Sergey Kovalev vs Grover Young

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Sergey Kovalev vs Grover Young
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Saturday, August 27, 2011
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As Grover Young dropped to the canvas from a left hook to the head, light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev thought that he had just racked up another victory. Instead of scoring his fifth consecutive knockout in a span of about five and a half months, Kovalev walked out of the ring in disgust that an unwarranted draw is on his record.

Kovalev and Young fought to a second round technical draw at The Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, CA, when Young claimed he was unable to continue due to what was ruled as an accidental blow behind his ear.

The scheduled eight round headlined a “Fight Night Rocks the Mansion” card, presented by No Limits Productions, with Don Elbaum as the matchmaker.

Kovalev was coming off a third round knockout over fringe contender Douglas Oteino in his last bout four weeks ago. He has recently been training in Big Bear, CA with Abel Sanchez after first arriving to North Carolina over two years ago, when he made his professional debut.

Young started out his career winning his first four professional bouts, but had since lost four of his last five bouts prior to facing Kovalev. He took the fight against Kovalev on two days notice and weighed in about 13 pounds heavier at over 190 pounds.

Kovalev was busier of the two fighters from the opening bell, as the southpaw Young attempted to counter Kovalev’s offense. Although Kovalev was busier, quite a few of his punches were blocked by Young.

In the second round, Kovalev let his hands go more and landing with more frequency, particularly to the body. Young fought back, but began backing up and started breathing heavily through his mouth.

Halfway through the round, Kovalev landed a left hook to the head of Young. After a few seconds, Young fell to the canvas and rolled around in obvious pain - he would later be carried out on a stretcher. After Young was attended to by the ringside physician, referee Zac Young stopped the bout at 1:31.

Zac Young stated to inspectors of the California State Athletic Commission that an accidental blow landed behind the ear of Young as the fighter moved his head forward.

By rules of the commission, the bout was declared a technical draw because only three rounds had been completed. With Young unable to continue and no intent to commit a foul on Kovalev's part, a DQ or TKO did not apply.

The ruling and outcome of the bout did not sit well with Kovalev.

“I didn’t know I was fighting a southpaw until they told me two days ago,” said Kovalev to through an interpreter. “We didn’t prepare for a southpaw during training. I thought he was exaggerating because I hit him on the ear. He was losing the fight, he was tired, and he wanted a way out of the fight.”

Asked what training almost 8,000 feet above sea level in Big Bear and having a reputable trainer in Abel Sanchez, Kovalev responded, “My manager was the one who referred me to Abel. I like it up there. The fresh air and no distractions have been beneficial to me.”

Kovalev, from Chelyabinsk, Russia, goes to 16-0-1, 14 KO’s. Young, from Memphis, TN, goes to 5-4-1, 2 KO’s.

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