Members of the media traveled to Oxnard, California to attend WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev’s open media workout in preparation for his upcoming IBF Mandatory match-up with Nadjib “IronDjib” Mohammedi on HBO World Championship Boxing at the Mandalay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Below are select quotes from Kovalev and his manager, Egis Klimas:
On Nadjib Mohammedi
“What do I know about him? Believe me, not much. But I do know he’s very dangerous. He’s fast. He has stamina. He’s not stupid; he’s an intelligent fighter.”
“I’m focused. I don’t care who my opponent is. I will show beautiful boxing (on July 25).”
Disappointed he hasn’t fought Adonis Stevenson yet
“Sure, I want to fight Stevenson. I do want that WBC title. My dream is to get the fourth title. I want to unify the titles. That’s my goal. It’ll be difficult to make (the bout with Stevenson), but I think it’ll happen because of Kathy (Duva).”
On his fight against Pascal
“That fight I was terrible. I wasn’t ready. I was only 80 (eighty) percent. I started training late. I had some problems in my camp. There were a lot of things I did wrong.”
A bout against Andre Ward
“I’ll be happy to fight Andre Ward. He’s a dangerous fighter.”
“But I’m ready for anybody. I’m open for any fight.”
Regarding Bernard Hopkins bout
“My toughest fight was against Bernard Hopkins. It was the psychology of it (the bout). I had a pregnant wife and a future boy. I was fighting against a legend. It was a lot of pressure.
“I have a lot of respect for Bernard Hopkins. He’s special. I believe in myself much more (after beating Hopkins).”
Training in general
“When I was younger, I didn’t work as hard as I do now. I’m stronger and have more power now.
“I work harder now. I have more motivation. My family. Being undefeated. I have new goals, new dreams. That pushes me forward.”
His aspirations when he was in Russia before becoming a champion
“People ask if I had hope of becoming a champion. I had hope. Hope was the only thing I had. Hope pushed me.”
On Kovalev fighting Ward
“It would be a good fight for everyone. But I don’t know if Andre has decided what he wants to do.”
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.