Sergey Kovalev's bout on HBO's Boxing After Dark was a mismatch on paper and played out much the same way in practice.
Blake Caparello was there as the "undefeated underdog" who was willing to step up and face Kovalev, but he wasn't really expected to trouble the WBO light heavyweight champion in any way.
There was a lot on the line for Kovalev, he'd signed a deal to face Bernard Hopkins this fall on the condition that he leave the ring tonight as a champion. With the fight he has been angling for on the table, Kovalev had to avoid the upset, with the very real risk of a stoppage on a cut or getting caught cold.
Caparello delivered a minor scare in the first, landing a low blow and then catching Kovalev while also stepping on his foot. Kovalev's glove would touch the canvas and referee Sparkle Lee called it a knockdown, giving the challenger a 10-8 round and the champion a minor hole to climb out of.
Instead of worrying about the scorecards, Kovalev came out in the second, turned up the heat and started to unload some heavy power shots, dropping Caparello with a body shot. Caparello would get to his feet, eat another flurry, hit the canvas again, rise again and get dropped again, leading to the fight being called off.
Kovalev scored on 26 of his 50 punches versus 7 of 58 for Caparello.