One of the world’s best pound-for-pound boxers added another win to his undefeated record on Monday afternoon. Sergey Kovalev defeated Isaac Chilemba in Russia by unanimous decision to retain his light heavyweight titles.
In what was considered a “tune-up” fight, Kovalev was challenged on his way to his 30th career victory. The judges scored the bout 118-109, 117-110, 116-111 in favor of the champ.
Chilemba becomes just the fifth of Kovalev’s 31 opponents to avoid losing by an early stoppage. He was a heavy underdog heading into the fight, but with a 24-4-2 career record, he’s still never been knocked out. Chilemba survived a knockdown in the seventh-round to go the distance.
Kovalev will have to put on a better performance in his next fight if he hopes to remain the champion. He’s scheduled to face Andre Ward, arguably the world’s best active boxer when he’s at the top of his game, on Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.