Knocking peoples’ blocks off, he finds that not so difficult to do.
Taking media queries, putting his Russian thoughts into a semblance of English, bless his soul, Sergey Kovalev doesn’t find that as easy to handle.
But the light heavyweight ace, who gloves up July 25, in Las Vegas, and on HBO, usually charms the press, because his answers are a mixture of humble, straight-forward and slightly jumbled, in an endearing way.
Now, there was nothing jumbled about it when he denounced Canadians Adonis Stevenson and Jean Pascal as “pieces of s–t,” but he was less profane when discussing his July 25 foe, the Algieran-Frenchman, Nadjib Mohammedi.
Kovalev told the press he was treating the IBF No. 1 challenger, trained by Abel Sanchez, who worked with Kovalev a few years back, as if he was the top dog in the division. He sounded pleased with a change of scene, that being training in Cali, and not Florida. He’s with trainer John David Jackson, still, and JDJ said that Mo is no joke, he’s rugged and awkward and aggressive..or, should be…we will see when he gets hit.
Kovalev was sometimes feisty on the hour long call, as when he said he’d love another crack at Pascal, who he says he lost respect for, and that he’d like to stop him earlier if they tangle again. (It looks like that is a most distinct possibility–Pascal is fighting on the undercard.)
Main Events boss Kathy Duva is a fierce scrapper herself, and took shots at the disruptor in cheif, Al Haymon. She said that her fight card still has tix left, and the ticket selling market has been skewed, because Haymon frequently gives seats away to his shows for free. Indeed, he set up a rival show for the same night, in Las Vegas, pitting Beibut Shumenov against BJ Flores in a cruiserweight tangle. But, she noted, “you get what you pay for.” Kovalev, she said, is worth paying money to see. Big changes came to the sport six months ago, she said, and she guesses that another big change will come in another six months. (Reading in between the lines, we think she means that Haymon’s financial backers won’t be keen to keep on seeing their millions funnel down a drain, without seeing bangup ratings in the return for their buck.)
Manager Vince Caruso, repping Mo, said his kid is on weight, but he doesn’t know what his gameplan is, whether he will rumble and trade, or try and shift his manner, and be more of a boxer. He used to be with Marco Antonio Barrera, and he noted that he also had no idea of the MAB gameplan before the Mexican upset Nassem Hamed. So…)
As for the 40 or 45 to 1 odds against Mo, Caruso said maybe those should be more lopsided, his kid could be a hundred to one dog, because Kovalev is a beast. But he thinks his kid will shock the desert guys, and most fans…
I chuckled some when I asked Kovalev to elaborate on why he thinks so little of Stevenson and Pascal. He said they are what he thinks they are, because that is what they are…
By the way, Adonis answered the smack on Twitter, “A guy fights another guy. They have press conference and they talk about me instead of their fight. Lol #Lineal #”
He has a fight on Sept. 11, I hear against Edwin Rodriguez.
Pascal told me, “I’m on Kovalev’s mind, big time!”
He wasn’t sure why Kovalev said he lost respect for him, noting that “he knows he got lucky. Hey, how can you beat a guy and talk smack about him? He knows I gave him his toughest challenge.”
He also told me he’s not looking past his July 25 foe, 16-0 Cuban Yunieski Gonzalez.
That said, I want to hear from you all; could Mohammedi rumble his way to a screaming upset? If Kovalev beats him, what fights do you want him in next? Duva said we will likely see Kovalev vs. Andre Ward within the year…you like?