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Defeating Sergey Kovalev

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It always comes with excuses. After arch nemesis Andre Ward nipped him at the finish line to pound-for-pound supremacy in November 2016, it was a product of overtraining– and not overdrinking. In keeping with the theme of this series, we decided not to go with “Krushing Sergey Kovalev”– though there was more than enough reason to do so. I mean… when he’s defeated, he’s fucking defeated. Mainly, as a result of himself.

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In June 2017, after having his nether regions blown to smithereens in Ward II, Kov offered the same ball-breaking excuse of overreaching in the gym; the caveat being a major disconnect with suspected turncoat John David Jackson.

A new state-of-the-art Russian coach was installed to capture the WBO light heavyweight championship over a completely defeated Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in November 2017, proving only that he needed a March 2018 mugging of Igor Mikhalkin to believe the ghost of Ward had disappeared.

It hasn’t. It never will.

Then, that same state-of-the-art trainer, Aleksandr Mikhailovich, suspected of doing all of the right things suspected turncoat John David Jackson wasn’t doing, overtrained him for Eleider Alvarez last summer in Atlantic City, resulting in a rather disturbing (and sudden) 7th round evisceration. Beyond excuses, sometimes, ‘Defeating Sergey Kovalev’ even comes with a smile. The kind that [almost says] he threw the fight and the WBO belt under the boardwalk – after basically beating the shit out of Alvarez for six rounds – just to piss off WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, who has since taken his services to DAZN.

???? ???? ????

Near the end of a 2018 that featured a rather violent rolling of the credits for Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, not only did the WBO and WBC titles change hands, it featured a changing of the guard of sorts. Or did it?

There he was on Friday, on weight for the rematch with Alvarez at the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas, LIVE on ESPN+ on Saturday night (you can download the app and get a trial to watch the fight free), but somehow looking deflated minus the aura he once possessed.

We’re guessing it didn’t help having sexual assault charges levied against him recently, with the woman’s dog also involved in the fray and feeling some kind of way. Oh wait, he brought in grizzled vet Buddy McGirt as a new trainer and Teddy Cruz as a strength and conditioning coach? And we don’t see the “overtrained” angle coming again? After having reasons to overdrink (allegedly) or at least overthink himself to defeat again?

Yeah. Sounds like Kovalev in six to me.

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About John Gatling

Senior correspondent for NY Fights and author of upcoming book, "The Fist Club." Conscious indie recording artist "T@z" and humanist advocate for the Green Party.

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