Tuesday, March 28, 2023  |



Kathy Duva to Sergey Kovalev’s social media critics: Let them hate. He had a great night

Kathy Duva with former three-time light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev. Photo by David Spagnolo/Main Events
Fighters Network

If you judged the winning effort by Sergey Kovalev by assessing what people said on social media, you got one sort of take.

If you were in the arena at Traktor Sport Arena, in Chelyabinsk, Russia on Saturday, chances are good you had another take.

Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva surely does; as she waited for a connector flight in Moscow which would fly her to JFK in New York, the Main Events boss checked in with The Ring.

She gave us her takeaways from the Kovalev stoppage win–off a jab!–over Anthony Yarde of England. The end scene came in round 11.

“I saw Roy Jones on my flight to Moscow and he asked me to be sure to tell Sergey that he showed real heart last night,” Duva shared. “I agree. Sergey dug down when he was hurt, dragged Yarde into deep waters and then showed him what a difference experience makes. He did what a champion is supposed to do.”

She said the winner, age 36, who showed a second and then third wind, and again got great corner advice from helmsman Buddy McGirt, enjoyed fighting in his homeland.

“The atmosphere in the arena was incredible,” Duva said. “The place was packed and rocking throughout the whole fight. It was so exciting to see him finally perform for a crowd that was 100% in his corner. I could see him draw energy from them once the 9th round began. Sergey’s jab was really the story of the fight for me. It may be the best jab in boxing right now. He controlled everything with it and in the end, delivered one last jab as the knockout punch. Incredible.”

So, yeah, social media wasn’t giving Kovalev A grades, I noted. “People just go on social media so they can criticize. Let them hate. He had a great night!

So much of the take on social was what might happen if and when the 34-3-1 Russian puts his WBO 175-pound strap up for grabs against the Mexican middleweight star Canelo Alvarez, the lineal and Ring Magazine 160-pound champ. We’ve seen November 2 mentioned as date when that one could occur.

“If that fight happens, it will be very interesting,” Duva told me. “Two outright bad asses (and I mean that in the most complimentary way) face to face. It would be electric and fascinating, in my opinion. No one at Golden Boy has ever mentioned that specific date to me. Sergey went through a very tough fight, last night. Let’s see what happens!”