Sergey Kovalev vs. Fanlong Meng on March 12th in LA on Triller
By Jim Calfa: Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev will be facing Fanlong Meng in a 185-lb catchweight fight in the main event on March 12th on Triller Fight Club in Los Angeles, California.
Some boxing fans will be excited by the news of Kovalev coming back after a long hiatus from the sport, but a lot of people won’t see this as a good thing. Kovalev looked shot in his last handful of fights, and that was in 2019.
Mike Coppinger is reporting Kovalev’s return to the ring on March 12th against Meng Fanlong. It’s unclear if this is a one-and-done for Kovalev or if he intends on trying to make a title run at light heavyweight or cruiserweight.
Does Kovalev have anything left?
Given how poor Kovalev was against Canelo Alvarez and Anthony Yarde in 2019, he should stay away from the champions Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol, and Joe Smith Jr. at 175.
The 38-year-old former IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) will be coming off a nearly three-year layoff when he meets up with China’s Fanlong (17-0, 10 KOs).
Kovalev can probably still punch with a lot of power, so he’ll have a chance of scoring a knockout if he can figure out the southpaw Fanlong’s slick fighting style.
It won’t be surprising if Fanlong beats Kovalev, though, because he was beaten twice by Andre Ward, and he wasn’t a puncher. Ward just fought hard and took advantage of Kovalev gassing out after six rounds in both of their fights.
In Kovalev’s last fight against Canelo Alvarez in November 2019, the Russian fighter fought like he was stuck in first gear the entire contest.
It didn’t look like the old Kovalev inside the ring that night, as he threw weak shots without any speed and looked like he was sparring Canelo.
Sergey must fight hard to win
Kovalev can’t afford to sleepwalk his way through his fight with Fanlong on March 12th because he’ll lose again, and this is someone that he should beat without any problems if he has anything left.
Before Kovalev’s loss to Andre Ward in 2016, his career was swimming smoothly with him steamrolling the opposition his promoter set him up with. From 2013 to 2016, Kovalev was one of the best fighters at 175.
You can’t say Kovalev was the best because Adonis Stevenson was around back then and held the WBC 175-lb title.
It’s safe to say that if Kovalev had fought the southpaw Stevenson back then, he would have been knocked out. Adonis was out of this world good before he got old and suffered a career-ending injury against Oleksandr Gvozdyk in December 2018.
Fanlong was supposed to challenge IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev in 2020, but the fight failed to happen. It would have been a tough one for Fanlong because he’s not a puncher, and Beterbiev would have been all over him, punching holes through his midsection.
Kovalev vs. Fanlong at 185-lb catchweight
In October 2021, the 33-year-old Fanlong defeated little-known Israel Duffus by a 10 round unanimous. Before that, Fanlong beat Gilberto Rubio and Adam Deines in 2019. He didn’t fight at all in 2020.
“Sources: Sergey Kovalev and Meng Fanlong have agreed to a March 12 fight in the L.A., area at a 185-pound catchweight, a Triller Fight Club main event. Kovalev’s first fight since 2019 KO loss to Canelo Alvarez,” said Mike Coppinger on Twitter.
It’s too bad Kovalev can’t meltdown to 168 because he would potentially extend his career if he fought in that weight class. If nothing else, Kovalev could get a big payday fighting Canelo in a rematch or by taking on David Benavidez, or Caleb Plant.
During Kovalev’s best years, he had wins over these fighters:
- Nathan Cleverly
- Jean Pascal x 2
- Isaac Chilemba
- Eleider Alvarez
- Bernard Hopkins
- Nadjib Mohammedi
- Gabriel Campillo
- Cedric Agnew
- Cornelius White
- Darnell Boone
- Ismayl Sillah
- Results / Photos: Kubrat Pulev & Sergey Kovalev Victorious
- LIVE: Pulev vs Forrest, Kovalev vs T. Pulev – FITE TV Stream
- Sergey Kovalev welcomes Canelo rematch at cruiserweight after he wins title
- Dmitry Bivol can beat Canelo Alvarez says Sergey Kovalev