hand, and has 10 rounds to chase the smooth boxing Spaniard. Campillo had to climb off the floor twice in his last bout. If Kovalev gets a similar opportunity, it could be “lights out” for Campillo.
If styles truly make fights, then Campillo-Kovalev has a chance of being a classic.
The 10-round co-feature is a grudge fight between a pair of hungry middleweights. Elvin Ayala, 26-5-1, 12 KOs, has fought the best all over the world, including a 12th round knock out loss in Germany in 2008 to former IBF middleweight champion and current WBO super middleweight champion Arthur Abraham. In this fight, he’ll have the home-field advantage against Curtis “Showtime” Stevens, 22-3, 16 KOs. However, the comments Ayala made earlier in the week set a fire under his younger foe. Stevens bristled at the idea that Ayala thought he was “no Arthur Abraham”, and intends to make Ayala pay.
Ayala has looked strong in recent bouts, but Stevens seems intent on finally making a name for himself. A nationally televised KO is exactly what he’s aiming for, but Ayala is seeking one more path to the top of the division. Stevens is a hurdle he must clear if he’s ever going to do it.
Ayala and Stevens have traded trash talk. Next Saturday they will trade punches and we’ll see which fighter moves forward and which one steps back.
On this busy night of TV boxing, the two potential KOs on this FIGHT NIGHT Season Two opener should ensure that this double header is over before the other programs even start.