Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev opened up his camp to the media today in preparation for his Nov. 8 light heavyweight unification bout with Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ and live on HBO World Championship Boxing®.
Question: How do you study Hopkins?
Sergey Kovalev: “I don’t study anybody. It is better to go to the gym to do some work for my shape or spend time to cook my breakfast or sleep in my bed. Why I need to spend the time?”
Q: Other than your power, what could be your strength against Hopkins?
S. Kovalev: “I always have bullets in my arsenal. My hands are my weapons. It’s my weapon in the ring. Hopkins think that I only have two bullets but I will bring some more.”
Q: Hopkins is usually the teacher in the ring what do you expect to learn from him?
S. Kovalev “I wanna get some lesson from the professor of boxing. He is old school boxer. I want to get some experience from this fight that can make me better for another fight. I am not going to finish my career after this fight. There will be other fighters that will also be tough and very talented and very hard like a punch machine. I should be ready for everyone in the ring and in life too.”
Q: What are your plans for theremainder of training camp?
S. Kovalev: “It is already done. One more sparring session tomorrow and that is it.”
Q: Tell us about your discipline as you prepare for this fight.
S. Kovalev: “I am trying to be disciplined because this is boxing. This is very intense and dangerous sport. Any punch from your opponent can be last for you. You must be very concentrated and focused for the fight. I just started a new level of my life with my son, so I need to be more safe. I am with my wife already 10 years. She asked me already five years ago that she want a baby. I want a baby too, but God don’t give us baby. My life was not ready to give everything for my family. If earlier we had baby, I wouldn’t fight. I started boxing because I need to get money. I box with the hope that somebody will sign me for three years. This is all a result of my patience. Our patience, me, Egis [Klimas, Sergey’s manager] and my wife’s patience. Very big thanks to my promoter and my team at Main Events. I also want to thank for my team John David Jackson and Derik Santos and everyone else who help me.”
Q: What would you tell your son if he wanted to be a boxer?
“I not gonna stop him. I will teach him fighting. Any man must be safe and defend his family and be ready for anything in life. I will bring him to the boxing gym but if he said he don’t want to be boxer, then I’m not going to push him. Maybe he will be musician. I will give him choice. He will go to boxing gym – not for career, but to make him strong like a man.”
Q: Why do you think you are going to win?
S. Kovalev: “I don’t think – I am sure. No, I am kidding. I am sure in myself. I believe in me. In my mind I am strong, but this is boxing and I don’t what is going to happen. I hope and I wish that this fight will be very clean and fair. Who is strong should be who win. I want that this fight should be fair. I try to be polite, I try to be nice but, if my opponent don’t respect me, then I don’t respect him.”
Q: Has Bernard said anything negative about you?
S. Kovalev: “I don’t care what he saying. I don’t understand him. It’s not my language. I am very happy that this fight is in America; I am very excited that I get to participate at this level already. When I came to America, I waited long time to get to this level of fight.”
Q: What is your prediction for the fight?
S. Kovalev: “Something will happen but what it will be I don’t know. I will try everything to give to people exciting fight because I am going to continue my career. I am going to bring more people to the arena and to HBO.”
Q: Is it your plan to put on a good show for the fans?
S. Kovalev: “This will be good show. I am sure because all my fights looking good. When I was an amateur, people love to watch me fight. When I came to America, nobody watch me in the beginning. Then Egis found me good team. Kathy Duva and her team turn attention on me here and now I am fighting against Hopkins.”
Q: Are you ready to go the distance if necessary?
S. Kovalev: “I have been working hard here in the gym. I will give to my fans a great show. Working hard because it is my job. If my opponent work harder, he will get victory and I don’t want that. This push me to working hard in the gym. My dreams come true in America. My first time in America I got a new car from dealer, but I never have a new car in Russia; not even a Russian car. But Russian cars is cheap. I didn’t get money from the bank like credit because I didn’t have the opportunity. When I came to America I got new Jetta from VW and I was very excited. I can’t believe, wow I had a new car. I was happy. Now I am fighting against Hopkins and I have more of my dreams here in my mind. If they come true, you will see what is my next dream.”
Q: Who do you want to fight next?
S. Kovalev: “I don’t like to say what will be in the future until I did this one. Sometimes a lot of fighters talk about what they will do and then they didn’t do it. In Russia, they do not respect people who just speak but not do. Say and do are two different things. I can do it and afterwards say I did it.”
Q: What does it feel like to be a dad?
“I don’t understand yet because I didn’t meet with my son personally yet, but I saw him on the Skype within minutes of when he delivered. Now I have a conversation through the Skype with my wife and my son. He is really cute but he is growing up really fast. He is changing every day. I am very happy. After my fight I am going to go home and meet him personally. When I see him, hug him and spend time with my family.”
Q: How has being away from your family affected your training camp?
“He has pushed me little bit. I want to do everything a little bit faster and a little bit rushed. I already can’t wait for this day to come. I have patience and there is nothing I can do but wait for November 8 to get two more titles and go back and give this victory to my wife and my son.”
Q: Are you going to try to stop the fight as quick as possible?
“If it will be possible, yes. If not, it will be 12 rounds for decision. For me it doesn’t matter. First of all, I need to get a victory. When I came to this division I started growing up. Right now light heavyweight is very interesting division. When I came to America, only Hopkins was the name in the division. Hopkins has two titles. Right now Canadian champion, Russian champion and American champion, international division. It is very interesting division because I am here (joking).”
Q: What do you think about Hopkins reputation for being a dirty fighter?
S. Kovalev: “Because he is punching open hands. Punching from the head like a deer. He fighting like a street fighter. Because he is dangerous. He can cut you from the head, from the elbow, everything, from any part of his body. He is looking like a very dirty fighter. Sometimes he is making like a clown. He is a good actor. If he is feeling like he can’t do something legally, he start playing like an actor and complaining about pain or a low blow or something. Like in his first fight against Chad Dawson, he was not ready for this fight. I saw his first round and after first round he understood that he is not going to win this fight and he complained he hurt his shoulder and got TD [technical draw] but he still keep title. We will see everything on November 8. I am not a prediction man. I don’t know. Watch HBO or welcome to Atlantic City, Boardwalk Hall and you will see everything November 8.”
Q: What should the fans expect?
S. Kovalev: “I can say only one thing that it will be a very interesting fight and everybody who support me will be happy.”
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Alien vs. Krusher: Hopkins vs. Kovalev” is a 12-round unification bout for the IBF, WBA and WBO Light Heavyweight World titles, presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events in association with Caesars Atlantic City, Corona Extra, AT&T, Hortitsia Vodka and Mexico, Live it To Believe It!. Ali vs. Abregu is a 10-round bout for the WBO Intercontinental Welterweight Title promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank. The HBO World Championship Boxing telecast begins at 10:45 p.m. ET/PT.