Former light heavyweight champion Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) will be back inside the ring in a catchweight fight at 180 pounds against Sullivan Barrera (22-3, 14 KOs) on April 25. The fight will be streamed on DAZN and take place at the Fantasy Springs in Indio, California.
The winner of this fight will keep moving ahead with their careers. The loser may need to think of something else to do. Kovalev made a lot of money in his last fight with Canelo Alvarez, so he should be fine in retirement.
Kovalev-Barrera is a good fight. The two should have fought each five years ago when they were still in their primes, but better late than never. It’ll still be an interesting fight because Kovalev can still punch and Barrera possesses a lot of technical ability.
Having the fight take place at a catchweight of 180 lbs might make it easier for Kovalev to make weight without being drained. Additionally, the fight likely won’t have a rehydration clause for Kovalev to deal with. In his last fight against Canelo Alvarez, Kovalev looked drained after making weight.
Kovalev has looked washed up in his last two fights against Canelo and Anthony Yarde. If that version of Kovalev shows up against Barrera, he’ll get knocked out. The Cuban Barrera is up there in age at 38, but he’s still more talented than the inexperienced Yarde that Kovalev struggled to beat by an 11th round knockout last August in Russia.
Kovalev won’t be able to depend on Barrera falling apart from exhaustion the way that Yarde did. If not for Yarde gassing out in the 11th round, Kovalev likely would have lost that fight.
This fight will give Kovalev an opportunity to show the fans that he’s not the fighter that they saw get knocked out by Canel Alvarez last November. That performance by Kovalev was easily the worst of his long 11-year career.
Even in Kovalev’s two losses to Andre Ward, he performed better than he did in losing to Canelo by an 11th round knockout on November 2.
The chief support for the Kovalev-Barrera card will see WBO 154-lb champion Patrick Teixeira fighting battle-hardened Brian Castano. Teixeira recently won the WBO junior middleweight title, and he’s now making his first defense against the unbeaten former WBA junior middleweight champion Castano.
This is the worst possible opponent that Teixeira could have for his first defense because he lacks the experience to be taking on a guy this good. Castano, 30, fought former WBA 154lb champion Erislandy Lara to a 12 round draw last year in March in a fight that many fans felt that he should have won. Castano took the fight to Lara, wore him down with pressure, and dominated own the stretch.