On this day...Kovalev stopped Caparello

On this day, Sergey Kovalev stopped Blake Caparello on August 2, 2014, via a second-round technical knockout. The fight was overshadowed by two things - 1) Sergey Kovalev being dropped in the very first round by the unheralded Caparello, and 2) as it was the bout prior to Sergey Kovalev facing the living legend, Bernard Hopkins. 

The bout was Kovalev's third world title defense since winning the WBO light heavyweight world title from Nathan Cleverly the previous year. The bout was televised by HBO with Roy Jones Jr serving as one of the lead broadcasters. Bernard Hopkins, who had become the oldest world champion in the sport of boxing prior was a unified world champion, holding the IBF and WBA light heavyweight world titles. This was Kovalev's next fight as Hopkins sat ringside.

Caparello dropped Kovalev in the first round as his promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events cited that Kovalev lost focus and even spoke to the fact that a Bernard Hopkins fight was on the table for him in the near future. The knockdown was a balance knockdown as Kovalev wasn't hurt and if anything it seemed to embarrass Kovalev who stopped Caparello in the very next round. 

At this time Kovalev had a staggering knockout percentage of 89% which was only behind the WBA middleweight champion at the time, Gennadiy Golovkin, who had a higher stoppage percentage. 

Caparello's promoter, Lou DiBella gave a glowing endorsement of Kovalev after the fight, and Kovalev himself dismissed any claims that he was thinking about the Hopkins bout in this seemingly mundane world title defense. 

In November of that year, Kovalev would defeat Bernard Hopkins to unify three of the four world titles. As Kovalev showed off his power and youth as he handed Hopkins a one-sided loss, that saw Kovalev win every round on the judges' scorecards. Kovalev also landed the most punches on Hopkins of any fighter in Hopkins' career. The win was one of the defining moments of Kovalev's career. 

Kovalev was unable to secure an undisputed light heavyweight world title fight with then-champion Adonis Stevenson, who held the WBC light heavyweight world title, but Kovalev was widely considered at this time as the best light heavyweight in the world.