Sergey Kovalev’s business
By Igor Frank
Please do not get fooled by Sergei Kovalev’s charming smile. Light heavyweight champion has an edge to him. No matter how much he tries to act like a” good boy” , like his compatriot and fellow knock out artist, Gennady Golovkin, his mean streak comes out. When asked by a novice reporter where did he get his moniker from “The Crusher” replied with a heavy Eastern European accent:” You just awake right now? Kathy Duva gave me this nickname.”
“Crusher” and company were in Los Angeles the weekend of Golovkin’s fight. They held a press conference at the Westin Hotel by LAX to update media on Kovalev’s future.
“HBO wants to be in Sergey Kovalev’s business,” said promoter Kathy Duva who was happy to announce that her charge just signed an exclusive contract extension with HBO. Kovalev’s next order of business, a title defense against rugged Frenchman, Nadjib Mohammedi (37-3,23KO’S) is scheduled for July 18th, 2015. HBO will televise this contest live from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Mohammedi earned the right to fight for a title after he stopped Lee Campbell in March of this year in Canada on the undercard of Kovalev’s 8th round stoppage of Jean Pascal. Considering Sergey’s last two opponents, Hopkins and Pascal, and the way he dominated them, it is hard to get excited about him facing Mohammedi. Perhaps the only intrigue about this matchup is that the Frenchman is currently trains under the tutelage of Abel Sanchez, Kovalev’s former trainer.
When I asked Kovalev if this situation is a concern for him, he said:”No! Even because he has a lot of tapes of my sparring and my work outs. He knows me. I don’t care.”
What thirty two year old Kovalev cares about is getting in the ring and plying his craft, which means crushing his opponents and getting paid for it. So far he has amassed an impressive record of 27 wins with no losses, 24 knock outs and one technical draw.
I remember the technical draw. It took place at the famed Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills in August of 2011. After getting thoroughly beaten up his opponent seemingly just slipped on the canvas and wouldn’t get up. Frustrated Kovalev was running around the ring yelling obscenities in Russian language egging his foe to continue with the combat. Referee called an accidental foul and declared a technical draw. “I remember the fight,” said Kovalev:” but I don’t remember the guy’s name.” His name is Grover Young and he remembers Kovalev’s name because he has never been hit so hard in his life.
This was next to last unpleasant moment in Sergey Kovalev’s professional boxing career. The last unpleasant moment took place in the very next fight. Kovalev went to Russia in December of 2011 and literally beat the life out of his adversary, Roman Simakov. The fight was stopped in the seventh stanza. Roman slipped into a coma and never recovered. This tragedy did not get a lot of coverage from American media because it took place in Russia. Kovalev expressed deep sorrow over the fatality of fellow boxer, but like a good soldier he left it behind him and continued to march forward.
Kovalev signed a contract with promoter Kathy Duva in 2012 and never looked back. Since then Crusher went through list of very formidable opponents like storm through forest leaving nothing but debris behind. The only foe that was able to hear the final bell as of late was ring great, Bernard Hopkins, although he did take a serious beating for his troubles.
Can Nadjib Mohammedi create another unpleasant moment in the career of rising star from Russia? We will have to wait till July 18th to find out.
Contact Igor Frank at email@example.com or via Twitter(Fightmonger).