Sergey Kovalev Interview Transcript
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion
“Hello everyone thank you so much for everything. I already changed diapers. I already lost track of how many diapers, maybe 15 or so. It is easy because I have experience with my nephews. My older sister has two babies so I have done this a lot. Beating Hopkins is a little bit more dangerous than changing diapers but he peed on my hand when I changed him. It is most important to be here with my family.
“My counsel for Bernard is that he needs to stop his career. He is already not young man and he lost to Kovalev not because of his age. He feels great, he feels good, he feels he is in good shape, and he feels young in his body. He can get a lot of wins against a lot of good fighters including [Adonis] Stevenson and other top ten fighters. It is not my job right now. It is his job. He is feeling very good. I think he needs to stop and give the opportunity to younger boxers to be fighting on the top stage.
[on a fight against Stevenson] “I don’t know how to answer. I am ready for everyone if it is the right fight. It is interesting fight for everyone. This is the job for my promoter and my manager. I don’t think about next fight, right now I want to spend time with my family. I am going to fly to Russia for a couple weeks to be with my parents.
[on light heavyweight division] “I making my weight. Five years ago it is was much easier and now it is a little bit harder to make 175 but it is right weight for my body. My body needs more attention. It is good for me for boxing. I can show how good I am. No for super middleweight it is not possible. It will be too much for my body. Cruiserweight is a big weight for me. I am walking 190 and cruiserweight is 200. I would be fighting against fighters much bigger than me. If it were 4-5 rounds it might be ok but 12 rounds will be much harder. I haven’t cleaned up this division yet. I have goal to get WBC title.
“Yes I would like to get WBC title. I don’t know what will be in the future. Right now it is job of my promoter and manager. For me it doesn’t matter I just need to get one more title.
“I made a lot of mistakes in this fight. I don’t open my mistakes to everyone in public. I know what they are and I will work on them in the gym for my next fight. First of all, Bernard is a professor of boxing. I had to be ready for this fight mentally. It was a lot of pressure on me and for my family. I had a lot of pressure for everything. It was more difficult.
[on dealing with the pressure] “I felt responsible for everything that happened in the fight. I am responsible in my fight and that push me.
[on trying for the knockout] “I was going into the ring for boxing. I was going to get victory from my boxing. I did not have a goal to knockout my opponent. If you try to knockout opponent you won’t do it because your opponent will see your hard punch. When I dropped Bernard first round I was not surprised. I was glad that it was the result of my workout in the gym. It is the result of my strategy. That I showed 12 rounds of boxing. I show the world how I can box. It was not fair that if I will knock him out he has a big experience and big respect from me and everyone in the boxing world. I am very happy that this fight went all 12 rounds.
[going past 8 rounds for the first time] “I felt very great. I did last 12 rounds. I wanted to beat Hopkins more effective. I punch him a couple times when I tried to give him knockdown but he has great and hard head. Very hard head. He was still on his legs. He didn’t drop on the floor and I was surprised. ”
John David Jackson – Kovalev’s Trainer
[on possible trainer of the year honor] “It will be great if I can get it but I can live without. If I get it will be a feather in my cap. I love boxing; it is my life. I am grateful for the fighters that I work with for getting me this level. Thanks to Sergey and to Egis for believing in me. Thanks Kathy for giving her blessing and for believing in me. To get it would be phenomenal.
[on Hopkins’ comments at press conference] “After the second Roy Jones’ fight I told him to retire. That was the last talk we had together. He couldn’t get into Sergey’s head so he tried to get into my head. He didn’t need to worry about me he needed to worry about Sergey. He knew that I know him very well and I was getting in his head better than anyone.
[on the game plan] “The way he wore Bernard down that was the game plan. He dissected him going to the body, the shoulder and the chest. Break Bernard down systematically was the plan.
“The more pressure Sergey brought the more he wore Bernard down. He is an old man in a young man’s sport. Sergey made him fight at a pace he didn’t want to fight at. He underestimated him. Sergey is a superior boxer. He showed the world that on Saturday night. He out-boxed a supposed master boxer. Bernard underestimated his abilities and that hurt him.
[working on next] “For me no one can fight him on the inside in the future he may meet someone who has a good inside game and he will need to work on that. That is the only thing he would need to work on.
[on getting into Bernard’s Head] “I kept reminding Sergey that Bernard is old. I told him where to hit him. It is common sense. He is an old man. You fight an old man by treating him like an old man.
“Sergey is very intelligent. He works on things on his own as well as with me. He works on all aspects to make sure he is a complete fighter. Sometimes he will retreat and make the opponent come to him. He will be here as long as he wants to be here. Anyone that sells him short is in for a rude awakening.
“Sergey’s timing is phenomenal. I asked Sergey to slow down and just keep boxing. If the knockout comes great, if not he was going to win the fight either way. The way he won was more satisfying anyway. He shut him out 12-0.
“I told Bernard to retire. He has had a great career and why cheapen it by hanging on too long. He said his comments at the press conference were for promotion. He can’t get in my head because he wasn’t fighting me. He was going after me because he couldn’t get into Sergey’s head. He was looking for a kink in the armor. He was apologetic afterwards. We are friends. This is business. He can’t be mad at me. He didn’t believe me when I said Sergey was a hell of a fighter. We are still friends. We probably won’t hang out but that’s okay.”
Kathy Duva – CEO of Main Events
“Thanks to everyone for joining us. This has been an auspicious month for Sergey Kovalev. He became a father, a unified champion and then got to meet his son for the first time. I am so proud of him. I am so proud of John David Jackson and Egis Klimas too. I am calling them the dream team now. They put together this great plan and Sergey executed it perfectly.
“He is going to fight again in March but it is too early to say who his opponent might be. I am going to sit down with Egis and then once we make the decision we will let you all know.
[on Stevenson] “At this point I just don’t know. It is too soon to say. Obviously [Nadjib] Mohammedi is in the picture at some point because he is the mandatory. All I see are stories that say they want to fight Sergey in 2015. They know how to reach me. No one has called me. It is still 2014 and no one has made any overtures towards any fights.
[on fighting in another weight class] “No one has talked to us about any fight at any other weight either. I have learned to never say never but it would not be any time soon. It is not really worth talking about. He wants to own the division. He wants to keep the belts he has and that means he will have to do the mandatories. He has to take care of them.
[on ratings for the fight against Hopkins] “We are very pleased with the numbers especially considering the late start due to football. It is about giving the fans a great show.
“John David Jackson choreographed the fight and Sergey executed the plan perfectly. Egis should be manager of the year. He finds all these great fighters. Sergey should be fighter of the year for the way he beat Hopkins and John David should be trainer of the year.
“I want to congratulate Sergey and his wife Natalia for their beautiful son Aleksandr and we will let you know as soon as we know what is next for Sergey.”
Egis Klimas – Sergey Kovalev’s Manager
“We are interested in WBC title. We will fight whoever will be holding that title. That is who we will be aiming for. If someone had told me earlier this year that Sergey would fight Bernard Hopkins and earn two more titles I would have asked them what are they were smoking. Things change every day. We are working towards becoming undisputed champion.
[on a fight with Golovkin] “Let’s not talk about the crazy stuff. Why should we go after Golovkin? I cannot see two different weight classes. I don’t see that fight happening because it is a different weight class. Of course we are looking for the big fights but in our weight class.”