There's a “Storm” coming to the shores of Atlantic City, but not before a thief in the night fashioned after “Jack The Ripper” looks to rob an old superhero. If the tide is turned and the thief is arrested, we just may have the development needed for Adonis “Superman” Stevenson V Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev.
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Saturday, May 12 @Hard Rock Cafe NYC. 1:44pm
This fight could actually be a 10. I've spent some time on the way over from Jersey watching tape and reading some information on the unbeaten Eleider Alvarez (23-0, 11KOs), “The Storm” ahead of WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (32-2-1, 28KOs) on Saturday, August 4 at the Etess Arena inside the gorgeous new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City on HBO (10PM/ET).
Main Events never gets involved with productions that don't – or won't – have an air of class and (despite a lot of shit they've been receiving lately) neither does HBO. I'm going, and well…you should too. They've got a good love affair going with Krusher Promotions, as this will be bout #14 featuring the Russian destroyer on the “Network of Champions”. After some pleasantries and the requisite yada-yada, the fighters pose, look really mean at each other, and walk away from the podium in opposite directions. Perfect time to catch a grinning Kovalev in his ‘Krusher cap' while deciding to tip it.
“So Sergey… You uh, you kinda krushed your friend Igor Mikhalkin in early March. You aight? I didn't know if you'd have the balls to do it,” I drop tongue-in-cheek, as the witty Kovalev immediately understands where I'm going.
“He's Russian (Mikhalkin) and he's tough. We understand what to do… But Andre Ward is a ball breaker, very crazy man. If life is fair, I'll fight him again and kick his ass,” said Kovalev, going in on a what he still insists was a “dirty” Ward.
“You interested in what happens next week in Canada with your good friend Adonis Chickenson?” I just had to ask. Sergey laughs, and wonders out loud why they haven't fought. “He is a different kind of crazy, but yeah I'll watch ‘The Chicken' fight with Badou Jack.”
He doesn't care who wins.
But Yvon Michel (with Group Yvon Michel, also promoting the August 4 card) does, and represents the gritty Alvarez (ehh, no relation to Canelo and Clenbuterol free we promise) with a lot of confidence he'll win. I think. “Storm”, who recently flooded the empty streets of Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute, also inflicted meaningful damage on Isaac Chilemba in a majority decision win just before he pushed Kovalev to the brink in July 2016.
Michel believes Kovalev is ripe for disaster. But if it turns out he isn't (as I don't believe he is), and his other guy, Adonis Stevenson, goes Superman on Jack The Ripper (as I believe he will), then what?
“Did you see Adonis when he approached Sergey in the ring? We've always wanted to crush the Krusher, and it looks like now a “Storm” is coming for him,” said Michel, sounding a lot like a really good promoter. Kathy Duva knows a thing or two about promoting fights as well, and insisted to me before Kovalev's last two fights that she did everything short of shoveling shit trying to make Kovalev V Stevenson with Michel. Maybe Yvon's a master poker player, adept at holding his ace. We'll see. I tend to think it has more to do with the very damaging network television divide between fighters affiliated with Premier Boxing Champions/Showtime and HBO. It has caused boxing (and fans) major problems.
I'm really glad to see Mark “Scoop” Malinowski, a good friend I've not seen in awhile after mayhem on the ridiculousness that is social media. We go outside, as Kovalev and Alvarez have somehow scaled the top of the Hard Rock's movie theater display, and now overlook Times Square as we snap pictures. Just beneath them is the marquee with their names on it, featuring the promotion's slogan: “Super Men”. This is going to be a very difficult fight for Kovalev, but one he should win by late stoppage.
Sunday, May 13, 6:08am inside the Batcave
It's Mom's Day, and I haven't really slept after witnessing the great Vasyl Lomachenko's riveting demolition of Jorge Linares LIVE at Madison Square Garden. I haven't yet given any thought to writing “Encore” either, after just watching the replay of what appears to be a new generational star in Jaime Munguia absolutely maul Sadam Ali in Verona, NY to win the WBO super welterweight title. Now, I know why the brain trust behind Gennady Golovkin, needing a late replacement for Canelo, told HBO something to the effect of, “Yea, we'll take Vanes Martirosyan, thank you very much.” Anyway, I start watching rare tape of Stevenson and his preparation for Badou Jack, while comparing that to what I've seen from Jack.
This fight WILL BE a “10”.
Jack is being trained by former crafty southpaw Lou Del Valle, who gave a prime Roy Jones Jr. a lot of problems. Jack is a very active and fearless enforcer of will, who will fight very bravely and lose very badly as soon as he runs into the eye of Superman's “Storm.” Stevenson has the freakish power of an EMP and will absolutely pull the plug on Jack. Even at age 40, he's been remarkably preserved, and has been inactive for that very reason. The boxing world is very likely to see why Ward took a similar sabbatical before deciding to deal with Kovalev– while avoiding Stevenson altogether. Styles will always make fights. In my opinion, Badou Jack is a solid B-version of a very prime Kovalev, just as Alvarez is somewhat of a solid B-version of a younger Stevenson. If the old guard can hold off the new, then the only thing left for them is each other, before Father Time gives way to Mother Nature. All of which means a perfect storm just may be brewing to finally bring us “Superman V Krusher”.