Kovalev to B-Hop “Any Time, Any Place!”
As Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KOs) prepares to defend his WBO Light Heavyweight World Title against Blake “Il Capo” Caparello on August 2nd on HBO Boxing After Dark from Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ, the media is buzzing about the possibility of a unification fight between Krusher and IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs).
In a recent interview with BoxingScene.com, Hopkins called out Kovalev saying, “I got two titles and a legacy. What’s Kovalev got? A punch and a WBO title – let’s do it.” He added, “The perception is, is that Kovalev is a killer and [Adonis] Stevenson doesn’t want to fight him, he wants to fight an old man. If that’s the case, I’ll knock off Kovalev first, because I believe that I can beat him. I believe that he’s a tough fight, but I believe that I can beat him. It’s a fight where if I make a mistake I can get knocked out. And yeah Bernard Hopkins can get knocked out too, and so can Kovalev and so can Stevenson, who’s been knocked out once in his career.”
Hopkins, of course, is referring to the planned title unification fight on HBO between WBO Champion Kovalev and WBC Champion Adonis Stevenson, which was scuttled when Stevenson and his Promoter chose to take a path avoiding Kovalev. That decision is now the subject of ongoing litigation.
Kovalev was predictably peeved when Stevenson called off their planned fight. He would especially relish the opportunity to face the legendary Hopkins before Stevenson gets the chance, though he remains circumspect. Kovalev said, “All I want to do is fight the best. I wanted to fight Stevenson but he ran away. I would get in the ring with Bernard Hopkins right now! Any time, any place! But who knows? Maybe he’s just trying to get more money from Showtime? So, I am focused on preparing for my fight on HBO on August 2nd and after we’ll see if Hopkins will really get in the ring with me.”
Main Events CEO Kathy Duva added, “After reading Bernard’s comments to BoxingScene.com, I immediately reached out to all of the parties potentially involved on the Hopkins side to try to make the fight happen. But what I heard from all of them is ‘I don’t know,’ including when I asked who would represent Bernard in negotiations. If Bernard Hopkins truly wants to fight Sergey Kovalev, I know we can make a deal. Like Sergey, we will focus on our preparations for his title fight against Blake Caparello on August 2nd, while Hopkins sorts out his promotional situation.”