By Bill "Two Scoops" Emes
WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (25-0-1, 23KOs) admits he was a bit starstuck several years ago, when he first encountered Bernard Hopkins in person.
It was September of 2010 and Kovalev had just arrived to the United States from Russia. He went to see live boxing at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and caught a glimpse of several notable fighters. One of those fighters was Hopkins.
Kovalev tried his best to get a photo with "The Alien" and claims the WBA/IBF light heavyweight champions blew him off.
More than four years later, Kovalev will face Hopkins in the ring on November 8th at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
"One day when I just came to America, a long time ago, four and a half years ago in LA...Hopkins for me was a very big legend, a famous guy...because I just came from Russia and I never had seen before any famous boxers. I saw De La Hoya, Mike Tyson, Hopkins [on TV}, so I was surprised when I saw [Hopkins] live at some show, it was [Sergio] Mora against Shane Mosley. I called Hopkins a couple...three times...'Bernard, Bernard'...to take a picture with him - but he didn't turn to me and I didn't get attention [from him]. I said 'okay, see you one day,'" Kovalev smiled as he explained.