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Sergey Kovalev receives 3 years probation

Sergey Kovalev

By Dan Ambrose: Former IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev has been given 3-year probation for a misdemeanor charge of fighting. This is reportedly from a 2018 incident with a woman and her dog in Big Bear, Calfornia.

TMZ is reporting the news. The woman says Kovalev punched her, and that she suffered a broken nose and was in a lot of pain. She also says her neck was injured. For the next three years, Kovalev will be on probation from this incident.

The 37-year-old Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) last fight in November lost to Canelo Alvarez by an 11th round knockout in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the time, Kovalev was defending his WBO 175-lb title against much smaller 5’8″ Canelo. It was a strange performance by Kovalev, who seemed to be fighting in slow motion.

The boxing fans accustomed to seeing Kovalev attack his opponents with power shots, it was a surprise to see him throwing mostly weak jabs and not fighting aggressively. Kovalev is known for having a powerful jab, but against Canelo, it looked like he was just pawing with it for some reason.

The Canelo fight was one of Kovalev’s worst of his career because he never got untracked in that fight. In the 8th round, we saw a glimpse of the old Kovalev attacking Canelo and putting him under extreme stress. The fight looked like a mismatch in that round, but after that, Kovalev went back to fighting passively, and Canelo was able to dominate.

After the fight, many boxing fans were crying foul, saying that they thought Kovalev threw he fight. Kovalev later said that he never had a chance of winning the fight because he didn’t get enough rest after his grueling match against Anthony Yarde four months earlier on August 24, 2019.

Kovalev came close to being knocked out in the 8th round of that fight after being hurt by Yarde’s big shot. However, ‘The Krusher’ was able to come back strong in the 9th and batter the exhausted Yarde until stopping him with a jab in the 11th.

Sergey Kovalev

In signing to fight Canelo on November 2, Kovalev only had a few weeks of rest before needing to get back in the gym to begin training for that contest.

It’s unclear when Kovalev will be fighting again. He’s ranked #4 with the World Boxing Organization and a position to challenge for the eventual winner of that strap eventually. Canelo vacated the WBO title soon after winning the belt from Kovalev, which was a move that many fans predicted would happen. Had Canelo kept the title, he would have had to defend it against dangerous fighters like Joe Smith Jr.

Kovalev’s future is uncertain now because he doesn’t look like the same fighter that he once was. If his lat performance against Canelo is any indication of what Kovalev has left in the tank at 37, he has very little chance of beating any of the current world champions at 175.

But with all the many belts that Sergey can fight for at 175, it’s possible that he can become a champion again. He needs one of the interim or secondary straps to fight for; he could snatch one up. Jean Pascal currently holds the WBA ‘regular’ light heavyweight title right now, and that’s a guy that Kovalev has twice between in the last by knockout.

If Kovalev targets Pascal, he’s got a decent but not great shot at defeating him. With Kovalev’s poor gas tank, he could run out of gas against Pascal as he did against Canelo and Andre Ward and wind up getting knocked out.

It’s possible that Kovalev’s days of being a world champion could be over with. with that said, Kovalev can probably still make good money as a B-player for the A-side fighters. Look Adrien Broner as an example of a former A-side guy making good money as an opponent for the top-level fighters for the last five years since 2015.

If Kovalev can go the five years as a B-side guy, he can make good money before hanging up his gloves when he’s no longer in demand by the top fighters.


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