Isaac Chilemba is poised to take the Sergey Kovalev Krusher test this Monday, July 11th, far and away buried deep in the exotic locale of DIVS, Ekaterinburg, Mother Russia in the wee, wee, early morning Western hours. Why such a distant place and why on a Monday you ask?
Beats me other than to note this is a Kovalev homecoming of sorts staged in a much different culture than the standard American boxing culture, so maybe Monday is hot stuff there. At any rate, Chilemba, 24-3-2, 10 KO, is a classic light swatting, rangy, spoiler/boxer type with a Ring rating and tougher than his record might appear since he has yet to be knocked out. He was born into the impoverished Malawi region of Africa, turned pro in South Africa, and embarked on a world wide quest as the true definition of the ultimate International road warrior. He was served a steep learning curve in the early going, yet his last two losses were close decisions against top fighters, so he knows his way around the ring pretty well these days.
Such attributes are perfect for giving Kovalev, 29-0-1, 26 KO, a preview of the touted yet somewhat tainted light swatter swatting boxer Andre Ward, 29-0, 15 KO, projected to be his next bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Vegas. Chilemba is expected to provide competitive rounds and is good enough to cause an upset if Krusher has an off night even if the odds makers have made him a 100-1 underdog. In turn, The Ward of the State of California will be fighting a near 40 year old supermiddle, Alexander Brand, in Oakland of course, always Oakland as befits this Son of Gob. Not exactly the sort of prep to prepare for a beast like Kovalev, but perfect for the new lite in his loafers era he has entered into the past few years, basically acquiring an Imelda Marcos quality shoe collector fetish supported by a dreary series of TBA short notice fights.
Oh, my, be still our beating hearts.
It’s a shame that myself and others are actually looking forward to the Chilemba fight while cringing at the thought of the sheer ugliness that constitutes most every Ward fight. If the poor wunderkind wonders why he doesn’t have any fans outside of Oakland and can’t make any big money, it’s because the wonder of the last US 2004 Olympic boxing gold medalist has got a tarnish to him these days that can’t be wiped away with his present faint hearted efforts.
Ekateringburg also notably happens to be the site where in 2011 Kovalev brutalized a highly regarded Russian prospect, Roman Simakov, knocking him out in the 7th round. Unfortunately Simakov never recovered and passed 3 days later, requiring Kovalev to take time off from boxing when he was charged with the death and sued by the fighter’s family. We cannot know how that affects this fight to go back to that night. Reportedly the lawsuit and maybe even the charges are still pending.
Issac Chilemba first though. Taking care of necessary business at hand first always works, so lets see who’s got it on the night.