Sergey Kovalev To Make IBF Mandatory Defense Next
Days after stopping Jean Pascal in an entertaining slug-fest, unified light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev has already booked his next fight.
Main Events Promotions announced that they received a letter from the IBF last Monday ordering them to negotiate with mandatory challenger Nadjiib Mohammedi of France. Mohammedi (37-3 with 23 KOs) is coming off a sixth round knockout of unknown Lee Campbell last Saturday.
Kovalev was supposed to face Mohammedi next but the latter agreed to step aside so that Kovalev could fight Jean Pascal. With Pascal already disposed of, Main Events is eyeing Mohammedi next, and not WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson.
Getting Ready For Krusher
Aside from being promoted by Main Events, Mohammedi agreed to let Kovalev fight Pascal first because he wanted more time with new trainer Abel Sanchez before getting into the real fight with the Krusher. Now that the IBF has ordered the fight, Mohammedi says that he is ready for the biggest challenge of his life.
Negotiating the fight will not be difficult since Kathy Duva of Main Events promotes both fighters. HBO has also already approved of Mohammedi as Kovalev’s next foe, and the only thing to figure out is the date and venue. Reports are saying the fight could be in June or July.
All Laid Out
According to Duva, Kovalev’s path is all laid out. If Kovalev gets past Mohammedi, they will try to get a fight with Adonis Stevenson in the fall. Kovalev has longed for a fight with the WBC belt holder and a fight was already agreed in principle last year. But Stevenson moved from HBO to Showtime to seek a fight with Bernard Hopkins. He didn’t get that fight, instead it was Kovalev who landed that bout and turned it into his coming out party as a full fledged superstar.
In a surprising move, the WBC has made Kovalev Stevenson’s mandatory challenger, clearing the path for the colossal showdown between the division’s biggest stars. Stevenson is slated to face former super middleweight champion Saiko Bika on April 4 in Quebec City, Canada. The WBC has approved of Kovalev’s IBF mandatory defense and intends to let him challenge Stevenson after the Mohammedi bout.
Main Events said that Kovalev’s ultimate goal is to become undisputed champion. With already the WBO, IBF and WBA (super) titles around his waist, Stevenson’s WBC belt is the only one not in his trophy case. Kovalev has said the belts are important to him and that’s one of the reasons why he will be fighting Mohammedi next. He does not want to get stripped of any of his belts and is not rushing a big money fight against Stevenson. He’s a throwback fighter who’d rather clean up his closet and get all the belts rather than go for one big bout. No wonder the world loves this Krusher.
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