Now that Andre Ward, the only man to have beaten him at pro level, is out of the way, Russia’s Sergey Kovalev is on a mission to get all his belts back – “Krusher” of course losing his WBA/WBO/IBF light-heavyweight titles to the now-retired Ward last year.(Photo credit Craig Bennett/Main Event)
Kovalev, who says he has very much cleaned up his act (no more beer, two a day being his intake according to a recent interview Kovalev gave with fighthype) as well as getting himself a new trainer, faces Vyacheslav Shabranskyy for the vacant WBO belt he lost to Ward. This fight goes down next Saturday (November 25) and Kovalev is favorite to win – but it will prove much tougher getting the three other recognized belts around his waist.
Kovalev was a top pound-for-pound star prior to the two losses to Ward (the first loss being a highly controversial decision loss, the return seeing “Krusher” get stopped in eight-rounds) but we have to wait and see how much those defeats took out of him. Can Kovalev, 30-2-1(26) get back to the top of the mountain at age 34?
“I want all the titles,” Kovalev told fighthype. “For me every fight is important but right now this is the situation where I lost the belts, but thank God I am fighting for them again. It’s a great opportunity to come back at this level and be a champion and prove I deserve it, with another unification fight. We should make interesting fights with all the guys, four titles and maybe in the future, we have one of those series.”
The thought of a Kovalev with his mojo back going in with the likes of Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev and Adonis Stevenson really is enough to get the excitement levels up. Kovalev may have given up on ever landing a fight with WBC ruler Stevenson – the two talking about a fight years ago, only for “Superman” to recognize the Kryptonite Kovalev had in his hands and take a pass – but Kovalev against Beterbiev (IBF) and/or Bivol (WBA) would perhaps make up for it.
Just who is the best light-heavyweight in the world today? We don’t know, and that’s why seeing the kind of big fights Kovalev alluded to is all the more intriguing a prospect.