Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev could be the most dominant light heavyweight champion since Roy Jones Jr.
The Russian hitter already has three of the four world titles.
Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 Kos) could be that steamroller the division needs and he faces France’s Nadjib Mohammedi (37-3, 23 Kos) on Saturday, July 25. The battle for the WBA, WBO and IBF world light heavyweight world titles takes place at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. HBO will televise.
“Mandalay Bay for me is very important because I waited a long time to get to this level of maturation of fighting. I waited a long time to be here,” Kovalev, 32, said last month while in Los Angeles. “And now I’m happy, I’m here where I want.”
Not since Jones roamed the 175-pound landscape has the division had major attention. The Florida prizefighter used lightning speed to befuddle and embarrass opponents from August 1997 to May 2004. It was a reign of amazement that saw Jones rack up wins on a regular basis and clean up the division. Fifteen opponents met defeat against the unorthodox but effective attacks from Jones.
Kovalev has a different mode of attack. Just knock them out.
“I don’t care what style they fight,” said Kovalev.
Since defeating Nathan Cleverly almost two years ago in Wales, the Russian light heavyweight clobbered each opponent along the way. It’s all by design. Nothing is left to chance.
“I want to show to people I can not only to punch, I can do boxing,” Kovalev said. “I am disappointed people couldn't see in my first 14 or 15 fights. I can do boxing.”
But the tall Russian light heavyweight does know about boxing politics and realizes knockouts are the safest route to victories.
Mohammedi, though unknown to the American public, has not lost since 2011. He recently chose Big Bear’s Abel Sanchez to handle his training. This is his second fight under the ace tutor who also works with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and formerly worked with Kovalev.
“I promise Saturday a good fight. I am ready,” said Mohammedi, 30.
Kovalev, who had an extensive amateur background, said everyone changes once inside the boxing ring. He expects to fight on the fly.
“I know nothing about Mohammedi,” Kovalev said. “What I know about him is nothing. I know just that he is very much under-rated and he’s my next opponent. He’s strong because he has a good record, he’s 37-3. It means he’s a good fighter and right now he has very good situation. Because on this fight there will be three titles. It’s much better for him because I am the owner of these titles.”
Kovalev could eventually dominate the 175-pounders with his height, skills and power just like Jones did in the late 90s and 00s.
“My next opponent deserves a fight with me. I already proved I’m ready to fight my next opponent who is at the top,” said Kovalev who seeks to be undisputed light heavyweight champion. “Right now I don’t think about moving up. Right now I have a goal for a fourth title.”
Will Kovalev dominate? This fight will make a good case for him.