Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) lived up to his nickname by knocking out Ismayl Sillakh (21-2, 17 KOs) in round two at the Colisee de Quebec, Quebec City, Canada.
The bout was telecast live HBO Boxing After Dark.
Kovalev, 30, was making the first defense of his WBO light heavyweight that he captured from Nathan Cleverly last August.
The bout started at a measured pace. Sillakh used his legs and jabbed. Kovalev tried to time his quicker opponent. A couple of long right hands grazed the chin of Sillakh.
The round was competitive and might have given Sillakh a false sense of security.
In rounds two, Kovalev, who had been talking to Sillakh in Russian during the opening stanza, upped the pressure just a bit. As Sillakh looked to counter, Kovalev fired a straight right hand that floored Sillakh. The challenger managed to get up, but was obviously hurt.
Kovalev jumped on his woozy opponent and connected with a combination. Sillakh crumpled to the canvas and didn’t move.
The time was 52 seconds of round two.
“It’s a result of my hard work in the gym,” Kovalev said in the ring after his destructive performance. “I was telling him I would knock him out. I was thinking about my family and everything I’m working for.”
Kovalev also expressed interest in fighting WBC light heavyweight titleholder Adonis Stevenson.