Sergey Kovalev took less than three rounds to KO Nadjib Mohammedi
Last Updated: 26/07/15 11:32am
Hard-hitting Russian Sergey Kovalev retained his light-heavyweight titles after knocking out challenger Nadjib Mohammedi in the third round on Saturday night.
The undefeated Kovalev was making his first appearance as a headline fighter in Las Vegas and produced a dominant display, flooring his opponent in the second round and then finishing him off towards the end of the third.
Kovalev, 32, holds the WBO, WBA and IBF belts, and he has now knocked out 11 of his last 12 opponents.
His battle with Mohammedi at the Mandalay Bay hotel was brutally one-sided, Kovalev landing overhand rights at will from the opening bell.
And he ended the fight after 2:38 of the third, hitting the French boxer with a right hand, left hook combination which sent him to the canvas.
Urged to stand up by Kovalev, Mohammedi rose at the count of nine, but the referee quickly waved his arms to end the bout.
Kovalev said: "It was an important fight. I am happy that I got the victory and saved my belt.
"It was a short show. I called him to stand up because I wanted to continue."
Kovalev wants to hold all four light heavyweight belts but does not have a deal in place to fight WBC champion Adonis Stevenson of Canada.
If people are interested then I am ready for any fight. I am ready for everyone.
He may end up having a rematch with Jean Pascal, who fought on the undercard on Saturday and earned a controversial unanimous points verdict over Yunieski Gonzalez.
Kovalev said: "If people are interested then I am ready for any fight. I am ready for everyone."
At the Palms Casino Resort in Vegas, Beibut Shumenov claimed a unanimous but unpopular decision over BJ Flores to claim the WBA interim cruiserweight title.
Flores was the busier fighter but Shumenov threw effective combinations in spurts and used his movement to keep distance between the fighters.
All three judges gave him a 116-112 verdict but their decision was booed by the onlookers.
Shumenov was having his second fight at the 200-pound cruiserweight limit, having moved up from light-heavyweight.