John David Jackson, the ex-head trainer of former unified light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, was not surprised that his former student was knocked out last Saturday night.
In sudden turn of events, Kovalev was dropped three times and knocked out by undefeated Eleider Alvarez, in the seventh round of their world title fight in Atlantic City.
Jackson had taken Kovalev to three world titles, but their relationship began to fall apart in 2016.
They fully parted ways in 2017.
Kovalev blamed Jackson for his back to back defeats to Andre Ward - and said the veteran trainer did very little to help him grow as a fighter.
Jackson explains that Kovalev stopped working hard once the money started rolling in - and he was very resistant to being pushed in the gym.
Because of the claimed training habits and refusal to raise his level of work, Jackson was not surprised at all when he was informed that Alvarez knocked Kovalev out.
“When he got stopped, I wasn’t surprised,” Jackson said The Ring. “Karma is a bitch. The things he had been doing to everyone around him came back to bite him in the ass. I wasn’t happy when I heard he got stopped. But I will say he got what he deserved. Without proper training, he got his ass whipped. There was no shock at all there; the handwriting was on the wall.
“He owes a lot to Kathy Duva and Jolene [Mizzone, Main Events’ matchmaker], but do you think he really appreciates them? Kathy went out of her way to move this clown. He wanted more money, and Kathy gave up quite a lot to make him happy. She rearranged things to satisfy him; Kathy and Jolene made him. One day, Sergey really pissed me off when he said, ‘I made myself a world champion.’ I asked him, ‘Kathy didn’t do anything for you, Jolene or Egis [Klimas, Kovalev’s manager] didn’t do anything for you? You did this all on your own?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ I asked maybe he didn’t understand my English. He thinks he did everything himself to make him a champion.
“Sergey is a borderline racist. He shows it in certain ways. I defended his ass more than a few times. Sergey didn’t want either me or Don Turner to work with him. He is good at putting the persona on, but when he’s alone, he’s a raw, nasty person. Even his own people talk about him like a dog behind his back, I kid you not. His so-called friends couldn’t stand him.”