Palm Casino, Las Vegas, July 25
By Peter Lim
What an intriguing encounter this is between a post-Soviet protege who has been mostly self-trained as a pro against a former two-time US national champion who, in his only loss, was outboxed by an Australian reputed more for his brawling than boxing skills. All intangibles considered, this could end up as a scorcher, a snoozer or anything in between. But Shumenov's slight edge in strength and experience allows him to pull off a close but unanimous decision in this matchup.
The result was exactly as predicted, but the way it transpired was not. Who knew the usually-aggressive Kovalev would deploy a circle-and-ambush strategy and switch periodically to southpaw?