Also in attendance was Main Events’ stablemate Sullivan Barrera who is fighting on July 25. Below are select quotes from Mohammedi and his trainer, Abel Sanchez:
Abel Sanchez Having Trained Kovalev for eight bouts:
“It’s not an advantage (for me), because Kovalev is different now. He’s changed a little bit.”
About fighting in Las Vegas:
“It’s very exciting. It’s a very big stage. I’m happy.”
About being given little chance to win:
“I’m not stupid. I’m not naïve. I’m unknown. That’s no problem. I like quiet. It lets me train, train, train. Training’s not work; it’s my passion.”
“On July 25th I have a surprise. People will say, ‘Oh, my God.'”
“He’s a very good champion. But he has two arms and in this division everyone has power. All it takes is one shot.”
“The fight (result) will be a KO. Either him or me. It’s possible I lose because I’m just a man.”
“He (Mohammedi) understands that Kovalev is at the top of his game now. He’s an established force.”
“He (Mohammedi) won’t be overlooked by Sergey because he’s (Kovalev) smart.”
“Win, lose or draw he’ll (Mohammedi) give a good account of himself.”
“He (Mohammedi) wants to bring the title back to France, but he knows the task in front of him. He’ll have to take it to Kovalev. He (Mohammedi) won’t beat him by staying back, waiting for something to happen.”
Mohammedi’s brother and mother operate a few pizza restaurants that Mohammedi owns in France. If he wins, will he give away free pizza? “He’ll probably open up some more restaurants,” said Sanchez.
WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 KOs) will compete in his first mandatory title defense against Nadjib “Irondjib” Mohammedi (37-3, 23 KOs) on Saturday, July 25 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Nevada. The co-feature will include a ten-round light heavyweight match-up between Jean Pascal (29-3-1, 17 KOs) and Yunieski Gonzalez (16-0, 12 KOs). Tickets are on sale now and start at $25. Tickets can be purchased through TicketMaster and all MGM Resorts Properties Ticket Offices. The HBO World Championship Boxing® telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.