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Sergey Kovalev could fight in UK next

Sergey Kovalev

By Dean Berman:  Sergey Kovalev could be returning to the ring soon, possibly for a fight in the UK. Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva is looking to setup his next fight, and there’s a chance that he’ll be fighting in the UK, according to Sky Sports Boxing.

Power was missing from Kovalev’s game against Canelo

The 36-year-old ‘Krusher’ Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) lost his WBO light heavyweight title last November in a disappointing 11th round knockout loss to Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas, and he needs to bounce back from that defeat. Kovalev looked oddly weak and lethargic throughout the fight with Canelo, and some believe that he was weight-drained.

After the fight, Kovalev admitted that he never had a chance of winning because he was worn out from having fought in August against Anthony Yarde. Kovalev didn’t get a chance to rest and recover after his grueling win over Yarde, and that took a lot out of him.

Kovalev’s career took off after fighting in UK

Seven years ago, Kovalev traveled to the UK to dethrone WBO 175-lb champion Nathan Cleverly by a 4th round knockout in Cardiff, Wales in August 2013. That victory was the beginning of a solid seven-year run for Kovalev in which he captured the IBF and WBA belts, and got a number of nice paydays along the way.

“Of course! Sergey has always been a road warrior and he loved fighting Cleverly in the UK,” Kovalev’s promoter Duva said to

If Kovalev fights in the UK, then it would make sense for him to fight one of these British fighters:

  • Callum Smith
  • Joshua Buatsi
  • Anthony Yarde
  • Callum Johnson

The highly ranked Joshua Buatsi (12-0, 10 KOs) would be the perfect opponent for Kovalev to fight, as he’s with Matchroom Boxing, and his promoter Eddie Hearn is looking to put him in with big names. However, Buatsi isn’t a big name even in his own country, and a fight between him and Kovalev might not sell.

Buatsi and Callum Smith great options for Kovalev

Hearn has deep enough pockets to make a big offer to get Kovalev to come to the UK to fight Buatsi. In Buatsi’s case, he needs a big name like Kovalev on his resume to take his fledgeling career to the next level.

A fight between Kovalev and Callum Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) would likely be a big ticket seller in Liverpool in Anfield, and they both could make good money in a match. Callum, 6’3″, would need to move up from super middleweight to make the fight with Kovalev a possibility, because there’s no way he could come down to 168.

It shouldn’t be a problem for Callum, since he’s seen as a light heavyweight by a lot of boxing fans anyway. Smith melts down to fight in the 168lb division, and then looks like a big light heavyweight after he rehydrates. At 36, Kovalev has nothing to lose in facing Callum, but you can’t say the same thing for him. A loss for Callum to Kovalev would be a major blow to his young career, especially with the way he’s hoping to get a fight with Canelo.

Kovalev with nothing to lose

Frankly, this writer seriously doubts Canelo will ever choose to fight Callum. He’s too big, too strong, and too much of an unknown for Canelo Alvarez to fight him. Canelo didn’t look good against the the depleted Kovalev, and he surely wouldn’t be comfortable facing an younger and taller fighter like Callum.

Unfortunatey, for Kovalev to take a fight with the 29-year-old Smith, Hearn and Matchroom would likely need to open up their pockets and make a big offer. Kovalev has a big name, and Callum needs this fight more than the ‘Krusher’ needs him. Basically, Hearn would be investing in Callum’s future by making Kovalev an offer he can’t refuse to fight him.

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