Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Kovalev Very Motivated To Beat Up His "Friend" Mikhalkin

Sergey Kovalev figures he's known Igor Mikhalkin since he was about 17, back when they were amateur teammates in Russia.

Come Saturday, that will mean nothing.

"We were like friends, but only friends can beat on each other and don't be upset at each other," Kovalev said.

kovalev-mikhalkin-weights (10)

They meet in the Theater at Madison Square Garden for the WBO light heavyweight title that Kovalev (31-2-1, 27 KOs) regained in his last fight after dropping it in the first of his consecutive losses to Andre Ward.

Kovalev has changed plenty since then, but "Krusher" wants to show his punishing power hasn't gone anywhere.

"Saturday night will be an interesting fight because we will beat each other very, very hard," Kovalev said.

The match against Mikhalkin (21-1, 9 KOs) is one of two title fights in the 175-pound division on Saturday's card, which will be televised by HBO. Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs), another Russian, defends his WBA belt against Cuban Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KOs) in the other.

Barrera was initially offered the fight against Kovalev in what would have been a matchup between fighters whose only losses were to Ward. Instead, he took less money for the shot at Bivol's belt and Kovalev ended up with Mikhalkin.

They went separate ways since their amateur days, with Kovalev, 34, moving on to win three light heavyweight titles and fight in major bouts in the U.S. Mikhalkin, now based in Germany, stayed behind to do his fighting in Europe, and now he has a chance to make a worldwide name for himself if he can knock off Kovalev.

"This is most likely the most important fight in my career," Mikhalkin said. "This is the greatest opponent I've ever fought."

But it was a damaged one after the losses to Ward, the first by a narrow decision but the second when Kovalev was stopped in the eighth round. He easily won back the WBO belt that Ward vacated after retiring when he stopped Slava Shabranskyy at MSG in November. But he realized he still needed to re-evaluate his training and travel.

"To lose after being world champion, such a dominant world champion, is a bitter blow. Some guys never recover from that," promoter Kathy Duva said. "But a rare few take an honest look at the way they are doing things, they change what needs to be changed and no matter how difficult, no matter what you have to give up to do it. This is hard. Sergey is not afraid of hard, as we all know."

Now trained by Abror Tursunpulatov, Kovalev believes rededicating himself could bring him to a level he hadn't reached even when he was rolling through everyone in front of him.

"I am motivated for the new chapter in my boxing career, and I showed in the last fight that I am back and now I am on my way to my goals," Kovalev said.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by DON POWER on 03-03-2018

return of the krusher.

Comment by RussB23 on 03-02-2018

Kovalev is going to do this guy just like that last guy he fought. Wont even be competitive. Hope he fights a top dog next.

Comment by Mammoth on 03-02-2018

I'm going to be up late as hell tomorrow night

Comment by Graz on 03-02-2018

I didn’t think Kovalev had any friends:)

Comment by ELHITMAN606 on 03-02-2018

Literally fighting a sparring partner rather watch Wilder vs Ortiz

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (5)
Top Headlines Spence: Jermall Charlo Will Beat Triple-G and Canelo at 160 Photos: Gilberto Ramirez, Alex Saucedo Putting in Work SHO's Espinoza Expects Spence Back For One More in 2018 Golovkin: Canelo Can't Look in My Eyes; He Knows I'm Correct Showtime's Spence-Ocampo Main Event Peaked at 726K Viewers Sanchez To Canelo: At Least Try To Knock Golovkin Out! Photos: Claressa Shields, Hanna Gabriels - Meet Up, Put in Work Liam Williams Parts Ways With Trainer Gary Lockett Hearn: I Won't Let Joshua Face Wilder With an 8-Week Camp! Bryan Vasquez Inks Promotional Pact With Top Rank Carl Frampton Predicts a Very Bright Future For Michael Conlan Ricky Burns Rules Out A Fight Against Josh Taylor UK News: Umar Sadiq, Barnes vs. Rosales, Darryll Williams, More Joseph Parker's Trainer Details 7 Week Camp For Dillian Whyte Errol Spence: Amir Khan Has Al's Number if He Wants to Fight Me De La Hoya: Triple-G Should Talk In the Ring, Try to KO Canelo Fury: Bellew is a Sh*thouse, I'll Punch His Mouth When I See Him! Jack Catterall: I'm Confident That I'd Beat Hooker, Take His Title Nick Ball, Meshech Speare Added To MTK Liverpool Card Josh Taylor: I Want To Do a Number on Postol, Knock Him Out! De La Hoya: Canelo is So Angry at GGG - Woke Up Sleeping Giant! Hughie Fury Would Take Joshua Fight Right Away, Says Trainer Crawford vs. Spence Heating Up as The Next Big Fight at 147 Sanchez Hopes Canelo is Not Talking The Talk and 'Fights' GGG Ugas: At Some Point Spence Will Have To Face Me or Get Stripped Video: Abel Sanchez Talk Golovkin vs. Canelo Rematch Deal Dusty Harrison Granted Release From Roc Nation Sports Crawford-Spence is Impossible To Do Without PPV, Says Arum Video: Tom Loeffler Talks Canelo-Golovkin Deal, Saunders, IBF Video: Gennady Golovkin Talks Canelo Deal, Saunders, More Abel Sanchez Excited That Golovkin Stuck To His Principles Loeffler: 50-50 Was Fair; GGG Gave Canelo 5 Percent for His Ego! Loeffler: Golovkin Wants Saunders Next if He Can Beat Canelo Photos: Braekhus vs. Sagaydakovskya Set For Usyk-Gassiev Spence: Jermell Charlo Was Trying Too Hard to Knock Out Trout Luis Nery Suspended Until September 1 By The WBC Golovkin Promoter: Canelo Rematch Bigger Than Wilder-Joshua Tyson Fury Hopes To Get a Much Better Opponent on Aug. 18 Weekend Review: Spence, Golovkin-Canelo II, Roman, More Frank Warren: Jaime Munguia vs. Liam Smith Set, July 21
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement