Early today, in a ceremony held at El Zipperle restaurant in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and President Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcárcel honored Russian champion, Sergey Kovalev, awarding him the WBO’s Light Heavyweight Super Championship.
“The title of Super Champion is one of great significance. Iván Calderón, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Wladimir Klitschko and Joe Calzaghe are among the elite few who have received this distinction. Sergey Kovalev is a complete fighter with big punching power and great boxing skill. He is a dedicated family man and a gym enthusiast. He will defend his championship on March 14 and as you can see he is almost at his fight weight. We are honored to have him as our champion. He is undoubtedly one of the best fighters in the history of his division”, stated President Francisco Valcárcel.
Originally from Kopeysk, Russia, Kovalev won the WBO World Light Heavyweight Championship on August 17, 2013 in Wales, United Kingdom, knocking out then british champion, Nathan Cleverly in the fourth round.
“I am very happy to be in Puerto Rico and delighted by the warm reception. For me, it is an honor to receive the title of WBO Super Champion. I have to thank the World Boxing Organization for giving me the opportunity to defend for the first time a world title. You can be assured that I will defend my titles against anyone, anywhere. I’ll keep showing I am a Super Champion”, said Kovalev.
After three successful and commanding defenses of the WBO Light Heavyweight title, on November 8, 2013 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Kovalev unified the Light Heavyweight titles of the International Boxing Federation and the World Boxing Association, by dominantly defeating veteran champion Bernard Hopkins.
Former World Champions Alfredo ‘El Salsero’ Escalera, Víctor ‘Luvi’ Calleja, Juan Laporte, Samuel ‘El Torbellino’ Serrano, John John Molina, Alex ‘El Nene’ Sánchez, Iván Calderón, Juan Manuel ‘Juanma’ López and Román ‘Rocky’ Martínez, and contenders Rey ‘El Maestro’ Ojeda, McJoe Arroyo, McWilliams Arroyo, Víctor Bisbal, Jesús Rojas, Jose ‘Chelo’ Gonzálex and David Quijano, prospects John Karla Sosa, Alberto ‘Transformer’ Mercado, Emmanuel ‘Pirata’ De Jesús, Roberto ‘Unbreakable’ Acevedo and Marcos ‘Marquitos’ Osorio, members of the Puerto Rican National Amateur Boxing Team: Jeyvier Cintrón, Anthony Chacón, Nicklaus Flaz, Michael Narváez, Mercedes Alicea and Kiria Tapia were in attendance honoring the Super Champion.
Also in attendance were trainers Orlando Rodríguez, Anthony Otero, Jesús ‘Chuito’ Ayala, Alex Caraballo, Juan ‘Golo’ Gómez, Angel Rosario and José Zayas, managers Ismael Leandry, Margaro Cruz and Orlando Piñero, promoters Kathy Duva, Felix ‘Tutico’ Zabala and Peter Rivera, judges César Ramos, Gerry Martínez, Luis Ruiz, José Roberto Torres and Rafael Ramos, referees Luis Pabón, José Hiram Rivera, Ramón Peña and Melva Santos.
Aside from Valcárcel, the WBO was also represented by the President of the Championship Committee Luis Batista Salas, the Vice President of the Championship Committee Alberto Rodríguez, the Secretary General José Izquierdo II, President of the Rankings Committee, Luis Pérez, Treasures Adolfo Flores, Administrative Advisor Manuel Herrero Hueca.