06/17/2017 Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev

Date:  Saturday, June 17, 2017

WBO/WBA/IBF Lt. Heavyweight  Title Bout

Location: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Promoter:   Main Events/Kathy Duva & Roc Nation/David Istkowitch

Supervisor:   Francisco Valcarcel, Esq.

Referee:  Tony Weeks

Judges:  Glenn Feldman (67-66),  Dave Moretti (67-66),  Steve Weisfeld (65-68)

Results:   The WBO Lt. Heavyweight Champion retained the WBO/WBA/IBF titles against Sergey Kovalev by TKO in the 8th. round.


Kovalev: I don’t like Ward and want to punish him

KovalevMediaDay2 Credit:  Photo by Craig Bennett/Main Events –

Yesterday at Boxing Laboratory in Oxnard, California, former WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) opened his training session to the media in advance of his upcoming showdown with Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (31-0, 15 KOs). Below are quotes from this event. Ward vs. Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” takes place Saturday, June 17 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The championship event, presented by Corona Extra, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.

“I don’t like this guy [Ward] and I want to punish him because he puts his nose really up right now. He knows that he lost.”

“I don’t care if [Ward] shows respect to me or not. I know only one thing: I will kick his ass! I want to destroy him. I want to destroy this guy as a boxer, as a champion. For me he is not a champion, he’s a fake champion. He lives right now with this status; he’s a fake champion. He believes in his victory over me and right now he’s trying to get belief of people of this victory. It’s wrong, for me, it’s wrong.”

“It’s not the first fight where I’m angry, I’m always angry when I am fighting, but last two fights were very disappointing for me. Right now, at this point, I am feeling good and I feel not any problem to get back my belts.”

“I was ‘over-trained’ for my first fight against Andre Ward. I did three workouts a day. I tried to do everything faster and stronger. Instead of running five miles, I did eight miles. I did more than I usually do all the time. I over-trained.”

“My preparation right now is doing great, much better than last time because I took care of all the mistakes I did in my last two fights. In those two last fights, I was over-trained, for Chilemba and for Ward, and I fought similar, you saw already. But this training camp I am doing everything very good.”

“Nothing changed with John David Jackson. We are doing same as usual. I just got over-trained last time with physical conditioning, but with boxing we’re doing the same, boxing, sparring, mitts. I do same as I did last fight [with John]; I don’t think I need to change something. I just to get back what gave me success. My two last fights were really not good and I delete these mistakes and I delete this [physical conditioning] coach from my training camps, he’s not a coach that helps me right now.”

“I am happy what’s happening around me, I mean in training camp, my family, my life and my boxing. That I have no belts is for me new motivation to kick more ass because he does not deserve these belts. This is gift for him from the judges for Christmas and Christmas already finished and belts should be back with me.”


How hard does Ward hit?

“One day in my hometown Chelyabinsk one day a girl, 25-years old, slapped me on my shoulder then Andre Ward punched me in the fight it was same. I didn’t feel any hard punches from him. I didn’t feel his uppercut and so I didn’t block his uppercut. I didn’t feel this punch but judges counted this punch. It is touches it is not punches. Punches is punches his was like a tap. Judges counted any tapping as punches.”

Did you watch a tape of the fight?

“I tried but I saw only six rounds. I don’t have patience to watch it. For me it’s much easier to fight than to watch it.”

“I think I should knock him out and I must to knock him out to get my belts back because anything can happen but I believe in judges. I think first fight they made mistakes but right now there will be other judges, not the same. I think they’re gonna be fair and honest to count our fight.”

Why didn’t you finish him in the second round when you knocked him down?

“I thought that if knock down can happen [once], it can happen again. I tried not to rush. But I didn’t know that my energy will finish in the fifth round. In the fifth round, I lost the speed, I lost the energy and I was empty, 100% empty. My body fought because my heart doesn’t say stop. I’ll be like fighting until I die. Andre Ward got like four rounds of victory with empty Kovalev, we’ll see what happens on June 17. I think will be everything on my side.”

What does this fight mean for your legacy?

“Everything. I want to live from this point of the boxing. It’s the highest level in the boxing. HBO Pay-Per-View was my dream someday be on this level. Everything this fight means to me.”

How do you stay focused at this point?

“It’s my job. I’m boxing since I am 11 years old and nothing can break me. Nothing, only kill me. If somebody will kill me, yes I will stop boxing. If I am still alive, you know I will do my job. God bless me and I have to fight and I’m ready for June 17, to get my belts back.”

“I want to prove that he didn’t deserve these belts and I want to get my belts back. It’s my goal. I want to punish Andre Ward too because he doesn’t deserve this money, these belts, this status and to be champion. He’s not champion. In my eyes, he’s not champion.”

“I have more motivation right now than first fight because I have a goal. Last fight I just had a test. Can I fight Andre Ward or no? But right now, I understand that yes, I can fight Andre Ward and I can beat him. Right now, I have a goal: to get belts back. It’s more to motivate me than any test.”

“My goal was, and still is, to collect all four belts. I got three and left to get just one. Right now, Andre Ward’s in my way to this goal and I should move him from my way to my goal. First of all, I must get back my belts. We’ll see what will happen after this.”


John David Jackson – Sergey Kovalev’s Trainer

What are your impressions of Ward from the first fight?

“He’s an intelligent fighter. We knew that going in. I’m not too impressed with much more than that. The fact that he didn’t get hit with a flush punch from Sergey, if it was a solid shot, he might not have gotten up. So, if I had to be impressed with anything I’d say it was the fact that he went the distance. He got up in the second half of the fight, he made the fight closer than it should have been, not close to where he should have got a decision, but I was impressed that he did get up and survive.”

There’s been a lot of talk in the aftermath of the last fight. Has that been a distraction to Sergey in training camp?

“I doubt that there’s been any distractions for Sergey from the last fight. He realizes that he lost the fight, not outright, but the judges didn’t give him the decision so you must accept that; it’s part of boxing and he must move on. I think that he’s accepted it and now he just wants to get his belts back.”

What adjustments do you expect Ward to make?

“In the first fight, he did just enough to survive and somehow the judges gave him the decision; he has to be Superman in the second fight. He has to be more aggressive, with less movement and he has to be willing to trade with Sergey. Can he do that? Maybe he can, but will he do it? I doubt that. That’s not his style. Most people have said now that Ward has survived the first fight, he solved the riddle of Sergey Kovalev. I highly doubt that because this wasn’t the best of Sergey Kovalev that you could have seen, not the second half of the fight. I think Andre has to do more than Sergey does to be even more successful in this second go round. Can he do that? We’ll find out on June 17.”

Sergey said he was over-trained in his physical training. You were in Big Bear, did you notice a difference?

“I noticed that this time around his conditioning coach was a bit different. He has him resting more. The other coach had him doing a lot of things that to me were unnecessary. I don’t get in the way of the conditioning coach’s job and I’m not doing that with this guy, but he seemed more interested in keeping Sergey a little more relaxed and not over-training. If we can just do that, he’s on course. For the next two weeks, if we do the same thing, it shouldn’t be a problem.”


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Ward vs. Kovalev Rematch Talks Finally Underway – For June 17?

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By Igor Lazorin, tass

According to Egis Klimas, the manager of Sergey Kovalev, the negotiations are finally underway for a rematch with World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Organization (WBO) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight world champion Andre Ward.

The two boxers collided last November at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Ward got off the floor in the second round to win a twelve round unanimous decision. All three judges had it scored for the Olympic gold medal winner with identical tallies of 114-113.

There was a rematch clause in the bout agreement, which Kovalev quickly exercised to secure an immediate return bout.

As of last week, Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events was having a very difficult time with getting Roc Nation Sports, who promote Ward, to start negotiating the rematch.

“The negotiations have begun, but there is no concrete agreement,” Klimas said.

There were some issues with getting Ward to come back to the table, as he was threatening the possibility of retiring unless the scenario with the rematch made sense.

Duva had previously informed BoxingScene.com that HBO prefers a date of June 17 for the rematch.

Roc Nation has now placed the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on hold for June 17, but they have not revealed if the date is for the Ward-Kovalev rematch or Miguel Cotto’s rescheduled return. Cotto was set to return on HBO Pay-Per-View last Saturday, but his event got canceled after opponent James Kirkland withdrew with a fractured nose. Cotto is looking to rescheduled his return for a date in April or June.

Kovalev has a record of 30 wins (26 by knockout), one loss and one draw. And Ward has a perfect record of 31 victories (15 by knockout) and no defeats.


Ward dropped, wins 114-113 decision on all cards


By David Robinett and Miguel Maravilla at ringside
Photos: Emily Harney –

In a terrific fight, former super middleweight champion Andre Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) came back from a second round knockdown to edge unified world champion Sergey Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) by scores 114-113 on all three scorecards to capture the Russian’s WBA, WBO, and IBF light heavyweight belts on Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Ward, (31-0, 15 KOs) was in all kinds of trouble early, wobbled by a hard Kovalev jab in round one, and sent down by a quick right hook in round two. Kovalev’s short right hand seemed to hurt Ward every time it landed. Ward held often in the early rounds, trying to blunt Kovalev’s power and reach advantages and buy some time to recover. By round five though, Kovalev drifted away from using his right hand and Ward began to outland the Russian as the rounds progressed. Ward rocked Kovalev with a straight left hand in round seven and outboxed Kovalev with confidence in most of the later rounds. The two fighters both displayed their quality in the championship rounds, each landing big punches but Ward was just a little faster and landed with a little more authority to shade the fight on the final scorecards. Ultimately, a defining win for Ward, Kovalev certainly did not diminish his stock in defeat, and a win for boxing that its latest big fight delivered on the hype.

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11/19/2016 Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward

Date:   Saturday, November 19, 2016


Location:   T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Promoter:  Main Events / Kathy Duva – Roc Nation / David Itskowitch

Supervisor:  Genaro Rodriguez

Referee:  Robert Byrd

Judges:  John McKaie; Burt Clements; Glenn Trowbridge

Results:   Andre Ward is the new WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight champion after winning by unanimous decision over Sergey Kovalev.

TV:  USA HBO PPV, Panama RPC Channel 4, Mexico Televisa, Australia Main Event, Hungary Sport 1

Q&A: Sergey Kovalev


Photos: Craig Bennett/Main Events

Yesterday, WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs) held an open workout for members of the media in advance of his upcoming “Pound For Pound” showdown on November 19 against Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View. Also in attendance were Curtis “The Cerebral Assassin” Stevens (28-5, 21 KOs) who will take on James “The King” De La Rosa (23-4, 13 KOs) for the WBA Continental Americas Middleweight Title and Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (11-0, 9 KOs) who will face Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs) for the NABF Light Heavyweight Title on the Kovalev-Ward HBO Pay-Per-View telecast.

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Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev:
 “I’m excited and everything is going good. I’m waiting for this day, November 19, and I am ready to fight.”

“I don’t have anything personal about him (Ward). I should to win this fight, I only have to prove (to) myself who I am. I am fighting for me first of all, and after this really for boxing fans. This is my boxing career since 11 years old and right now Andre Ward (is) in my way. And he wants to get my titles but I’m still alive.” 

“I don’t have any plans for each fight, just get into the ring and do my job. I must be ready for everything what he (Ward) will bring.”

“I got some experience from my fight against Bernard Hopkins. He showed that never give up. That you should to fight all 12 rounds and hope for your win.”

Question: Do you expect Andre Ward will hold you and use his head?

“Yes I think he will use it and I am ready for this too. It will be wrestling and not fight [laughs].”

“I think he (Ward) will look much better in my fight November 19 because he long time didn’t fight, couple years he had a rest and Sullivan Barrera was first fight when he returned. And with Alexander Brand he was better than against Sullivan Barrera. I accept that he’s going to look much better November 19. In best shape.”

“John (David Jackson) just gives me freedom to do what I want, what I would like to do. You know, just like adjust some things and advice between rounds about technique. Working a lot with mitts. I like work with him and feel comfortable.”

“I don’t think that Andre Ward (will) let me use a lot of body shots because he has great legs and a lot of movements. You know he’s very smart. And I think first part of this fight is going to be a lot mentally, but I should prove that I’m Krusher and that I’m going to do my job. He’s going to do his job, me to do my job.”

“I think my last fight against Chilemba, it was like a similar fight you know, because Chilemba’s a little bit style as Andre Ward. But Andre Ward is Andre Ward, a little bit different and stronger, smarter, undefeated and more motivated than Chilemba. I’m interested what he will bring November 19 to the ring.”

“We agreed two fights before our fight. I was ready last year to fight, but Andre wasn’t ready to fight without two fights at light heavyweight. We sign agreement that two more fights and then let’s fight in 2016.”

“I work out morning time. After this some massage therapy, some treatments, after this some rest, little bit nap, cook the food, take a rest and go again to work out. Today two work outs, this was just the first. My plan was a little broke today because usually my first workout is morning time, but right now already almost 3pm. My interview is a workout [laughs].



I think I’m a combination of Roy Jones, Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather


After his most recent victory over Alexander Brand, Andre Ward broke down stylistically who he thinks he is as a boxer if he were to compare himself to pugilists of the past.

Pound for pound rated Ward has always been a technically superb fighter, dating back to his 2004 Olympic gold in Athens as an amateur, to a now stellar undefeated professional career as a pro (30-0-15KO).

Under the watchful eye and in-depth tutelage of renowned trainer Virgil Hunter, Ward has unquestionably established himself as one of the leading boxers in the world today.

When speaking to the media after his latest victory this past weekend over Alexander Brand, in his post-fight press conference Ward wanted to address who he thinks he is as a fighter technically, and gave a very interesting insight into the boxing methodologies he has looked at when forging and crafting his own unique style.

He said:

“I think I’m a combination of Roy Jones, Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather. That may sound arrogant but, I’m just saying those are the guys I’ve really studied. And obviously Andre Ward, it’s like Virgil’s (Hunter) style mixed in with all those guys.”

Ward added:

“I can fight inside, I can get rough, I can get flashy, I can do certain things when I need to. I can be very systematic like Floyd and break a guy down. So I think I’ve taken something from all three of those guys, but at the same time trying to say true to who I am and just be myself. I’m trying to be formless man like Bruce Lee said. I’m what I need to be when I need to be it.”

Ward is now scheduled to fight Sergey Kovalev in November 19th in a massive light-heavyweight showdown in the US.


Andre Ward outpoints Alexander Brand in California stroll


Andre Ward (right) hits Alexander Brand with a clubbing right

Undefeated Andre Ward used a steady left hook to outpoint Alexander Brand to take the WBO International light heavyweight championship in Oakland, California, on Saturday night.

Ward (30-0) was never seriously threatened by Brand (25-2), the 39-year-old Colombian who lost for the first time since 2012.

Ward stunned Brand early and opened a small cut over his right eye while winning every round in a dominant performance.

All three judges had the fight 120-112 for Ward.

Ward is in position for a long-anticipated bout with unified light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. That fight has already been pencilled in for November 19 in Las Vegas.

That would be Ward’s third fight in eight months, overtime for a boxer who fought only three times from 2012 to 2015.


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.

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Kovalev-Chilemba Scouting Report

On Monday night, WBO, WBA and IBF light heavyweight world champion Sergey”The Krusher” Kovalev will return home to Russia to face challenger Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba in a 12-round championship bout. These two fighters will bring very different styles and when they clash on HBO (same day delay).

Below is the scouting report:

“The Krusher” Kovalev
“Golden Boy” Chilemba
29-0-1 (26 KOs)
24-3-2 (10 KOs)
Strength Kovalev has solidified his position in the sport as one of its most devastating punchers. He possesses knockout power in both hands. Chilemba is a crafty fighter with good technical skills. He is an effective counter-puncher with great endurance and strong defense. He is also very accurate and uses his jab well.
Weakness Sergey tends to leave openings in his guard allowing himself to be hit. He has been knocked down before but not hurt. He will have to pick his shots wisely in this bout when facing a good counter-striker in Chilemba. “The Golden Boy” does not possess much punching power in either hand; he has only recorded one knockout victory since 2011. He also has a tendency to be a slow-starter in the ring, which can cost him immensely if The Krusher is able to land one early.
Experience While Isaac has plenty of experience, Kovalev has been just as active and has been in the bigger fights throughout his career. Isaac is very experienced and has been steadily active throughout his career.
Power “The Krusher” has tremendous power in both hands; he throws every punch with bad intentions and puts together very effective combinations. Isaac is a technically skilled boxer, but lacks the initial pop that could change the momentum of the fight.
Speed Kovalev has average speed that picks up once he smells blood and goes for the finish. Isaac is quick on his feet. He moves around the ring well making it difficult for his opponents to connect at times.
Endurance Sergey showed the world that he can go a full 12-rounds when he earned a unanimous decision win over former titleholder and future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins, but he has only been past 8 rounds once. Chilemba has excellent endurance; he has gone a full 12-rounds on nine separate occasions throughout his career.
Accuracy Sergey shows great accuracy with the long-range aggressive style that he utilizes. He throws very accurate and powerful body shots as well. Isaac is a very accurate puncher who chooses his spots wisely and times his punches well. His accuracy and timing have been effective in taking his opponents out of their rhythm.
Defense Sergey’s strength is his offense, which he has established as his best defense thus far. However, his aggressive style has allowed past opposition opportunities to land shots as well. Chilemba is a good defensive fighter who utilizes effective counter-punching skills. He exhibits impressive foot work and moves around the ring well.
Chin Kovalev has been knocked down twice in his career, but he has risen to the occasion both times to finish the fight and earn the victory. Isaac has never been stopped, and was able to get off the canvas to earn a win over previously unbeaten Maxim Vlasov after overcoming two knockdowns in the fight.
Style Sergey is an offensive fighter who likes to walk his opponents down and go for the finish. He utilizes a long-range aggressive style and does not take his foot off the gas throughout the match. Isaac is an effective technical fighter with good counter-boxing skills. He likes to utilize his defense and a sharp jab to take his opponents out of their comfort zone.
Intangibles Kovalev will compete in his backyard for only the third time in his professional career. Rather than provide his fans with a tune-up bout to improve his chances of earning a victory at home, he will instead face a fighter in Isaac Chilemba who can pose a problem for anyone in his division, and who has never been stopped. Chilemba is coming off a controversial loss in a title-eliminator bout against current top contender Eleider Alvarez. Rather than request a tune-up bout to get back on track and polish up any mistakes from his last bout, he opted to seize an opportunity to take “The Krusher’s” titles in his own backyard.
Crowd Support Sergey is fighting in his homeland of Russia and grew up not too far from the site of the bout. Expect a packed house all rooting for their hero. He is in his opponent’s backyard and has never competed in Russia thus far in his professional career. However, Isaac has proven he can be a road-warrior.
The Match-up
  1. Will Sergey be looking past this fight to his fight in November against Andre Ward?
  2. Will Isaac be able to handle Sergey’s power?
  3. Sergey will be fighting near his hometown for the first time as the light heavyweight champion, will he be able to handle the additional pressure?
  4. Will Isaac be able to handle fighting in Sergey’s backyard?


Life after death: The toughest fight for Sergey Kovalev

It’s December 2011, and Sergey Kovalev is sitting on the side of his bed, his lean, 6-foot, 175-pound frame folded over, his palms pressed to his temples. Sleep eludes him. Has for weeks. On Dec. 5, Kovalev, a fast rising light heavyweight, took on Roman Simakov in Ekaterinburg, Russia. He won, scoring a seventh-round knockout. Hours later, Simakov slipped into a coma. Three days later, he was gone. At home, the silence offered Kovalev no solace, just inescapable emptiness for his thoughts to consume him.

His wife, Natalya, lay beside him, her pain matching his. It had been nearly 10 years since she walked into a boxing gym in Chelyabinsk and began a life she never expected. Back then, Natalya hated boxing. Too violent. She was accompanying friends to that gym, that day, when she encountered the cocky teenager with the sly smile. “We met there by accident,” Natalya said. “And then we fell in love.”

Kovalev doesn’t share his feelings much. Not his style. A hardscrabble childhood built a wall between him and the rest of the world. “He was brought up this way, not to show any signs of emotion,” Natalya said. But she knew. She felt him toss and turn on these sleepless nights. She watched him rewatch the fight tape over and over, reliving every concussive blow. And she was by his side when Simakov’s fans declared him a murderer. “It was ‘Kovalev is a killer,’ ” Natalya said. “It was, ‘Something is wrong with his gloves.’ It was ‘He [knew] it was time to stop the fight.’ It was hurtful. How could they say such things?”

Egis Klimas wondered the same. In 2009 Klimas was a businessman moonlighting as a boxing manager. One day, a friend called from Moscow. He was at an amateur tournament and there was a fighter Klimas needed to meet. He gave Klimas a number. Klimas called Kovalev. Offered to manage him. Kovalev resisted. “He wasn’t sure he wanted to turn pro,” Klimas said. Klimas convinced Kovalev to meet him in Kazakhstan – with his gear. With Klimas came Don Turner, the veteran trainer best known for his work with Evander Holyfield. A few minutes into watching Kovalev work, Turner turned to Klimas and said, “Take this guy to my camp. He’s something special.”

Convincing others proved challenging. Promoters weren’t interested. Top Rank said no. Golden Boy, too. The light heavyweight division was barren, and nobody wanted to invest in it. Klimas didn’t care. For two years, Klimas carried Kovalev. He paid for trainers. For sparring partners. For opponents. It was $15,000 here, $20,000 there. Cash, cars, rent – Klimas covered it. He saw a star in Kovalev. He was hell bent on others seeing it, too.

It was Klimas who set up the Simakov fight. In the fall of 2011, Kovalev was coming off a foul-fueled draw against Grover Young. Klimas wanted to make an immediate rematch. No luck. A Russian promoter called. Ruslan Provodnikov was fighting in December in Ekaterinburg. Did Kovalev want to be on the card? Klimas offered the fight to Kovalev. Kovalev quickly accepted.

“He knew of Roman, knew he was a pretty good fighter,” Klimas said. “He thought it would be a great fight. He never thought about what could happen.”


It’s a seasonably warm April afternoon in southern California when Kovalev arrives at Klimas’ suburban Los Angeles home. Much has changed since 2011. Kovalev is the unified light heavyweight champion, universally regarded as the best 175-pound fighter in the world. Klimas is a successful manager with Kovalev and ex-Olympic star Vasyl Lomachenko headlining a growing stable. With Kovalev is Natalya, a petite brunette with a sharp smile. In her arms is Kovalev’s one-year old son, Aleksandr.

Inside, Kovalev glances around a room nervously. It’s a rare sight. In the ring Kovalev oozes confidence. He has unparalleled power. Since 2011, Kovalev has knocked out 17 of his 18 opponents. Only Bernard Hopkins went the distance. He’s a predator, punishing opponents with a rare ruthlessness. Last year, in a rematch with Jean Pascal, Kovalev admitted to carrying Pascal a few rounds. Enraged by Pascal’s prefight comments, Kovalev wanted to administer the maximum beating before finishing off Pascal.

This Kovalev is different. He appears anxious, the cocky grin replaced by a subdued smile. Perhaps because of why he’s here: To speak at length about Simakov’s death for the first time.

Kovalev has long refused to discuss the fight. Reporters have asked. Often, Kovalev responds with a deep, blank stare. He can compartmentalize what happened with Simakov, friends say. But talk about it? Not happening. “I’m strong with these situations,” Kovalev said. “Where I grew up, I saw a lot of things. Bad things. I’m ready for any situation.”

Indeed. Kovalev was raised in poverty, stuffed in a three-room apartment with his parents and, at various times, two brothers and sister. “Two or three eggs in the refrigerator was a good day,” Klimas said. To this day Kovalev battles high cholesterol, in part due to years of a largely spaghetti and egg diet. Odd jobs provided income. Selling newspapers, washing windows, filling gas tanks as a kid; working loading docks and picking up bodyguard work when he got older.

Fighting was a part of life. “You go into an unknown neighborhood, somebody pushes you, you have to fight back,” Kovalev said. He saw things he wishes he didn’t. As a teenager, Kovalev watched a mob nearly beat a man to death. “I saw a lot of damage to people,” Kovalev said. “I saw a lot of people hurt.”

Still, Kovalev came to like fighting. His favorite actor: Jean-Claude Van Damme. Posters of Van Damme covered the walls of his bedroom. He’s seen No Retreat, No Surrender – Van Damme’s 1986 flop – more times than he can count. Van Damme movies, Kovalev says, inspired him to go out on the street looking for fights.

“Fair fights,” Kovalev says, smiling.

He stumbled into boxing. A friend told him he tried it; called it the best workout he ever had. The next day – Dec. 1, 1994, Kovalev remembers vividly – Kovalev was in the gym. He never looked back.

By December, 2011, star was on the rise. He was unbeaten, trained by noted trainer Abel Sanchez and displaying the kind of power that would soon get a major promoter’s attention. Simakov represented the next step. As an amateur, Kovalev recalled watching Simakov at national tournaments. “He was really strong,” Kovalev said. “He punched hard. I remember watching him and thinking about how I would fight that guy.”

He got his chance. The weigh-in went smoothly. “[Simakov] looked fine,” Sanchez said. “He looked prepared.” Added Kovalev, “I asked him, ‘Are we ready?’ He said he was ready. I said good luck tomorrow, and that was it.”

Simakov was well credentialed. Once beaten, a minor titleholder, Simakov was a Kovalev-caliber prospect. A strong crowd filed into the DIVS Sports Palace expecting a good fight. “It was a good opponent for Sergey,” Sanchez said. “It was a step up opponent. I thought it would be a tough fight.”

It wasn’t. From the first round it was clear Kovalev was superior. “Sergey was hitting him with anything he wanted to hit him with,” Sanchez said. “And he can crack. He has heavy hands. Simakov was taking everything. He was getting hit with solid shots.” Recalled Klimas, “Everything Sergey threw landed. Everything. Even when Roman moved, Sergey would find him.”

In the third round, Kovalev started to wonder: How much more of this could Simakov take? He could feel the punches; less than 10 minutes into the fight, and his hands ached from the force of them.

“I just remember thinking, ‘Why [Roman] do you need this? Stop the fight,’ ” Kovalev said. “I knew how hard I was hitting him. I felt it in my fists. I felt pain.”

Today, Kovalev is a complete fighter. Then, he was a headhunter. Every shot was aimed above the neck. Midway through the fight – around the fourth or fifth round, Klimas recalls – Kovalev looked over at his manager and said, “Egis, everything I’m throwing, it’s landing. I don’t know how much this guy can take. Is anybody going to stop it?”

“But he can’t stop it,” Klimas said, “He’s a fighter.”

Sanchez saw it. After the fifth, Sanchez told Kovalev to start going to the body. “If this was going to continue, we had to keep practicing what we worked on.” Kovalev agreed. The problem: Simakov was still fighting to win. “He came out in the sixth round and tried to take Sergey’s head off,” Sanchez said. “Sergey had to fight back.”

And he did, dropping Simakov and burying him under an avalanche of headshots. After the sixth, Sanchez glanced at the referee. “I motioned to the referee to stop the fight,” Sanchez said. “He was hitting him so hard. I remember the thuds. The hard thuds.”

It ended in seventh. Less than a minute in, Simakov’s legs buckled. A few seconds later, a soft hook put him down. He struggled to his feet, but needed the ropes to hold him up. Then, he collapsed. “I’ve seen people go down like that before,” Sanchez said. “It’s scary. Your first thought is, ‘I hope nothing’s wrong.’ ”

Simakov lost consciousness. A makeshift stretcher carried him out of the ring. Kovalev headed back to his locker room. An official came and told Klimas: Something was seriously wrong. “I went right to where he was,” Klimas said. “I saw Roman. He was turning blue. He looked terrible.”


Klimas raced back to Kovalev’s dressing room, where a post-fight celebration was in full swing. Klimas told Kovalev what had happened. Kovalev was stunned. The two raced back to the area Simakov was being treated. But he had already been taken away. “I tried to remember the fight,” Kovalev said. “There wasn’t one punch that [caused] this. It was total punches. I was just punching. There was nothing special. I was doing my job.”

The next few days were a blur. Klimas flew to Moscow. Kovalev returned to Chelyabinsk. Klimas stayed in contact with Simakov’s trainer. Kovalev had a friend at the local hospital who kept him updated on Simakov’s condition. He prayed for Simakov. With Natalya, Kovalev went to church and lit candles, desperately hoping for Simakov to recover. Said Klimas, “Every hour, we were checking in.”

Three days after the fight, Simakov was dead. Complications from brain injuries. Klimas got the call in the early morning. “As soon as I heard [the trainer’s] voice, I knew it was a disaster,” Klimas said. He called Kovalev. No answer. He called again. Still nothing. Eventually he got through. When he heard Kovalev’s voice, it was clear he already knew.

“It was impossible to talk,” Klimas said. “We were both crying into the phone. It was 20 minutes, just crying. Endless, endless crying.”

Said Kovalev, “I don’t remember anything. I was lost.”

Processing what happened was impossible. Klimas surmised that Simakov was in bad shape before the fight. Sanchez did, too. The beating Kovalev put on him was just the last one he could take. “I remembered going to his training room to watch his trainer wrap his hands,” Klimas said. “What I noticed, he was kind of pale. He didn’t have a human color. At the time, I hadn’t thought much of that. But I believe he had some kind of previous problems.”

Kovalev, Klimas said, wanted to call Simakov’s family. Klimas recommended against it. Instead, he called. Eventually, he got through to Simakov’s father. According to Klimas, it didn’t go well.

“His father went ballistic,” Klimas said. “He said, ‘You guys are killers.’ He said, ‘You’re murderers.’ He said, ‘You took my son away.’ He didn’t want to hear from me or about us. He said, ‘Don’t call me. I don’t want to hear from you.’ Then he hung up the phone.

“I told Sergey not to contact them. Because Sergey was ready to jump on a plane and go there. He was thinking about going to the funeral. I told him not to think about doing that. Don’t even think about it.”

Death is a tragic part of boxing. It’s uncommon, but far too common for anyone’s liking. “Death under the Spotlight: The Manuel Velazquez Boxing Fatality Collection” documents 2,036 boxer deaths, dating back to 1725. Lives end. Others are changed forever. Emile Griffith was haunted for decades after he killed Benny Paret. Ray Mancini was never the same after Duk Koo Kim succumbed to injuries incurred in their fight.

In the weeks after Simakov’s death, Kovalev retreated from the world. “He went into a shell,” Natalya said. “He’s the kind of person that keeps everything inside. But he couldn’t sleep. He went into himself. It changed him.”

Said Kovalev, “I really was lost. I was lost for about a month. I got a lot of calls of support, from my parents, from friends, from my wife. But that whole month, I don’t remember. I was lost in my mind.”

He was trapped – and the public reaction only made it worse. Natalya recalls television commentators calling Kovalev a killer. She read articles that suggested Kovalev may have loaded his gloves. There were suggestions that Kovalev knew Simakov was in trouble, and pressed forward anyway. “Even now, talking about it, I get goose bumps,” Natalya said. “It was painful and unpleasant for everybody.”

Simakov’s family continued to hold Kovalev responsible. “His father went to the police,” Klimas said. “They opened a case. Then they opened another. They pulled Sergey into the investigation. We gave them everything. We gave them the gloves. We delivered what they asked us to. But the father never gave up. He was trying and trying to [get] Sergey. I’m telling you, every time Sergey is in Russia, the police call him. They interview him. They ask him about why the fight wasn’t stopped. They ask if he saw Roman was collapsing. This is still happening. I talked to an investigator about eight months ago.”

Through it all boxing was the furthest thing from Kovalev’s mind. And if he had other means to provide for his family, he might have walked away from it. His wife hated boxing. His parents did, too. But boxing was how Kovalev made a living. And he had to make a living. “I had just this small apartment, nothing more,” Kovalev said. “I had been boxing since I was 11, and I had nothing.”

Added Natalya, “He had an obligation to his family, his loved ones. He is the only breadwinner in his family. If it’s not boxing, then what else? He doesn’t know how to sell. He’s not a businessman. He is a boxer. He must continue what he started. It doesn’t matter what happened in his life. He had to pull together and act. It doesn’t matter if I want it or if someone else wants it or doesn’t want it. He has his goal and must accomplish it.”

Seven months after Simakov’s death, Kovalev was back in the ring. His first test: A rematch with Darnell Boone, a power puncher who put Kovalev on the canvas in their first meeting. Klimas had no idea how Kovalev would look. “Would he be the same Sergey?” Klimas said. “I just didn’t know.”

He was. Kovalev stopped Boone in the second round. Three months later, he knocked out Lionel Thompson. In 2013 he demolished Nathan Cleverly to win a world title. He picked up two more with a thorough defeat of Hopkins a year later.

On July 11, Kovalev will fight in Russia for the first time since he fought Simakov. This is why he’s finally willing to talk about the tragedy. He won’t be far from DIVS Sports Palace; he will be in it, defending his titles against Isaac Chilemba in the same venue. The idea was Kovalev’s. “I don’t worry about this at all,” Kovalev said. “I already forgot the situation. I’m ready to face the future.”

Kovalev believes Simakov’s family still lives in the area. He says he doesn’t know if they will be at the fight. He says he would want to see them if he could. And what would he say?

“I don’t know,” Kovalev says, his voice trailing off. “I won’t [ask] them to come to the arena, because it’s not a good memory. I’m not going to do that. But I’d like to see them. I don’t know what I can say to them. Just hello, and I’m sorry.”

Kovalev’s voice chokes as he speaks, the emotion of reliving the moment finally overwhelming him. He knows he isn’t to blame for Simakov’s death. But it’s an understanding that offers little relief. For Kovalev, the best way to honor Simakov is to win for him – and hope he is out there, somewhere, witnessing it.

“I have to continue, to fight for me and him, together,” Kovalev said. “I think he’s seeing me. Maybe he is. Maybe he’s looking down on me. I don’t know. But I will try to be the best in boxing. For both of us.”

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.



Kovalev: I want to beat Ward in front of his fans in Oakland

kovalev-oakland300a  Photo: Alexis Cuarezma/Main Events –

WBA/IBF/WBO unified light heavyweight world champion was ringside Saturday night for former super middleweight world champion Andre Ward’s one-sided win over #1 rated light heavyweight Sullivan Barrera.

“My prediction is complete,” said The Krusher. “(I said) that it would be easy for Ward. I felt that he would stop Barrera early. But Barrera did better than I expected. I’m very happy that he won and it takes me one more step to our possible fight. It’s possible because we have to win one fight more, then after that our fight.

“I understand that most people don’t love me here because I want to beat him in front of his fans. But it’s not an easy job and I want to beat him in front of his fans in Oakland. And it isn’t easy. I’ll keep working to get a victory over his boxing style.

“He looked very good, but I know that he can look much better. He didn’t show his entire arsenal because he was off so long. It will be an interesting fight when we meet.

“What I saw this night? I saw that I can touch him. In the ring will show exactly what will happen. Congrats to him with a beautiful victory.”


01/30/2016 Sergey Kovalev vs. Jean Pascal

Date:   Saturday, January 30, 2016


Location:   Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Promoter:    Main Events-Kathy Duva  /  Interbox – Jean Bedard

Supervisor:  John Duggan, Esq.

Referee:  Michael Griffin

Judges:   Pasquale Procopio, Nelson Vazquez, Steve Weisfeld

Results:   WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev dominated and stopped Jean Pascal after seven rounds, retaining his WBO, IBF, and WBA titles

TV:   USA HBO, Canada Indigo

Sergey Kovalev Media Day


Photos: Jose Pineiro/Main Events –

WBA/IBF/WBO light heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev talked about his January 30 grudge rematch against Jean Pascal at a press workout on Thursday at the PAL Gym in Boca Raton, Florida.

Do you want to make him retire?

“I want this, we’ll see. But usually all my opponents stop their career or move their division, but last fight I didn’t finish my job.”

Why fight Pascal again when the first fight seemed so easy?

“First of all, Pascal has said bad things to my side. I have a reason for fighting him. I think Pascal has reason to say thank you to Luis Pabon, the referee for the fight. He forgot to say thank you very much that he saved his health and life maybe. Because he was already “drunk”, you know like spaghetti legs.”

Why fight in Canada?

“I love Canada and Canadian fans. Canada reminds me so much of my home town in Russia. Same atmosphere. Lot of details remember me of my home town and I feel very comfortable in Canada. Big support from Canadian fans. And second thing why I fight in Canada, because Pascal doesn’t want to go to America to fight me or in Russia either. He’s fighting only in his hometown. Ok, I’m ready to kick his ass in his hometown.”

What changed in your training coming to this fight?

“I did a lot of mistakes in our last fight and right now I try to fix it. I try to be better. It’s a secret about my mistakes and just me and my trainer know about my mistakes. I learned from my first fight. Right now I fix it and try to be creative, do everything exactly correct and try to fight more harder and try to stop Pascal early this time.

“Because I was disappointed in my performance in our last fight against Pascal I want to do this much better, much more clear. “I felt very comfortable (in last fight). Judge gave to him two rounds, but I didn’t feel I lost these rounds. I just take time, used a lot of jabs and get lot of points with the jab.

“I don’t feel comfortable to make any prediction because it is boxing, anything can happen. It’s not my habit to say, I will, will, will. Because sometimes you say will and something else happens and then you look like a trash talker. You know? “Pascal is a trash talker. I don’t care what he say because it’s just trash from his mouth. He start speaking trash to (make me) lose my mind and make me nervous; he will pay for this in the ring. Believe me. I am going to make him pay for this.

“It is a more personal fight (because of trash talk).”

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Sergey Kovalev vs. Nadjib Mohammedi: Winner, Recap and Reaction


By Bryan Mazique / Credit:  Photo by John Locher, AP –

WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KO) continues to crush opponents.

On Saturday night, Kovalev defended his titles by way of a third-round TKO win over an overmatched Nadjib Mohammedi (37-4). There was little resistance offered up by Mohammedi in this one.

He couldn’t match Kovalev’s speed, technical acumen and certainly not the Russian’s power. With every power punch the champion landed, it was clear he was just too strong for Mohammedi.

The challenger’s only defense seemed to be his awkwardness, but Kovalev wouldn’t allow that to keep him from the finish for long. He dropped Mohammedi for the first time in the second round with this right hand, per HBO Boxing.

Watch: Kovalev sends Mohammedi down to the canvas in the second round.

Mohammedi would get to his feet, but he made the decision reluctantly. He spent the remainder of the round grabbing, holding and attempting to wrestle Kovalev down in an effort to survive the frame. He accomplished his short-term goal, but it was clear he wouldn’t be around for long.

In the third round, Kovalev put him away with this right-left combination. The tail end of the one-two might have broken a bone in Mohammedi’s face.

Watch: @KrusherKovalev ends Mohammedi’s night in the third round. pic.twitter.com/Bspfswk0wp

Referee Kenny Bayless called a halt to the bout as Mohammedi made more effort to address his injured cheek bone than he did to beat the count.

When the fight was over, speculation about Kovalev’s next opponent began.

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Jean Pascal won a controversial decision over Yunieski Gonzalez in the undercard, and that win put him in line for another shot at Kovalev. The Russian already scored an eighth-round TKO win over Pascal in March.

The fight was an entertaining one, so there could be a small market for the rematch. On a larger scale, a fight with WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson or countrymen Artur Beterbiev would be most appealing. Making either fight will be problematic because Al Haymon promotes both fighters, and there’s a storied history of issues with HBO and Showtime fighters facing off against each other.

More realistic opponents for Kovalev would be middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin or super middleweight kingpin Andre Ward.

Golovkin would have to come up at least eight pounds for a superbout with Kovalev. Ward would be a more feasible opponent as the two men could meet somewhere between 168 and 175 pounds. HBO’s Max Kellerman asked Kovalev who he would like to face next with specific references to Golovkin and Ward, but Kovalev kept it general, per HBO Boxing.

“I’m ready for everyone.” – @KrusherKovalev on his future opponents.

Many in the boxing community such as Bleacher Report’s Kevin McRae and Bad Left Hook’s Scott Christ were intrigued by the possibility of a Ward vs. Kovalev scrap.

I’d be super fascinated by a Ward-Kovalev matchup. Think that’s a great one on paper.

@scottchristBLH Agree. I am very curious to see how Andre could handle or take away Kovalev’s power.

There’s no doubt that bout could be an entertaining one. Kovalev’s power is unlike anything Ward has ever faced. With Ward moving up, it would be interesting to see how he handles the additional weight and bigger punch.

As of now, we don’t have any official word on that bout. We’ll just have to appreciate Kovalev’s latest destructive exhibition.


Kovalev destroys Mohammedi; Pascal defeats Gonzalez


(Photo Credit: David Spagnolo/Main Events) By Jim Dower:   IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KOs) stayed unbeaten tonight in destroying an overmatched No.1 IBF Nadjib Mohammedi (37-4, 23 KOs) by a 3rd round knockout on Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Kovalev knocked Mohammedi down twice in the fight in dropping him in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Kovalev finished Mohammedi off with a big right hand followed by a left to the head that sent him down. Mohammedi clutched at his left eye while he was on the canvas, and failed to beat the canvas.

In the 2nd round, Kovalev nailed Mohammedi with a big right hand that hurt him, causing him to back up. Kovalev then narrowed the gap and dropped Mohammedi with a short right hand to the head. After the knockdown, Mohammedi constantly held to make it out of the round. He slid to the canvas once after losing his footing. Mohammedi’s legs were totally gone after the knockdown.

“I’m ready for anyone,” Kovalev said after the fight. “If the promoters want to make this fight [against Andre Ward], I’d be happy.”

HBO’s Max Kellerman even asked Kovalev if he’d be interested in facing Yunieski Gonzalez, who lost a controversial 10 round decision to Jean Pascal tonight in the co-feature, and Kovalev repeated that he’s ready for anyone if the people want to see the fight and if his promoters want to make the fight.


Kovalev “krushes” Mohammedi

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By Miguel Maravilla at ringside –
Photos: David Spagnolo / Main Events – John Locher, AP

Unbeaten WBO, WBA and IBF light heavyweight world champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KOs) destroyed IBF mandatory challenger Nadjib “Irondjib” Mohammedi (37-4, 23 KOs) on Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas. 150:1 favorite Kovalev dropped Mohammedi with a series of right hands in round two and finished him with right/left combination in round three. Time was 2:38.