Written By Bakari Simpson: Paying his career stunting, back to back, losses no mind, Sergey Kovalev nicknamed “The Krusher” (30-2-1, 26KO’s) will return to the ring this November. The end of the year date was in motion prior to the recent TKO loss to Andre “SOG” Ward (32-0, 16KO’s). Seeking a quick return to the win column, Sergey saw no reason to squander the time slot.
An opponent not selected at the moment. Luckily there are a number of juicy potential options. Prior to Ward, Adonis Stevenson was Kovalev’s unofficial official rival at light heavyweight. Over the last several years the two boxers, and their teams, have squabbled and fussed in the press. Despite the fans, and boxing media, salivating for the fight, it was never put together. While the majority of the blame can be rightfully placed on Adonis, Sergey and crew played their games as well. Stevenson has expressed his interest in facing Ward. Andre on the other hand doesn’t share mutual feelings.
Based upon Stevenson’s wishy-washy behavior when dealing with Sergey, SOG questions Superman’s seriousness. If Ward declines Stevenson’s invitation perhaps Adonis will extend it to Kovalev. Although, now stripped of his champion status, Adonis is unlikely to face the Krusher.
Another potential fight long in the making is Kovalev versus Artur Beterbiev (11-0, 11 KO’s). Hard hitting Russian Beterbiev is avoided as well. Regardless of his losses, Sergey Kovalev would still represent a major career kill. Kovalev’s scalp would definitely signal Beterbiev’s official arrival in the sport. By the same token, if Sergey convincingly trounced Artur, he would reestablish himself as a premiere fighter in the division. Beyond the naturally built-in drama of the level of competition, Artur and Sergey have history. Apparently the two fought in the amateur’s and don’t care for one another. Their professional grudge match would make for great entertainment.
If the Kovalev-Beterbiev bout never materialized, then maybe the upcoming Barrera/Smith Jr winner is a potential foe. Both of these men are fairly new to the spotlight. Each have some impressive wins and are looking to continue their professional development. Sergey versus either would make for a terrific scrap.
Only time will reveal who Sergey Kovalev ultimately battles with in November. Aside from his opponent, Kovalev’s mind state will be under heavy scrutiny. Despite all the anti-Ward publishing pieces accusing him of foul play, Sergey was broken in their rematch. He was broken physically and, more importantly, mentally. That is not an easy plight for any boxer to rebound from. And it’s certainly not something you ‘assume’ that they will do. After all the promises, threats and pressure Kovalev put on himself he only made the task harder.
Up until his last two prize fights Sergey Kovalev has been a fearsome and exciting fighter in the ring. For this reason let’s hope the top flight talent resumes his high level of performance. It’d be a shame to see the Krusher follow the same shameful paths as: Jeff Lacy, Naseem Hamed and Kelly Pavlik. Times answers all questions, luckily we only have to wait until November. It’ll definitely be interesting.
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