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Sergey Kovalev vs. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 11/25/17

Shabranskyy vs. Kovalev

Boxing: Saturday, November 25, 2017 (The Theater at Madison Square Garden)

The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: HBO

Sergey Kovalev and Vyacheslav Shabranskyy fight Saturday at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. 

Sergey Kovalev enters this fight with a 30-2-1 record that includes 26 knockouts. Kovalev has won six of his last eight fights, and he’s coming off a June loss to Andre Ward. Kovalev looks for his first victory since his 2016 bout with Isaac Chilemba, and he’s coming off back-to-back losses to Ward. Kovalev is a 34-year-old Russian who stands at 6’0”, has a 70.5 inch reach and an orthodox stance. Kovalev is an extremely smart boxer who picks his spots well and waits for his opponent to make a mistake before taking over a fight. Everybody in the building knows Kovalev has the punching power to end things whenever, but it’s his patience and timing that makes him most dangerous when you combine that pop. Kovalev also has a very strong chin, as he’s only been knocked down once in his career and only his last bout was a loss by TKO. This will be Kovalev’s first fight in New York.

Sergey Kovalev vs. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 11/25/17

USA TODAY Sports

Vyacheslav Shabranskyy enters this fight with a 19-1 record that includes 16 knockouts. Shabranskyy has won five of his last fights, and he’s coming off a August win over Todd Unthank May. Shabranskyy has won back-to-back fights since losing to Sullivan Barrera and will fight for the third time this year. Shabranskyy is a 30-year-old Ukrainian who stands at 6’3”, has a 75 inch reach and an orthodox stance. Shabranskyy is a massive boxer who has impressive punching power and can be a bit of a free swinger. Shabranskyy can be a bit wild at times, but nine of his last 10 wins have come by stoppage and he’s a fighter who is going to dictate the pace with his pressure style. The problem with Shabranskyy is that his resume can be questioned a bit, as his best and only high quality victory was his 2015 bout with Yunieski Gonzalez. This will be Shabranskyy’s first fight in New York.

This is a nice clash of styles, as Shabranskyy wants to be the aggressor and throw volume punches to the body, while Kovalev picks his spots and waits for openings to create before going to work. Shabranskyy has a massive size advantage over Kovalev, and that could help open the door to an upset here. However, Kovalev is the better boxer overall and far more polished. His IQ will allow him to counter anytime Shabranskyy gets sloppy with his punches, and that will be the difference here. Kovalev isn’t the fighter you can rush and look to end things quickly, as you have to box him for 12 rounds. Shabranskyy isn’t capable of doing that.

Kovalev gets the nod here.

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