Kovalev Discusses Upcoming Clash With Gabriel Campillo

Russian power puncher Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev, 18-0-1, 15 KOs, attracted much attention the last time he fought on NBC Sports Network FIGHT NIGHT. Kovalev garnered a new stable of devoted fans by crushing Lionell Thompson in a scheduled 10-round light heavyweight fight last September, and looks forward to earning more fans when he faces former champion Gabriel Campillo, 21-4-1, 7 KOs, on January 19th. Their 10-rounder is the main event on the first 2013 edition of the popular nationally televised FIGHT NIGHT boxing series. The telecast begins at 9 PM ET.

If Kovalev can keep winning and creating buzz in the boxing world, his star is sure to rise.

"Fans had a chance to see me in the ring (on NBC Sports Network) and now people talk more about my fights," Kovalev said. "Even my family, friends, and fans in Russia saw my last fight live."

Kovalev's fan-friendly, aggressive, heavy-handed style is exactly what boxing fans look for in a fighter. He's handled everyone he's faced in the ring so far, but Campillo will be the stiffest test of his career.

"He is the strongest, most talented opponent in my professional career," Kovalev said. "In my opinion he should be the champion after his last fight."

Campillo's last bout was a controversial decision loss to IBF light heavyweight titlist Tavoris Cloud. The Spaniard's slick southpaw style caused Cloud fits. So Kovalev is determined to be ready to neutralize his capable opponent, and avoid the mistakes made by Cloud. 

"Southpaws have the stronger left hand, but I have the stronger right," Kovalev said. "The only problem with fighting left handed fighters is getting good sparring partners. Everything else is the same."

If that is the case, and Kovalev can score another impressive stoppage, he'll move closer to a title opportunity and join the current crop of top-flight Eastern European boxing talent presently dominating the sport.

"During the Soviet Union years, professional boxing was forbidden, and all we had were amateur boxing talents," Kovalev said. "In the last 15-20 years, professional boxing has become very popular. I came to the States three years ago when I turned pro. Now I live in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida."

He's making strides in the ring, and likes his new home. "Fort Lauderdale is 80F degrees and sunny," Kovalev said. "Chelyabinsk (his Russian hometown) is 3F degrees and snowy. I do miss my family and friends back home, but this is my job. I train at (trainer) John David Jackson's Ft. Lauderdale Gym. He doesn't speak Russian, but in our sport we understand each other with motions and movements."

Krusher expected to face Campillo in September, but a back injury forced the former champ to postpone the fight. Kovalev isn't sweating the delay.

"We athletes all can have injuries and bad moments," Kovalev said. "It's good the fight is happening now. Time will tell who the better fighter is."

We will find out on Saturday.


Tickets are priced at $125 and $40 can be purchased through Ticketmaster 1-800-745-3000. Ticketmaster Link to January 19 NBCSN Fight Night at Mohegan Sun. For ADA accessible sales, call Mohegan Sun Box Office 1-800-862-8499.


Eight bouts are planned for the January 19 card to be held at Mohegan Sun Arena, 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard Uncasville, CT. Doors open at 6:00PM. First fight is at 6:30PM.


Sergey Kovalev, 19-0-1, 17 KOs, takes on Gabriel Campillo, 21-4-1, 8 KOs, in an international 10-round light heavyweight main event. In the co-feature, Elvin Ayala, 26-5-1, 12 KO's, battles Curtis Stevens, 22-3, 16 KO's, in a 10-round middleweight contest.


The card is promoted by Main Events and Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment Sports in association with Peltz Boxing, and Sampson Boxing.



(All times ET and subject to change)


Saturday, January 19, 9PM - 11PM, NBC Sports Network, Mohegan Sun Casino, CT

Saturday, Feb 23, 10:30PM - 12:30AM, NBC Sports Network, The Paramount, NY

Saturday, March 9, 10PM- 12AM, NBC Sports Network, Location TBA


To find the location of the NBC Sports Network on your local cable, satellite or IPTV provider, click here:


Tweet the link to NBC Sports Network Fight Night channel finder:

Twitter: #FightNight Twitter: @main_events @NBCSN

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ny123 on 01-16-2013

This is A very underrated slept on fight. January 19th will be a great night of boxing!

Comment by SnakeVen0m on 01-15-2013

[QUOTE=LA_2_Vegas;12919082]I've got Kovalev too because of his speed and athleticism.... he's not flatfooted like some of the other quality fighters Campillo has outboxed and should be much harder to find[/QUOTE] Yes, exactly! His boxing skills are underrated. He uses his…

Comment by Mikhnienko on 01-15-2013

[QUOTE=LA_2_Vegas;12919082]I've got Kovalev too because of his speed and athleticism.... he's not flatfooted like some of the other quality fighters Campillo has outboxed and should be much harder to find[/QUOTE] Yeah he isn't your typical puncher. He has good foot…

Comment by LA_2_Vegas on 01-15-2013

[QUOTE=SnakeVen0m;12919051]Am I the only one who favors Kovalev in this? I mean I like Campillo too and it's sad how many times he got robbed but he's been stopped before. Not sure if he'll be able to keep Kovalev off…

Comment by SnakeVen0m on 01-15-2013

Am I the only one who favors Kovalev in this? I mean I like Campillo too and it's sad how many times he got robbed but he's been stopped before. Not sure if he'll be able to keep Kovalev off…

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