RingTV.com has a live round-by-round updates of tonight's HBO-televised light heavyweight bout during which WBO beltholder Sergey Kovalev scored three knockdowns on the way to a seventh-round knockout of Cedric Agnew at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Referee Samuel Viruet counted out Agnew, who went down from a long left jab-hook to the body, at 0:58 of the final round.
Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 knockouts), who turns 31 on April 2, was last in the ring for November's second-round knockout of Ismayl Sillakh, while Agnew (26-1, 13 KOs) will ended be a nearly one-year ring absence after last April's unanimous decision over Yusaf Mack.
Before facing Mack, Agnew earned December's six-round unanimous decision over Alfredo Contreras. Contreras is, in fact, one of 14 fighters on Agnew's resume whose records were below .500 when they fought him.
Kovalev and Agnew weighed in a 174.3 and 174.4, respectively. Koavalev and Agnew rehydrated to 183 and 187. Agnew's initial weight was 175.8 when he first stepped onto the scale, but the unbeaten 27-year-old successfully lost the poundage after being given 45 minutes to do so.
Kovalev is 12-0-1 with 12 knockouts over the course of his past 13 fights.
The HBO broadcast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT
Kovalev vs. Agnew
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Referee: Samuel Viruet
Judges: Julie Lederman, John Stewart, Alan Rubenstein
Both fighters are in the ring. Former Evander Holyfield trainer Don Turner is among those in Kovalev's corner.
Kovalev appears to be loose and confident, throwing punches in his corner; Agnew appears nervous. Could be wrong, though.
KOVALEV WINS BY SEVENTH-ROUND KNOCKOUT!!!!
Round 1: Fighters at ring-center. Agnew circling, Kovalev stalking. Agnew's hands held high. Agnew misses with a right and a left and lands a left. Kovalev gets hit with a three-punch combination and a left cross and a right jab. Agnew fighting out of southpaw stance. Agnew standing his ground. Nice right hook form Agnew. Kid is showing well. Another right by Agnew and a left. Kovale down from a LOW BLOW. He growns. It hurt, but he is on his feet. Referee Sammy Viruet gives Agnew a stern warning. Agnew, 10-9.
Round 2: Agnew's back to circling. Kovalev having a difficult time splitting Agnew's guard. Agnew lands a right, left, right. Left to the body by Kovalev. Right gets through by Kovalev. Five-punch combination by Kovalev. Right to the body by Kovalev. Agnew blocking well. Standing his ground with his high guard. Decent left cross from Agnew. He's HARD LEFT HOOK BY KOVALEV FLOORS AGNEW. HE'S UP AT 7, JUST AS THE BELL RINGS TO END THE ROUND. First knockdown of Agnew's career. Kovalev, 10-8, Kovalev, 19-18.
Round 3: Agnew retreating but taking punishment. Left to the body. Left up-jab by Kovalev. Agnew takes a hard right and a left. Agnew lands a decent right. Good exchange. Kovalev lands a right and a left. Kovalev fires two hard left hooks. Agnew down from a ruled push, but he's stunned. Another hard right and left by Kovalev. Kovalev, 10-9; Kovalev, 29-27.
Round 4: Decent right by Agnew. Another counter-right by Agnew. Kovalev is relentless, however, pumping the jab and firing the right hand behind it. The punches are splitting the guard of Agnew. Hard right by Kovalev. Triple lefts from Agnew. Head butt cuts Kovalev's right eye. Kovalev goes down after a missed punch. Blood streaming from Kovalev's right eye. Kovalev, 10-9; Kovalev, 39-36.
Round 5: Kovalev continues to press behind his jab and lands a solid left hook. Agnew is not answering as he continues to hold his guard high. Jab by Agnew. Another decent jab by Agnew. Jab and right by Kovalev. Viruet warns Agnew a third time for low blows. Solid right to the body by Kovlalev. Right by Kovalev. Agnew is clearly trying to take the fight into the later rounds, but he's taking some hard shots to do it. Decent left and right by Agnew as the round ends. Kovalev, 10-9; Kovalev, 49-45.
Round 6: Agnew's corner asking him to push the pace. Kovalev jabs hard to the body and lands a hook to the head. AGNEW RULED TO HAVE GONE DOWN FROM THE PUNCH. Kovalev moves in and pounds away with vicious lefts and rights to the head and body, trying to finish the fight right here. Give Agnew credit for taking the punishment. Hard left hook from Kovalev. Hook to the body and right to the head by Kovalev. Hard right to the head by Kovalev and another. Agnew clearly hoping to sneak something in off a counter. Left lands by Agnew. Kovalev bleeding from both eyes. Kovalev lands a left to the head and takes a decent right hook from Agnew. What if Agnew had more power? You have to wonder. Kovalev, 10-8; Kovalev, 59-53
Round 7: AGNEW GOES DOWN AND IS COUNTED OUT FROM A HARD LEFT TO THE BODY. FIGHT'S OVER, KOVALEV WINS BY SEVENTH-ROUND KNOCKOUT!!!!