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Kovalev talks Hopkins, Stevenson

Photo: Hoganphotos / GBP

Photo: Hoganphotos / GBP

Following his title unification bout against Bernard Hopkins, the now unified light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev spoke to media on his decision victory over Hopkins, his advice to Hopkins, a possible bout against Adonis Stevenson and his future in the weight class in which he now owns the WBO, WBA and IBF titles.

On his future in the light heavyweight class:

“I making my weight. Five years ago it is was much easier and now it is a little bit harder to make 175 but it is right weight for my body. My body needs more attention. It is good for me for boxing. I can show how good I am. No for super middleweight it is not possible. It will be too much for my body. Cruiserweight is a big weight for me. I am walking 190 and cruiserweight is 200. I would be fighting against fighters much bigger than me. If it were 4-5 rounds it might be ok but 12 rounds will be much harder. I haven’t cleaned up this division yet. I have goal to get WBC title.”

On a match against Stevenson:

“I don’t know how to answer. I am ready for everyone if it is the right fight. It is interesting fight for everyone. This is the job for my promoter and my manager. I don’t think about next fight, right now I want to spend time with my family. I am going to fly to Russia for a couple weeks to be with my parents.”

Kovalev’s advice to Hopkins:

“My counsel for Bernard is that he needs to stop his career. He is already not young man and he lost to Kovalev not because of his age. He feels great, he feels good, he feels he is in good shape, and he feels young in his body. He can get a lot of wins against a lot of good fighters including [Adonis] Stevenson and other top ten fighters. It is not my job right now. It is his job. He is feeling very good. I think he needs to stop and give the opportunity to younger boxers to be fighting on the top stage.”

Kovalev trainer John David Jackson also spoke to media and talked about his game plan going into fight night, his own thoughts on Hopkins retiring and where Team Kovalev goes from here.

On the game plan heading into the Hopkins fight:

“The way he wore Bernard down that was the game plan. He dissected him going to the body, the shoulder and the chest. Break Bernard down systematically was the plan.

“The more pressure Sergey brought the more he wore Bernard down. He is an old man in a young man’s sport. Sergey made him fight at a pace he didn’t want to fight at. He underestimated him. Sergey is a superior boxer. He showed the world that on Saturday night. He out-boxed a supposed master boxer. Bernard underestimated his abilities and that hurt him.”

On Hopkin’s retiring:

“I told Bernard to retire. He has had a great career and why cheapen it by hanging on too long. He said his comments at the press conference were for promotion. He can’t get in my head because he wasn’t fighting me. He was going after me because he couldn’t get into Sergey’s head. He was looking for a kink in the armor. He was apologetic afterwards. We are friends. This is business. He can’t be mad at me. He didn’t believe me when I said Sergey was a hell of a fighter. We are still friends. We probably won’t hang out but that’s okay.”

Kovalev promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events appreciated Jackson’s game plan and is unsure, yet optimistic of Team Kovalev’s future.

“John David Jackson choreographed the fight and Sergey executed the plan perfectly. Egis should be manager of the year. He finds all these great fighters. Sergey should be fighter of the year for the way he beat Hopkins and John David should be trainer of the year.

On a Stevenson match and when Kovlev will be in the ring again:

“At this point I just don’t know. It is too soon to say. Obviously [Nadjib] Mohammedi is in the picture at some point because he is the mandatory. All I see are stories that say they want to fight Sergey in 2015. They know how to reach me. No one has called me. It is still 2014 and no one has made any overtures towards any fights.

“He is going to fight again in March but it is too early to say who his opponent might be. I am going to sit down with Egis and then once we make the decision we will let you all know.”

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