The struggling former light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) is rumored to be fighting on November 25 against an opponent still to be determined in New York on HBO, according to RingTV.
Kovalev’s career has hit a rough patch lately with him losing his last 2 fights against Andre “SOG” Ward. The first loss to Ward was a controversial one last November in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kovalev fought well enough to deserve a win in the first fight, but the judges gave Ward the win despite him being knocked down in round 2.
In the rematch on June 17, Ward won another controversial victory with what appeared to be a low blow stoppage. The ending was an absolute mess. You couldn’t dream of a worse ending than this one. Kovalev was hit with several shots that looked low. The referee Tony Weeks then jumped in and stopped the fight. It was a terrible way for Kovalev to lose, especially given the controversial natural of his first loss to Mayweather on November 19 last year.
Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva says it’s likely too soon for him to return to the ring.
“Way premature. We’ll see,” Duva said to RingTV.com. “He is on vacation. He just visited the monastery at Mt. Athos in Greece. I have not spoken to him yet. But I have been told that, once his vacation is over, he will be ready to get right back to work.”
It’s anyone’s guess what kind of mental shape Kovalev will be after his back to back defeats to Ward. It would be a good idea at this point for Duva to let Kovalev to get a couple of confidence builder type fights under his belt before she matches him against a tough opponent.
Kovalev needs to get back to his winning ways. Putting Kovalev back in with another Ward-like opponent would be a bad idea. Kovalev doesn’t seem to handle the grappling and body punching style that Ward uses. There are some fighters like Artur Beterbiev that would do well against Ward’s style of fighting, but Kovalev isn’t one of them.
Ward is likely going to be moving up in weight sooner or later. Kovalev will be in a good position to go after one of the belts. Kovalev is ranked No.1 by the World Boxing Organization. Beterbiev positioned just behind him at No.2. That would be a tough fight for Kovalev if he ends up facing him. Oleksandr Gvozdyk is rated No.3. That would be another hard fight for Kovalev, but a winnable one for him. Gvozdyk is more of a boxer/puncher without a great inside game like Beterbiev.
It would be a winnable one for Kovalev provided he doesn’t gas out like he did in his 2 fights with Ward. You can bet that Kovalev’s opponents from this point on are going to be targeting his body and looking to grapple with him to wear him down.
Kovalev needs a good trainer that can teach him how to stop fighters that tie up frequently. There’s probably not much Kovalev can do about taking body shots. The only thing Kovalev can do to keep from getting hit with body shots is to stay on the outside as much as possible.