"Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison, not to Princeton."
"To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music and the dancers hit each other."
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Revisiting his dream — and pain — boxing champ Sergey Kovalev returns to Russia
Kovalev lands a jab on Jean Pascal during the light heavyweight world
championship match in Montreal in January. (Minas Panagiotakis / Getty
Sergey Kovalev, a 'nasty guy' in the ring yet traumatized by tragedy
Sergey Kovalev in Russia for the defense of his light-heavyweight championships against Isaac Chilemba. Kovalev to fight next Nov. 19 in a showdown with Andre Ward at the T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas.
The bout against the Chilemba was not remarkable.
Four-and-a-half years earlier, Kovalev had stopped Roman Simakov in the same Ekaterinburg arena in which he outpointed Chilemba. At the time, Kovalev and Simakov were both relatively unknown prospects.
Simakov, 27, was knocked unconscious and slipped into a coma. He never woke up.
The incident traumatized Kovalev and how he has maintained his menacing in-ring persona is a mystery Kovalev won’t talk about. He won’t revisit the incident, which clearly remains a sensitive topic for him.
Kovalev has spoken publicly about the fight with Simakov only once, in an interview with Yahoo Sports. He said that as he was pounding Simakov, he wondered why the referee didn’t stop the fight. When he learned of Simakov’s death, he said, “I was lost.”
Kovalev is a mentally strong person and that will allow him to deal with the pressure of all the hype around his fight with Andre Ward.