By: William Holmes
NBC Sports network opened up their 2013 boxing season with an intriguing card at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut and it featured main event between a top contender and a rising prospect in the light heavyweight division.
The first televised fight of the night was between Elvin Ayala (26-5-1) and Curtis Stevens (22-3) in the middleweight division. Both fighters came out in the orthodox stance and Ayala had a clear height advantage on the smaller and compact Stevens. This fight did not last long as Stevens connected with a vicious left hook that immediately dropped Ayala. Ayala struggled back to his feet and the referee allowed him to continue.
Stevens immediately attacked Ayala when he got back to his feet and landed several hard combinations on Ayala by the ropes. Ayala was dropped again by a hard left uppercut and the referee waived off the fight.
Somebody from the corner of Ayala ran into the ring and tried to attack Stevens as he was celebrating his victory and for a brief moment mayhem broke out inside the ring. However Stevens shined tonight and scored an impressive 1st TKO at 1:10.
The next fight of the night was between the debuting Jimmy Williams (0-0) and Noel Garcia (2-15-1) in the welterweight division. Williams was supposed to beat Garcia quickly and easily but was met with more resistance inside the ring than expected. Garcia was able to touch Williams a few times with his overhand right, but was dropped in the third round by Williams by a short straight right hand. Williams finally stopped his overmatched opponent with a right uppercut left hook combination that violently dropped Garcia. Jimmy Williams wins his professional debut with a 4th round KO at 0:39.
The main event was a light heavyweight attraction between Sergey Kovalev (19-0-1) and Gabriel Campillo (21-4-1). Campillo was considered by many to be a big step up in competition for Kovalev, but Kovalev handled Campillo as easily as he handled his past 19 opponents. Kovalev started off strong and was tagging Campillo with crisp combinations from the outset of the opening round. Sergey Kovalev broke out in the third round with straight knockdowns. The first one was caused by a straight right hand forced Campillo to drop to his knees. Campillo was able to get back to his feet but was met with an aggressive Kovalev and felt to his knees again. The referee finally stopped the fight after another straight hand knocked down Campillo.
Sergey Kovalev wins with an extremely impressive 3rd round TKO at 1:30.