Undefeated light-heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev (27-0, 24 KO’s) had little to say during Wednesday’s media conference call ahead of his scheduled July 25 mandatory title defense against Nadjib Mohammedi (37-3, 23 KO’s).
Of the little he said, it was precise and to the point.
Kovalev last fought in March against former champion Jean Pascal, which was regarded as the toughest fight of his professional career.
Even in the toughest fight, Kovalev managed to drop the Canadian for the first time in his career in the third, then stopped him in the eighth after two clean right hands had Pascal in trouble against the ropes.
The build-up to the fight was far from cordial, with Pascal accusing his adversary of using performance enhancing drugs.
Pascal, along with some in the boxing world, have called for a rematch.
Pascal is slated to fight undefeated Cuban fighter Yunieski Gonzalez (16-0, 12 KO’s) on the Kovalev undercard in a 10-round bout.
Kovalev stated after their fight that he would fight Pascal if Kathy Duva, Kovalev’s promoter and CEO of Main Events, feels that he needs to fight him again.
On Wednesday, Kovalev didn’t feel that he deserved another go-around.
“I don’t want to talk about Pascal; he doesn’t deserve it. He’s a piece of shit,” Kovalev stated.
“But, if the rematch happens again, I’ll kick his ass again; in four rounds, that’s it.
When asked why he thought Pascal was a piece of shit, Kovalev was blunt and straight forward.
“Because he is a piece of shit,” he reiterated.
The same process occurred when the topic of WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson came up.
The only fighter he didn’t call a piece of shit on the conference call, was Nadjib Mohammedi, which was rather surprising because he skipped the call for no apparent reason, leaving his people at Main Events not too pleased.
Earlier in the call, ESPN’s Dan Rafael told Kovalev that promoting the fight would be difficult because not a lot of boxing fans know who Mohammedi is, and he hasn’t been in the ring with any legitimate competition of note.
Kovalev, though, feels Mohammedi deserves the fight, probably based off the fact that he is rated No. 2 by the WBA.
Mohammedi hired Abel Sanchez to be his trainer on November 17, 2014, an ex-trainer of Kovalev’s, and the current trainer of WBA Super World middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
He’s had one fight under Sanchez’s tutelage, which was a sixth-round TKO of Lee Campbell, who had only nine professional bouts to date.
If he’s having trouble finishing guys who have barely fought at the professional level, and he’s been knocked out by Sullivan Barrera as well, I’m not sure Mohammedi can truly live up to his No. 2 ranking.
In fact, Mohammedi has fought two notable opponents, one who fought Kovalev, and the other who fought Kovalev’s No. 1 rival, Adonis Stevenson.
Dmitry Sukhotsky, who was brutally knocked out by Stevenson last December, stopped Mohammedi in two rounds back in 2011.
Nathan Cleverly, who was annihilated by Kovalev in four rounds to commence his light-heavyweight title reign, defeated Mohammedi by decision in 2010.
Based off this information, which I disclosed to Kovalev, I asked him, ‘Do you think Mohammedi is in your class?’
Kovalev was, again, blunt and straight forward.
“I will kick his ass; that’s it.”
Duva stepped in to defend Mohammedi, who is also a Main Events fighter, adding that improvement in boxing has a lot to do with teaching, and Abel Sanchez is an incredible trainer.
“He’s better now; he has better teaching now, and he has improved,” Duva said.
What’s your prediction? Let us know. I can’t see this fight going past seven rounds.