Light-heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 KO’s) takes on WBA No. 2 ranked contender Nadjib Mohammedi (37-3, 23 KO’s) on Saturday in a mandatory title defense that very few are giving the French fighter a shot at winning.
The 30-year old Mohammedi has won his last 13 fights, with 11 wins by knockout. Now approaching his second fight under the tutelage of trainer Abel Sanchez, the former WBA Continental light-heavyweight champion hopes to surprise many when he clashes with Kovalev at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.
Promising to “kick his ass,” Kovalev hopes to back up his bluntness and then some.
Kovalev, who holds the WBO World, WBA Super, and IBF World belts, doesn’t intend on relinquishing any of his titles, which sounds like the beginning of what sports label as a dynasty – except this is boxing – and one man is going to be lighting the dynamite.
Kathy Duva, the head of Main Events, which promotes Kovalev, spoke to Boxing Scene’s news editor Steve Kim.
“Evander Holyfield used to always say – ‘everyone tells me the belts don’t mean anything, but I seem to make a lot more money when I got them all’ – and that has stayed in my head as you can see,” Duva said.
“Truer words were never spoken,” Duva added. “And I care about it from a marketing perspective and Sergey cares about it from his personal desire to hold all the titles. The day may come when he may not need them all, but right now he’s still building his brand. He’s still growing and the intention is to absolutely keep the belts and that’s why he’s facing Mohammedi who is the mandatory, who has waited a year, patiently, for his shot, and he’s going to be ready.”
The light-heavyweight division isn’t looking too bright at the moment, but with rising stars like Artur Beterbiev, Isaac Chilemba, Andrzej Fonfara, and Sean Monaghan looking to earn their shots at a world championship, things could get interesting.
It would get even more interesting if Kovalev ever manages to get in the ring with WBC titlist Adonis Stevenson, who is the only person in the way of Kovalev unifying the division.