Kovalev says he’s in negotiations for 175-lb tourney

By Boxing News - 06/05/2019 - Comments

Image: Kovalev says he's in negotiations for 175-lb tourney

By Allan Fox: Sergey Kovalaev states that he’s currently in negotiations to compete in a light heavyweight tournament that would include 175-pound champions Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol and Oleksandr Gvozdyk. The winner of the tournament, which would potentially be held by the World Boxing Super Series for the undisputed light heavyweight championship.

Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) will be defending his WBO light heavyweight title next against unbeaten mandatory Anthony Yarde in a fight that is expected to take place in Russia this summer.

“We will not look behind the Yard. Nevertheless, negotiations are already underway to organize the tournament of four champions,” said Kovalev to sport-express.ru. “In the first fight, I am [matched] with Beterbiev. In the other, I would have met Dima with Alexander. The winners would play the title of absolute champion.”

The 175-pound tournament would be enhanced if WBSS were able to get some of these guys to participate:

– Gilberto Ramirez

– Marcus Browne

– Callum Smith

– Badou Jack

– David Benavidez

– Callum Johnson

– Joshua Buatsi

– Eleider Alvarez

Kovalev must concentrate on Yarde

Before Kovalev, 35, can think about the light heavyweight tournament, he needs to successfully defend against the highly motivated Yarde (18-0, 17 KOs) this summer. Although many boxing fans aren’t giving Yarde much of a chance of beating Kovalev, he’s got the power and the youth to unseat him. Yarde is young at 27, he hits hard, and he not shown any problems with his conditioning. For Yarde to defeat Kovalev, he needs to tire him out with body punching, and take him into the deeper rounds the way Andre Ward did.

Kovalev interested in Canelo Alvarez fight

A title defense against superstar Saul Canelo Alvarez greatly interests Kovalev. He would like that fight. Canelo and his promoters at Golden Boy have talked of wanting to make a fight against Kovalev. It’s unclear whether Canelo (52-1-2, 35 KOs) and his promoters are serious about wanting to make the fight against Sergey, but if so, he’s open to for making that fight. It’s likely that Canelo will first fight former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in September, and then go up to super middleweight to challenge WBA Super World champion Callum Smith.

If Canelo wins those two fights, he could be willing to move up to 175 to face Kovalev. Canelo likes to use catch-weights for his fights, so it’s predictable that he’d try and get Kovalev to agree to melt down to 171.5 or 172 pounds for a fight. It’s hard to imagine Canelo not insisting on a catch-weight.

“After losing to Eleider Alvarez, I signed a contract with Top Rank for three fights,” said Kovalev. “There are two more…I would be happy to box with Canelo. We work with the manager in this area. First you need to win the mandatory against Yarde.”