Sergey Kovalev’s goal is to become top pound-for-pound fighter in the world

Sergey Kovalev Is the Rare, Refreshing Boxing Star Who Doesn't Duck a Challenge

Sergey Kovalev lands a right hand to the head of Bernard Hopkins during their November 2014 fight won by Kovalev/Photo by Associated Press

 

Sergey Kovalev, the vicious light heavyweight champion from Russia, is unquestionably a top pound-for-pound fighter. He’s No. 2 or No. 3, with Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez No. 1 and Gennady Golovkin either No. 2 or No. 3.

Kovalev on Nov. 19 will be defending his belts against Andre Ward at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view). Since Ward is a top 5 pound-for-pound fighter, suffice to say that a victory for Kovalev would make his case stronger for being anointed No. 1. He wouldn’t mind that a bit.

“When I was growing up in Russia, I did not hear these words ‘pound- for-pound,’ ” Kovalev said. “Once I learned what this was I knew this was important. I am honored that people think I am the fighter that could get this title. It’s important for me, for my career. I am champion in my division now, but I want to get all the belts and also I would like to be best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.”

Kovalev, 33, is 30-0-1 with 26 knockouts. Ward, 32, is 30-0 with 15 knockouts.

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Bernard Hopkins never considered taking on a weak opponent in final fight

Kovalev dominates Hoplrins

In his most recent fight, Bernard Hopkins (right) was dominated by light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in November 2014/Photo by Associated Press

 

Bernard Hopkins is 51. He’s a living legend and will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

Not one person would have blamed Hopkins if he decided to fight a tomato can for his farewell fight. Hopkins doesn’t roll like that, though. Instead, he’s taking on highly ranked light heavyweight Joe Smith Jr. in his final bout Dec. 17 at the Fabulous Forum (on HBO).

Hopkins and the rest of the interested parties played host to a news conference Monday to formally announce the bout. Hopkins was asked about taking on a guy who in his most recent bout stunned everyone by stopping Andrzej Fonfara in the first round this past June in Chicago, instead of an easy mark.

“That’s not me,” Hopkins said. “And you would look at it as, ‘Bernard wants the easy way out.’ I never want anything easy. And just give me an opportunity and I want to figure it out myself. And I think that is more of the credibility that’s in me even at this age, to understand that’s just me.

“I don’t want nobody to think anything different. Win, lose or draw, this is the final one. I will win and I will win impressively. And I’m in it with a guy that’s going to push me, that’s going to make me fight a young man’s fight in this sport.”

Hopkins, of Philadelphia, is 55-7-2 with 32 knockouts. Smith, 27, of Long Island, N.Y., is 22-1 with 18 knockouts. That’s a knockout ratio of 78 percent. He is ranked as high as No. 2 in the world.

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Bernard Hopkins’ final fight will be against Joe Smith Jr. on Dec. 17 at Forum

Kovalev dominates Hoplrins

Sergey Kovalev, left, lands a punch to the head of Bernard Hopkins during their fight in November 2014/Associated Press file photo

 

Living boxing legend Bernard Hopkins has been saying he wants to fight one more time, even though he’s 51. Hopkins will get his wish when he takes on Joe Smith Jr. in a light heavyweight bout Dec. 17 at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood (on HBO).

Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions, confirmed late Monday morning that a verbal accord had been reached for the bout.

“We just got a deal done,” Gomez said.

Hopkins is a partner in Golden Boy, whose CEO and chairman is Oscar De La Hoya. De La Hoya, inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014, began his pro career at the Forum in 1992.

That irony is not lost on Gomez.

“It’s pretty cool that Oscar started his career at the Forum and now Bernard is going to retire at the Forum,” Gomez said.

Hopkins, of Philadelphia, is 55-7-2 with 32 knockouts. He hasn’t fought since losing a wide decision to light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in November 2014. Smith, 27, is from Long Island, N.Y. He is 22-1 18 knockouts.

Hopkins-Smith would have taken place on the same card as the interim super featherweight title fight between Orlando Salido of Mexico and Takashi Miura of Japan. But Salido sustained a back injury this past week and pulled out Monday.

“Now we’re either going to replace Salido with a suitable replacement, or replace the entire fight,” Gomez said. “We don’t know yet.”

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Bernard Hopkins will decipher recent fights of Golovkin, Canelo on Wednesday’s episode of ‘The Fight Game with Jim Lampley’

Gennady Golovkin lands a punch to the chest of Kell Brook during their Sept. 10 fight in England/Associated Press photo by Nick Potts

 

Future Hall of Fame fighter Bernard Hopkins on Wednesday night will decipher the recent performances of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and now-junior middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez on the next “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley,” on HBO.

Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) on Sept. 10 stopped Kell Brook in the fifth round of their title fight in England. A week later, Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) knocked out Liam Smith in the ninth round in Arlington, Texas. Boxing fans remain hopeful Golovkin and Alvarez will tangle next September.

There will also be a feature on manager Egis Klimas, who manages light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko.

 

 

 

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Sergio Mora figures fight with Daniel Jacobs his last shot at second title

Sergio Mora sits on his stool after suffering an ankle injury in the second round of his August 2015 fight against middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs/Associated Press photo by Gregory Payan

 

Sergio Mora of Los Angeles has had a very nice career, considering he’s never had much of a punch. Mora is 28-4-2 with only nine knockouts. But he did win a major world title when he took a stunning victory over Vernon Forrest in June 2008, losing the junior middleweight belt three months later in a rematch.

Mora didn’t get another title shot until he took on Daniel Jacobs for a middleweight belt in August 2015, Jacobs winning a second-round TKO when Mora suffered an ankle injury.
Mora will take on Jacobs (31-1, 28 KOs) in a rematch next Friday from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa. (on Spike). It figures to be Mora’s final chance at a second title.

“I’m not Bernard Hopkins,” Mora said. “There’s only special people that could fight in their mid-30s and so on and still be fighting the best. So even though … my body hasn’t taken a beating, I’ve been in the game a long time. And the wear and tear from sparring and from running and from the dieting and from all the other stuff, all that takes effect.”

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Golden Boy to stage card in Philadelphia to celebrate Bernard Hopkins’ 50th

Bernard Hopkins/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Bernard Hopkins will turn 50 on Jan. 15 and five days later – on Jan. 20 – Golden Boy Promotions will help him celebrate by staging a card in his honor in his native Philadelphia.

The main event will feature Eric “The Outlaw” Hunter (19-3, 10 KOs) of Philadelphia going against Rene Alvarado (21-3, 14 KOs) of Nicaragua in the junior lightweight main event at 2300 Arena.

The card will be televised by Fox Sports 1.

“I’m so excited that Golden Boy has decided to honor my birthday in this way,” said Hopkins, a partner in Golden Boy. “The best present that they can give me is to bring a great night of fights to my hometown and give Philly boxing fans something to celebrate.”

Hopkins, an all-time great at middleweight and also a former light heavyweight champion, most recently fought a title-unification bout with Russia’s Sergey Kovalev, who won a wide decision over Hopkins in November at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

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Bernard Hopkins, Sergey Kovalev on weight for Saturday’s showdown

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Bernard Hopkins, left, and Sergey Kovalev engage each other in the traditional staredown after making weight Friday in Atlantic City/Photo courtesy of Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

 

Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev on Friday both made weight for their light heavyweight title-unification bout Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City (on HBO).

Hopkins weighed in at 173 1/2 pounds, Kovalev at 174 1/2. The limit is 175.

Hopkins, 49, is 55-6-2 with 32 knockouts. Kovalev, 31, is 25-0-1 with 23 knockouts.

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Bernard Hopkins, Sergey Kovalev to tangle in Atlantic City on Nov. 8

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Bernard Hopkins/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

The site has been set for the Nov. 8 light heavyweight title-unification fight between Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev, and the winner is Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, Golden Boy Promotions has announced.

Ageless wonder Hopkins, 49, of Philadelphia, holds two of the four major belts. Kovalev, of Russia, has one. Their bout – staged by Golden Boy Promotions along with Main Events Inc. – will be televised by HBO.

“Atlantic City is a second home to me,” said Hopkins, who will be 50 on Jan. 15. “Some of my most memorable victories and greatest accomplishments of my career have taken place there, including my fights against Antonio Tarver and Kelly Pavlik.”

Hopkins is 55-6-2 with 32 knockouts. He has not had a knockout victory in 10 years, or since he stopped Oscar De La Hoya in the ninth round in September 2004 in Las Vegas.

Kovalev, on the other hand, has been a wrecking machine. He is 25-0-1 with 23 knockouts. He has six first-round knockouts, 10 in the second round.

“I am happy to be back in Atlantic City,” said Kovalev, 31. “This is my third time fighting here, but this is the most special because this time I am facing the legendary Bernard Hopkins.”

 

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Bernard Hopkins, 49, looks forward to next challenge – Sergey Kovalev

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Bernard Hopkins/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Bernard Hopkins is 49 and will be 50 on Jan. 15. Before that happens he’ll be facing yet another challenge in a long line of them. Although the actual date and site have yet to be determined, Hopkins will put his two light heavyweight championship belts on the line against hard-hitting Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev of Russia in a title-unification bout in November in either Atlantic City or New York City (on HBO).

“Everything I do at this point in my career affects my legacy,” said Hopkins, who is 55-6-2 with 32 knockouts. “I’ve set and broken many records, but becoming the oldest undisputed light heavyweight world champion is the goal and Kovalev stands in the way of that goal. He’s another young, hungry fighter and just like the ones that came before him, he will leave the ring beltless.

Hopkins is off just a bit in this statement. He will not be undisputed champion if he beats Kovalev. Hopkins has two of the four major belts, Kovalev has one. Adonis Stevenson has the other one, which means Hopkins would only have three of the four belts with a victory, and that would not quite make him undisputed champion.

That said, Hopkins should be applauded for taking on a killer like Kovalev, who is 25-0-1 with 23 knockouts and is coming off a second-round TKO of Blake Caparello on Saturday in Atlantic City.

“I respect Bernard Hopkins for taking this fight,” Kovalev, 31, said. “When I came to America, it was dream to fight the best and now I am fighting, I have my chance. He says he is alien. He punch, I punch, then we see who is gonna go to Mars.”

 

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Report: Bernard Hopkins could next take on Sergey Kovalev

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Bernard Hopkins/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

Providing Sergey Kovalev successfully defends his light heavyweight title Saturday night against Blake Caparello at Revel Resort in Atlantic City (on HBO), Kovalev will next take on fellow champion Bernard Hopkins in a title-unification bout sometime in November in either Atlantic City or New York City, according to reports out of several outlets.

Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) is 49 and will be 50 Jan. 15. The hard-hitting Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KOs), of Russia, is 31.

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