Kovalev scheduled for March 3 at MSG
By Sean Jones: Sergey Kovalev is already written in for his first title defense of his WBO 175 lb. belt on March 3rd at Madison Square Garden in New York. HBO will be televising the fight. Unfortunately, WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol will be busy fighting Sullivan Barrera, so neither of them is going to be available for the Krusher to fight.
Kovalev beat Vyacheslav Shabranskyy last weekend by a 2nd round knockout to end his 2-fight losing streak. With the win, Kovalev picked up the vacant WBO title that Andre Ward had recently gave up when retiring.
As for who Kovalev will be fighting on March 3, it’s still being decided. Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva will make the decision. She wants the top light heavyweights to call Kovalev out. IBF champion Artur Beterbiev has already let it be known that he wants to fight Kovalev. Duva didn’t mention Beterbiev after the fight. It could be that she’s looking for another name for Kovalev to fight.
Here are the top options for Kovalev’s March 3rd fight:
• Badou Jack – This isn’t like a good option for Kovalev. Jack is one of the best body punchers in the light heavyweight division. Andre Ward also exposed Kovalev’s weakness by showing that he can’t take body shots. Jack would be a terrible option for Jack. Besides that, Jack is a possibility for WBC champion Adonis Stevenson’s next fight
• Artur Beterbiev – The fact that Duva isn’t mentioning Beterbiev’s name right now is a big hint that she doesn’t want to match him with Kovalev. It might be too soon for Beterbiev and Kovalev to fight each other
• Joe Smith Jr. – This would be the perfect opponent for Kovalev. Smith can hit hard, he’s easy to hit, and someone that isn’t a real threat to beating Kovalev. Smith Jr. just lost recently to Sullivan Barrera, and he looked terrible in that fight. Enough hardcore boxing fans would tune in to watch Kovalev fight Smith Jr. for the fight to be worthy
• Marcus Browne – This would be a good fight of Browne would agree to it. Since I don’t think he will, it’s not worth mentioning. Browne can punch, but he doesn’t take shots in return very well
• Oleksandr Gvozdyk This is Kovalev’s friend. They’re not going to fight each other
• Anthony Yarde – It’s too soon for Kovalev to fight Yarde, as the British fighter is still developing at this stage. He hasn’t made a name for himself yet by taking on some good fighters
• Juergen Braehmer – The former light heavyweight champion Braehmer is competing in the World Boxing Super Series tournament right now. Once Braehmer is free from that, he might be a decent option for Kovalev
It’s probable that Kovalev will choose Joe Smith Jr. or a bottom feeder in the World Boxing Organization’s top 15. There aren’t any top guys that will be available or eager to step in the with with Kovalev after the way he beat Shabranskyy. Kovalev looked a little too scary with that performance. He might not get too many takers.
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