Light Heavyweight Sergey Kovalev was once the boogeyman of the boxing world, his name ushered under the breath of opposition in case of alerting the man known as ‘Krusher’
It was a nickname that was fitting of a man who up until November 2016 had quite literally ‘krushed’ all except three men who had the nerve to step through the ropes with him, as I say that was until November 2016, before he met O-Towns finest in Andre Ward.
Going into the contest it brought comparisons with Evander Holyfield’s triumphs over Mike Tyson, at that particular time Mike still had the aura of destruction similar to what we associated with Kovalev, but a lot can be said for a fighter undeterred by the challenge that presented itself, blessed with mental fortitude, Evander like Ward on the night was unbreakable as they both were able to bully the bully, not only doing so once, they both replicated the feat with a more resounding outcome.
Question marks lingered over Sergey since that time but his management was quick to paper over the cracks with fighters unable to scratch away at the surface in Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and Igor Mikhalkin respectfully, giving the impression that Kovalev had returned to dominance, the problem was that both were made to order as they crumpled under the pressure of Sergey.
This weekend the cracks appeared back to the surface, matched with the proverbial contender in Eledier Alvarez the Colombian was initially thought of a stepping stone towards the bigger fights between the Eastern Europeans of the division, no one handed Alvarez the script.
Alvarez was able to take what Kovalev was able to dish out before setting up a shot reminiscent to the one Ward landed so successfully, this time it was delivered with more potency that was able to rock and drop Kovalev to the seat of his pants.
Kovalev looked in a world of hurt and disillusionment as he visited the canvas twice more before the bout was waved off, much to the amazement of the boxing world, but the question being asked now is, was it such a surprise?
It was an upset for sure but it didn’t come as a surprise, this version of Kovalev represents a broken fighter, mentally fragile which has become more evident after the beatings from Andre Ward.
A Calderon of killers reside in the light heavyweight division in Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol and Oleksandr Gvozdyk as well as the new champion Alvarez and Stevenson, so in conclusion, does Kovalev still have enough at the age of 35 to remain in the conversation of the divisions best?
I don’t believe so.