WBO, WBA and IBF light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev has been criticised for posting on social media appearing to degrade divisional rival Adonis Stevenson.
In the picture, Kovalev is seen standing next to a boy with a t-shirt on of a chimpanzee wearing boxing gloves. The 32 year-old is pointing at the picture on the shirt and has added; ‘Adonis looks great’ underneath.
Since the photo was posted and then quickly deleted, ‘Krusher’ has been silent on the matter, and when WBN asked his promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events for something regarding the fighter’s actions, no comment was made.
The incident certainly won’t do Kovalev’s reputation any favours, although has largely gone unnoticed and unreported since appearing on Sunday night.
One person who did catch a glimpse and had something to say was Stevenson himself as the WBC champion said this in response: “Hey Krusher Kovalev, we saw your deleted racist tweet. Boxing isn’t about prejudice. Wanna fight? Punch above the belt!”
The two had been linked to a massive four-belt clash for some time until Kovalev was pulled from purse bid negotiations for the contest due to TV coverage. That decision has since seen the fight go on the backburner for the time being, whilst both title holders have fights lined up in the interim. Kovalev is due to face mandatory challenger Nadjib Mohammedi in the summer and Stevenson has number one contender Isaac Chilemba to deal with in the near future.
Things like this certainly won’t help the bad blood that lingers between Kovalev and Stevenson going forward though as fans hold out hope of an agreement between the pair before too long.