Kovalev: Chilemba has similar style to Andre Ward…the main aim was to gain experience from this fight


After successfully defending his world titles against Isaac Chilemba, WBO, WBA and IBF light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev spoke about the fight. “My promoter and manager chose a fighter that is similar to Andre Ward’s style, so that I will be prepared for the fight with Ward. When they told me that my opponent will be Chilemba because his style is similar to Andre Ward’s style, I was thinking to myself what’s so similar to his style? Their height is different, so at first I didn’t see much, but after the fight I realize that, in fact, he does have similar style to Andre Ward’s: waiting out and counter-attacks, he is not going in much, he waits in defense and waits for the right moment.”

On his preparation for the fight:

“There were obviously some moments during the training with regards to my health, because I got a cold and I didn’t say anything, so the information wouldn’t get to Chilemba, that it might work against me. So myself and my trainer worked hard to overcome this stage and prepared for the fight.”

On the knockdown in round seven:

“If it wasn’t the end of the round I would have pursued to actively attack him. But because the bell rang, we rested and he managed to pull himself together and I didn’t want to waste my energy. He is very experienced and had as many fights as myself and with boxers of highest level, therefore I was boxing and continue boxing and whatever happens, then it happens. There was no aim to knock him out, but the main aim was to gain experience from this fight for the next fight in November in Las Vegas.”

On fighting in front of his hometown crowd for the first time as a champion:

“When I box as a visitor, there are much less fans that support me, there is more support for the opponents and I love to disappoint my opponents’ fans, which is sort of a motivation.”

On whether he was injured during the fight:

“In general, there are no major injuries. I have a little bruise on my eye, I don’t know how. No major punches I didn’t feel, there was a head bump, that could possibly damage, but there are no other injuries, which is the most important thing. There were mistakes during the camp, you can’t do everything perfect. And when you meet these difficulties you gain experience. What doesn’t break us makes us stronger.”

On experience gained in the fight:

“I gained experience; there are things that I have to work with now. I have to work with opponents that sit in the defense and I have to work more with my left arm. And probably I also wanted to make a hard punch and that worked against me. My arms felt heavy and not everything that I wanted happened, and that is again because it’s Chilemba. He is actually a very experienced fighter and like many “couch-experts” said: what round? I never think about when knockout is going to be – it’s boxing, you need just one punch. We are all under God and how he judges, that’s how it’s going to be. I believe my mistake was that I was trying to put power in every punch. I had a heavy feeling in my hands. That’s why he was faster than me in some moments. ”

On how Ward and Chilemba compare:

“Andre Ward’s got different timing, he’s faster with his legs. He’s not only good in defense but also he can attack. He has some defensive tricks. If saying in an advanced way, his defense is more modernized. He can feel his competitor better, he’s got better reaction. He also has good experience. After all, he is an Olympic champion. The last American [male] champion at the Olympics. Moreover, he is undefeated. This adds a kind of psychological pressure. He is the best in all the categories. But talking of power he is not a crusher. We have 2 different styles. So that is the difference between them. They are counterpunchers.”


07/11/2016 Sergey Kovalev vs. Isaac Chilemba

Date:   Monday, July 11, 2016


Location:   DIVS, Ekateringburg, Russia

Promoter:   Main Events (Kathy Duva) / German Titov Box Promotions (German Titov)

Supervisor:   Istvan Kovacs

Referee:  Michael Griffin

Judges:   Chris Flores (116-111), Zoltan Enyedi (117-110), Gustavo Jarquin (118-109)

Results:    The WBO/WBA/IBF World Champion Sergey Kovalev retained the Jr. Heavyweight Title  against Isaac Chilemba by Unanimous Decision.

TV:  Russia Match TV / HBO USA

Duva: Chilemba a ‘Real’ Foe For Kovalev; Prepares Him For Ward

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By Keith Idec

His promoter suspects Sergey Kovalev is in for a more difficult fight Monday than the odds indicate.

Numerous Internet sports books list Isaac Chilemba as a 16-1 underdog against Russia’s Kovalev, but Kathy Duva envisions Kovalev having more trouble than that when they fight for Kovalev’s IBF, WBA and WBO light heavyweight titles at DIVS Sports Palace in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

South Africa’s Chilemba is a smart, sound boxer, hasn’t been knocked out during his 10½-year professional career and is well aware that this is an opportunity to completely change his life.

“If it weren’t for what I thought was a bad decision in Canada, Isaac would be fighting [Adonis] Stevenson for the [WBC] title,” said Duva, whose New Jersey-based Main Events promotes Kovalev and Chilemba.

“So he is a legitimate contender. He is someone who is gonna give Sergey a real fight, give him a real challenge, gonna give him the opportunity to have to work hard to beat a boxer, someone who is not just gonna stand in front of him. These are all things he’s gonna need to prepare for the [Andre] Ward fight.”

Duva referred to Chilemba’s majority decision defeat in his last fight to Montreal’s Eleider Alvarez. The Colombian-born Alvarez (19-0, 10 KOs) won that 12-round WBC championship elimination match on two scorecards (118-110, 115-113) and it was a draw on the third card (114-114) on November 28 in Quebec City, Canada.

If Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs) beats Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KOs) and Ward (29-0, 15 KOs), also heavily favored, overcomes Colombia’s Alexander Brand (25-1, 19 KOs) on August 6 in Oakland, California, Kovalev and Ward will fight November 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (HBO Pay-Per-View). Even with so much at stake, Kovalev didn’t want would amount to a tune-up fight Monday night, especially since he hasn’t really been challenged since his first technical knockout victory over Jean Pascal in March 2015.

“Sergey made it very clear from the start, ‘When I go fight in Russia, I don’t want to go there and have a fight with someone who isn’t highly rated and who is not viewed as a real opponent,’ ” Duva said. “And that was really how he looked at it. Because Isaac unfortunately didn’t get that opportunity with Stevenson, he was willing to go to Russia and he was willing to do this. To his credit, he jumped at it. So we were able to make a very good fight for Sergey, very easily. That’s what he wants. He didn’t want somebody who was just gonna fall down if he blew on him.”

HBO will televise the Kovalev-Chilemba bout via tape delay at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT on Monday night.

www.boxingscene.com/duva-chilemba-real-foe-kovalev-prepares-him-ward–106541?print_friendly=1kovalev-chilemba (11)_1

Kovalev vs. Chilemba on BoxNation on 7/11


LONDON (July 4) – Pound-for-pound star Sergey Kovalev’s Russian homecoming against Isaac Chilemba will be screened exclusively live on BoxNation on Monday July 11th.

The undefeated and unified light-heavyweight world champion will be looking to add to his impressive destruction of the 175-pound division when he takes on the well-schooled Chilemba, who, despite three points losses has never been stopped in 29 fights.

The iron-fisted Kovalev on the other hand has racked up 26 knockouts in his 29 wins and will be out to do what no one has done before by knocking out Chilemba in front of his home fans at the DIVS Arena in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

33-year-old Kovalev is lined up to face Andre Ward later this year in a super-fight but Malawi born Chilemba is looking to crash the party and is hoping that the Russian has unwisely overlooked him.

Kovalev, however, has stated he will be raring to go come fight night when the two clash exclusively live on ‘The Channel of Champions’.

“I am so excited to fight in my home country of Russia,” said Kovalev. “It gives me great pride to bring my titles home at last. I would like to thank my manager, Egis Klimas, my promoter Kathy Duva and Igor Altushkin of Russian Copper Company for making this dream of mine a reality. Chilemba is a tough opponent and I will be ready for him on July 11.”

Chilemba, with 24 wins on his record, is undaunted at sharing the ring with one of boxing’s most feared punchers.

“I have met a lot of obstacles and every time I think I’ve got it right, I fall again, but I know my goals and I never stop following my dreams,” said Chilemba. “When I received a call from my manager Jodi Solomon regarding this opportunity, I was over the moon. I thank Sergey and his team for putting their titles on the line to face me, all I want to say to them is: they are in for a surprise; they gave the wrong guy an opportunity. I’ll work my ass off and I’m in it to win it! Russia here we come!”

Jim McMunn, BoxNation Managing Director, said: “This is a really intriguing fight because Sergey Kovalev cannot look too far ahead when he faces Isaac Chilemba. We have seen it many times in the past when fighters have overlooked opponents that are immediately in front of them and paid the price. There is no doubt that Kovalev is one of the most exciting and biggest punchers around so we are delighted to have him back on BoxNation.”

BoxNation will be airing a host of big fights exclusively live including Guillermo Rigondeaux v Jazza Dickens, Terence Crawford v Viktor Postol and Canelo Alvarez v Liam Smith.