Sergey Kovalev: 'Maybe' Virgil Hunter Will Train Me, 'Maybe Not'

By Keith Idec

Sergey Kovalev might’ve learned something important from John David Jackson after all.

Kovalev revealed Thursday that he has been considering hiring Virgil Hunter, Andre Ward’s career-long trainer, to replace John David Jackson. Russia’s Kovalev confirmed Saturday that he won’t work with Jackson anymore because he doesn’t think the former junior middleweight and middleweight champion taught him enough to take his career to the next level.

Their parting of ways was hardly surprising, since Jackson has publicly trashed Kovalev recently as a difficult fighter to work with and someone who wouldn’t listen to him. In another fascinating twist to the Kovalev-Jackson saga, Hunter offered to train Kovalev after Ward defeated the former light heavyweight champion by eighth-round technical knockout in their rematch June 17 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.


Jackson caused controversy during the building toward their rematch when he admitted he had conversations with Ward’s handlers about joining their team following Ward’s narrow, unanimous-decision win against Kovalev in their first fight November 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Now it’s Kovalev himself contemplating whether to enlist the help of Ward’s trainer to get his career back on track.

“I didn’t decide it,” Kovalev said Thursday during a press conference in Manhattan to promote his next fight. “I’m still thinking, but it’s a good offer. You know, maybe. Or maybe not. Who knows? I can’t get back to the team of my opponent, who I hate. Right now, it’s two persons inside me wrestling, like yes or no. It’s not easy to say yes or no.

“I’ll just keep going [by] myself right now, and I already almost understand who it’ll be [on] my team. But I’m just not ready to announce it because I’m not sure 100 percent. But I already decided who I want to see in my training camp and my team.”

If Kovalev decides to join Hunter, they won’t have to worry about having Kovalev and Ward in training camp at the same time because Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) announced his retirement Thursday. Kovalev is scheduled to return to the ring against Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (19-1, 16 KOs) on November 25 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden (HBO).

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing. 

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Boxing lives on 09-23-2017

Hunter isn't really going to suit him well. Hunter and Angulo didn't work out well at all. Kovalev would be better off with an Abel Sanchez type guy that will help him bring out his power. He retired Ward. That…

Comment by larryxxx.. on 09-23-2017

Man he is all over the place

Comment by Redd Foxx on 09-23-2017

I love the "story" that takes place in boxing. Not necessarily the drama, but the cinematic twists and turns that take place in a boxer's life. There would definitely be something poetic in Kovalev training with Hunter. Considering Kovalev's biggest…

Comment by Roberto Vasquez on 09-23-2017

Hunter is over-rated. His training style suits Ward's fighting style. Hunter won't have the same success with a different style of fighter. He'll be trying to make him into something he's not. Khan was a good fighter with a poor…

Comment by Koba-Grozny on 09-23-2017

[QUOTE=JK1700;18078432]This guy is the definition of a "mental midget". Bipolar and always got an excuse. [B]If Ward is so dirty[/B]/bad [B]why do you want his trainer to train you[/B]? Doesn't make any sense.[/QUOTE] You left yourself wide open there man.:rofl:

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