Kovalev dominates Shabranskyy to win WBO light heavyweight belt
Sergey Kovalev won the vacant WBO and IBA light heavyweight titles in dominant fashion with a second-round TKO of Vyacheslav Shabranskyy on Saturday.
Big-hitting Russian Kovalev (31-2-1) landed 25 of 36 jabs and knocked Shabranskyy (19-2) down twice in the first round before a third knockdown in the second stopped the fight at Madison Square Garden.
The 34-year-old former unified light heavyweight world champion lost his titles to Andre Ward last November in a unanimous decision.
Ward then won a rematch in June with a controversial technical knockout.
But Kovalev put those losses to Ward - who has since retired - behind him and outclassed Ukrainian opponent Shabranskyy with his jabs and devastating overhand rights.
"It's my goal to be the best in this division," Kovalev told HBO following the fight. "I'm ready to fight for all the titles."