Recent reports indicate that controversial ex-Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev has not been able to secure a fall return date and may be opting to retire altogether. Speaking to R-Sports Media over the weekend, Kovalev detailed that while he has been in the gym since his eighth-round knockout loss to Andre Ward last June, he hasn’t been able to fully commit to a return to the ring.
Kovalev, who has compiled a record of 30-2-1 over the course of his career, was known for his vaunted punching power and stoic demeanor since coming on the US boxing scene destroying Gabriel Campillo in 2013. After defeating Nathan Cleverly for a Light Heavyweight title, Kovalev began to show his ugly side as he vented his frustrations with WBC champion Adonis Stevenson via racist tirades through social media. Kovalev eventually got his moment for big fights when he pummeled Bernard Hopkins and had two pay-per-view cards with Ward, losing both.
Following the controversial points loss to Ward last year, “Krusher” Kovalev flipped the switch from being a fierce competitor to being a sore loser, often demeaning Ward through the media with profane insults and a hideously racial tweet up until Ward stopped him last June. Despite the stoppage loss, Kovalev remains one of the best fighters in the Light Heavyweight division and could remain in the mix if he desires to compete.
If retirement does in fact end up being the path he chooses, hopefully Kovalev’s desire to be closer to God as indicated in the above-mentioned report will serve him well. Then again, Kovalev may also be playing coy as reports indicated after the Ward rematch that he was looking to part ways with long time promoter Kathy Duva. It wouldn’t be surprising as Kovalev’s only financial recourse from the Ward rematch was a portion of the dismal pay-per-view sales while Ward cashed up to $6 million, not to mention Duva also put the kibosh on the fight with Stevenson more than once.
Kovalev has yet to officially determine where his career is headed, if anywhere, but this won’t be the last we hear about the 34-year-old bruiser.