Sergey Kovalev to Bernard Hopkins: ‘My hands are my weapons’
That Sergey Kovalev has power is obvious. He is 13-0-1 with 13 knockouts in his past 14 fights.
But as Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 knockouts) heads into a Nov. 8 light heavyweight unification bout against Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs), the 31-year-old native of Chelyabinsk, Russia, has a message to deliver.
“I always have bullets in my arsenal,” said Kovalev, who was last in the ring for a second-round stoppage of Blake Caparello. “My hands are my weapons. They’re my weapons in the ring. Hopkins thinks that I only have two bullets but I will bring some more.”
Already having twice become the oldest man to win a major title as well as the oldest to unify, Hopkins, who turns 50 in January, will put his IBF and WBA belts on the line against the WBO title owned by Kovalev at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on HBO.
“I wanna get some lesson from the professor of boxing. He is old school boxer,” said Kovalev. “I want to get some experience from this fight that can make me better for another fight.”
Kovalev is well aware that Hopkins has been known to employ questionable tactics, and has also faced other younger rivals who tried to bully him.
“He is fighting like a street fighter, because he is dangerous,” said Kovalev. “He can cut you from the head, from the elbow, everything. From any part of his body. He is looking like a very dirty fighter. Sometimes, he is making like a clown.”
Last October, Karo Murat fired repeated low blows and hit Hopkins when he was down but still lost a unanimous decision. In October 2011, Hopkins suffered an injured left shoulder after being slammed to the canvas by Chad Dawson in an eventual no-contest, initially ruled a technical knockout in Dawson’s favor.
Kovalev more or less accused Hopkins of taking a dive against Dawson.
“He is a good actor. If he is feeling like he can’t do something legally, he starts playing like an actor and complaining about pain or a low blow or something,” said Kovalev. “Like in his first fight against Chad Dawson, he was not ready for this fight. I saw his first round and after first round he understood that he is not going to win this fight and he complained he hurt his shoulder … and … he still keep title.”
Win or lose, Kovalev believes that he will be better for facing Hopkins.
“I am not going to finish my career after this fight,” said Kovalev. “There will be other fighters that will also be tough and very talented and very hard like a punch machine. I should be ready for everyone in the ring and in life too.”
Note: Kovalev quotes are from a press release