We now know, because he’s told us so, that Sergey Kovalev had been drifting for a spell before he experienced back to back losses at the talented hands (and feet and brain) of the now retired pugilist/specialist Andre Ward.
So, we wondered, did his promoter, with 39 years in the spehere, Kathy Duva of Main Events see a shift in attotude, see things that gave her pause as Kovalev was transitioning from being a “new” bright light to being a cemented star?
See video at 1:44 mark (I apologize for portrait mode):
“You know, nobody wants to see what they don't want to see,” Duva told me, after the final presser to hype the MSG Theater card being topped by Kovalev versus Vyacheslav Shabranskyy.
“It was a point brought up in the last two promotions by the other side and the natural reaction is to poo-pooh it. I told the story of Bernard Hopkins, he told Sergey, right after their fight…
….we were standing on the podium getting ready to start the post-fight press conference, and Hopkins pulled him aside and said, ‘Sergey, you’re going to be champ until you decide to lose the title, because you're gonna lose focus, but it’s gonna happen.' Every time he sees Bernard, Bernard would remind him, ‘You’re gonna lose focus, you’re gonna lose focus. It’s natural, it’s human, everyone wants to be your friend…(But) We’re not gonna know until the fight starts!”
My three cents: Duva, celebrating 40 years in the biz next May, knows of what she speaks. Talk isn't cheap, but it sure as hell ain't as pricey as DOING. In theory, one can feel a certain way, but until push comes to shove and then beyond shove, that's when truth and clarity emerge.