Monday, June 05, 2023  |



Sergey Kovalev hints at retirement in Instagram post following stunning KO loss

Sergey Kovalev (left) is nailed on the inside by Eleider Alvarez. Photo courtesy of HBO Boxing
Fighters Network

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Sergey Kovalev took to Instagram moments after getting stopped by Eleider Alvarez to address his fans in separate Russian and English posts from a hospital room where he was taken for precautionary reasons.

In the English post a solemn looking Kovalev thanked his supporters and apologized for losing the bout and said he could not recover from the first knockdown in the seventh round when Alvarez landed a blistering combination that sent the former champion down. Kovalev also said the long three-month training camp may have had something to do with his conditioning being off and said he just felt tired.

In the Russian language post Kovalev went a step further and said it may be time to hang the gloves up. It was a punch he didn’t see from Alavarez that Kovalev claims caused the knockdown and he couldn’t get his equilibrium back in time to get back int the fight.

“Perhaps it’s time to put my efforts into other areas,” Kovalev said in Russian. “I don’t want to rush into any decisions now. We will see what happens down the road. I am sorry this happened but it’s boxing and I thank you for all of your support. Time will pass, and we will decide what to do next.”

Kovalev does have a rematch clause in the contract should he choose to challenge Alavarez for the WBO light heavyweight championship most likely in Canada.

Through six rounds, Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 knockouts) was ahead on all three judges scorecards but it was apparent the two-time world titleholder was beginning to fade while the 34-year-old Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs) was landing his punches at will. In the seventh round a huge overhand right from the Colombian sent Kovalev down much to the chagrin of the pro-Russian capacity crowd of just over 5,000 at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel.

A very shaken Kovalev got back on his feet to beat the count but was on unsteady legs. All Kovalev could muster was to try to keep his guard up as Alvarez moved in for the attack and landed a powerful two-punch combination that dropped Kovalev again signaling the end was not too far behind. Veteran referee David Fields, allowing the champion to go out on his shield, stood close by as Alavarez moved in and dropped Kovalev for the third final time shocking both the Russian veteran and the partisan crowd. Fields didn’t bother to start a count and instead waived the bout off while Kovalev tried to get himself back up and Alavarez celebrated jubilantly with his team.

The Colombia-born Alvarez, who now calls Montreal, Canada home, has been the mandatory challenger for the better part of two years for Adonis Stevenson’s WBC belt. Unable to secure that fight Alvarez’ handlers managed to secure a title bout with Kovalev instead.