Written By Bakari Simpson: Newly crowned WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev nicknamed “The Krusher” (31-2-1, 27 KO’s) has penned his next fight. The semi-vindicated bruiser will tangle with Igor Mikhalkin (21-1, 9 KO’s) on March 3, 2018. Aired live on HBO Boxing, the title fight will take place at Madison Square Garden.
When last in the ring, Sergey Kovalev went a long way into rejuvenating his stolen thunder. Having lost twice, in increasingly decisive fashion, many surmised that Sergey Kovalev had imploded mentally. Prior to the double serving of Andre Ward’s brutal humble pie, Shabranskyy would have been laughed at as a Kovalev opponent. The Shabranskyy bout viewed with intense interest after back to back L’s.
In the end, Sergey beat the brakes off Vyacheslav with a deadly proficiency. Not only this, Kovalev was able to reclaim the light heavyweight WBO strap. To return to television, victory and resume championship status in one deft motion must have felt marvelous. The only significant gripe one could muster up, Shabranskyy was far from the top of the food chain. Unfortunately, it does not seem that Kovalev’s next outing will provide much more of a test.
There is no shortage of insiders scratching their heads, wondering how Mikhalkin secured this bout in the first place. His record is devoid of any truly significant scalps. His knockout ratio suggests he is devoid of any truly significant power. With the Krusher seemingly back to form, the common thought is this will be easy work.
Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KO’s) was offered the shot at Kovalev, but the Cuban boxer went in another direction. Rather than tangle with Sergey instead, Sullivan opted to face WBA Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KO’s). Sullivan maneuvered become Bivol’s mandatory with a victory over Felix Valera. If victorious a Kovalev-Barrera clash seems imminent; Main Events promote both.
This would make for a spectacular and tense physical contest. If Sergey Kovalev toppled Sullivan, all the lingering chatter about his potential fragility would end. Conversely, first if Barrera usurped Sergey, then the Cuban would finally have officially arrived as one of the best in the division and the world.
The card is still technically in development and Main Events CEO Kathy Duva has declined to further comment. Let’s hope that both men maintain their winning ways and we are treated with this scrap, and a definitive conclusion, mid-2018.
Divisional Rankings: Sergey Kovalev regains #1 spot at 175, Rigondeaux remains top at 122 https://t.co/Cen0V2ZpnT @Main_Events pic.twitter.com/cmlGCu6XQL
— World Boxing News (@WorldBoxingNews) December 12, 2017
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