On Saturday, Sergey Kovalev bids to go 29-0-1 in a rematch with now bitter rival Jean Pascal. Kovalev has been at the end of a tirade of insults and accusations from Haitian-Canadian Pascal, but is expected to exact a similar defeat on the former champion at the Bell Centre in Quebec.
Kovalev risks his unbeaten record as well as the WBA, WBO & IBF Light Heavyweight titles he currently occupies. If Kovalev does indeed repeat the 8th round stoppage of Pascal last March then the intrigue grows over who the Russian – fighting out of Florida – will square up with in June.
1. The obvious choice
Sadly this obvious choice is not going to be taking place any time soon. Negotiations between Kovalev’s team and the representatives of Adonis Stevenson have fallen through and Kovalev is now in need of a new opponent for a likely Russian homecoming in June.
Had negotiations gone smoothly then the world of boxing would finally be in stall for possibly the biggest fight that can be made in the sport right now. Two fighters who share a similar ferocity in their punching, this contest is under threat of never materialising, or taking place too late. Stevenson – while turning pro late – is not getting any younger, and having exposed his vulnerabilities in his most recent outing, cries for this fight to happen are louder than ever. A defeat for the WBC king would be the knockout blow on this unification superfight.
2. The Superfight
There are a few contests right now involving ‘Krusher’ that fall under this category, but this certainly is a career defining contest. Andre Ward has stepped into the Light Heavyweight division and is expected to pick up where he left off at 168lbs.
The pair currently have a combined record of 56-0-1 and both are rated highly in the pound-for-pound top 10 – taking away the inactivity and Ward would certainly be the number 1 boxer on the planet following Floyd Mayweather’s retirement.
The slipping point here is that it just isn’t going to happen next, but as far as taking place this year is concerned, those involved firmly believe that this huge spectacle will take place in November.
3. The dream fight
It would be more than fair to place a contest between Kovalev and Stevenson into this category, as under the current conditions it is seeming little more than a pipe dream for boxing enthusiasts.
(GGG trainer Abel Sanchez told Hustle Boss a couple of years back that Kovaelv was afraid of Golovkin):
But it is a contest with indestructible Kazakh, Gennady Golovkin that highlights what dreaming big is all about. The Middleweight phenom has proven beyond doubt he is the best fighter at 160lbs, and aside from unifying the division, there seems little else the knockout artist can do. A move to 168lbs seems inevitable, but what if he were to take that extra leap, much like Lightweight king Manny Pacquiao did when challenging Oscar De La Hoya to a contest at Welterweight.
4. The wildcard
There are probably two wildcard fights that we could also class as good or at least viable contests. One could also throw the likes of undeserving Julio Cesar Chavez Jr into the mix, it’s certainly wildcard material, and screams entertainment even if it would be one sided. Always exciting Andrzej Fonfara also fits the bill, he pushed Stevenson hard in their contest last year, but taking on an opponent beaten by your greatest rival does not scream inspiring.
The first wildcard I have chosen would act as a direct blow to WBC king Stevenson. Eleider Alvarez is the undefeated mandatory challenger for Stevenson, and with his unblemished 19-0(10KO’s) record it seems a likeable match-up for Adonis. So should Main Events offer Alvarez the opportunity to challenge the number 1 175lbs fighter, it may be too hard for him to refuse. Alvarez has plenty of skill, but in truth doesn’t offer a whole lot more threat than Jean Pascal, and while an entertaining fight would evolve, it would be a comfortable win in the end for the Russian.
The most lucrative wildcard fight however would be pitting Kovalev against fellow countryman, Artur Beterbiev. The rising star has 9 wins all coming by way of knockout, and he has not been held back in the slightest in terms of quality of opposition. Bringing big time boxing to Russia – outside of the Heavyweight division – is big business under any circumstance, but pitching two of Russia’s best against one another is another matter entirely. The meeting is bound to take place at some point, and while Beterbiev is still rather green in the pro ranks, it makes for an enthralling battle.
5. The “no thanks” fight
On March 12th, Thomas Williams Jr and Edwin Rodriguez have the chance to pull their careers back into the title picture with a win, but while the victor would be deserving of entering the world championship fray, they would not be deserving of a shot at the King.
As a homecoming, a match-up with the victor does make sense. It’s a relatively easy victory for Kovalev and one where in the case of Rodriguez it would be a chance to improve on the ugly but one-sided victory by Ward back in late 2013. But at 32 and in a stacked division, there is no need to waste any valuable time. Adding the Williams Jr-Rodriguez winner to his recent foes, Nadjib Mohammedi and Jean Pascal, doesn’t look all that impressive for a pound-for-pound top 10 fighter.
The post 5 Possible 2016 Fights For Sergey Kovalev If He Beats Pascal appeared first on %%Boxing News and Views/%%.