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It could have become the greatest, but now it is almost forgotten. How Sergei Kovalev’s career unraveled

Date: May 26, 2024 Time: 06:11:32

On May 18, a great evening of professional boxing will take place in Saudi Arabia. The main card of the tournament will feature a fight that will be extremely interesting for Russian spectators: former three-time world champion in the light heavyweight division Sergey Kovalev will share the ring with the undefeated Swede Robin Safar.

Sergey Kovalev, 41, is one of Russia’s most famous and titled professional boxers. Krasher was born in Kopeisk and started boxing at the age of 11. Already at the youth and junior levels, Kovalev showed excellent boxing and won the Russian championships. In 2004 he competed for the first time in the national adult championship, reaching the final and also winning the team championship. A year later, Sergei became a double national champion (in individual and team competitions), and this was the best year of his amateur career. But Kovalev never managed to build a brilliant amateur career: in 2008 he competed for the last time at the Russian Championship and turned professional. Sergei, as he himself admitted, made this decision due to high competition with Matvey Korobov and Artur Beterbiev.

Kovalev and Beterbiev had a serious conflict:

“Doctors don’t hold grudges against patients.” The story of the notorious conflict between Beterbiev and Kovalev

And Crusher’s decision was absolutely correct, because it was in the professionals that Sergei gained world fame. He moved to the United States, where at the beginning of his career he lived and trained in the camp of the famous American specialist Don Turner. Kovalev had a fantastic start as a professional: in just over a year he had nine fights and scored early victories in all of them in the first or second round, an unrealistic statistic. Kovalev quickly established himself in the professional ranks, gaining momentum and winning local titles.

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In June 2013, the Russian became a contender for a world title fight, finishing Cornelius White in the third round. And two months later, Kovalev became world champion, easily and routinely finishing off the undefeated Nathan Cleverly, for whom this was the sixth defense of the WBO belt. Sergey knocked down the champion twice in the second round and ended the fight in the fourth. Such a convincing victory over such a serious opponent strengthened Crusher in the status of one of the strongest fighters in his division, which, in fact, he became for many years. Sergey made three defenses of his belt, finishing off Ismail Sillah, Cedric Agnew and Blake Caparello, who between them had a record of 66-1-1. Kovalev gradually got rid of promising contenders, cleaning up the division.

Sergei lived up to his nickname and literally crushed all his rivals. The legendary Bernard Hopkins was the first in a long time to achieve a complete fight against Sergey, but the American lost with a crushing score on all judges’ cards, and Kovalev became a triple world champion, winning the WBA belts and the IBF. . After that, the Russian made four successful defenses of the belt, including defeating Jean Pascal twice. Kovalev was missing the WBC belt, which was held by Adonis Stevenson, but the two never fought for the absolute world champion title. Sergei tried in every possible way to get this fight, but he was never able to catch up with the fleeing Stevenson.

And then came a turning point in Crusher’s career, associated with two fights against Andre Ward. The undefeated Olympic champion and world champion moved up from super middleweight for a historic fight with the Russian. Perhaps both the first and second fights can be considered historic, because enormous attention was focused on them, and “0” was at stake in the loss column and all kinds of titles. These titles were stolen from Kovalev when, after the first fight, which Kovalev won, the judges gave the victory to Ward. André became the new king of the division, but of course the Russian team insisted on an immediate rematch.

Fight between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Everyone remembers perfectly what happened there. Strange blows to the groin, a strange decision by the referee to stop the fight, and the fight itself was strange. Kovalev lost again, after which his career began to decline. Ward remained undefeated, leaving all titles vacant, and Sergey tried to return to the top, but alternated successful fights with unsuccessful fights. He could have had a convincing rematch with Eleider Alvarez and finished off the undefeated Anthony Yarde, or he could have been knocked out by Eleider himself, or lost all-around to Canelo, who was much smaller than Crusher.

Kovalev dreams of another title:

“I want another title.” Kovalev, 41, is a star even at his new weight

After losing to Saúl Álvarez, Kovalev took a break that lasted two and a half years. The Russian returned to the ring in May 2022, moving up to cruiserweight and defeating Bulgarian Tervel Pulev. After this, a two-year period of inactivity re-emerged and now Kovalev, 41, returns to the ring in Saudi Arabia.

Kovalev had a brilliant professional career. He really cleaned up the light heavyweight division, defeating undefeated contenders and knocking them out. Of course, it is a pity that Sergei never caught up with the fleeing Stevenson and went down in history as the absolute world champion. It’s a shame things ended like this in his fight with Ward. But that’s history. Andre took not only the belts from Sergey, but also something else: Kovalev was never as confident in his own abilities as he was before meeting Ward.

Sergei was one step away from true greatness. But now his career has come to an end. Yes, Kovalev continues to perform and even declares that he will be world champion again. Unfortunately, this is hard to believe. A loss to the undefeated Swede next weekend could permanently end the career of once-dominant world champion Sergey Kovalev.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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