Posted by Press Releases on Jul 15, 2015
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion

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kovalevOn coming off big fights against Pascal and Hopkins but now facing a lesser known fighter:
“For me, any fight means a lot because it is the next step. Who I am and how I do my job means a lot. He is the #1 IBF contender. He deserves this fight. I very excited that I have three titles and I have the opportunity to defend it against Mohammedi. He deserves this fight. He is #1. He is very motivated. When a boxer is motivated or any man is motivated it makes him very dangerous.”

On training in Oxnard:
“Oxnard is different place compared to my last training camp. I am very happy here and everything is comfortable. Everything is good. Big Bear training camp is conditioning and physical training camp. Now training camp in Oxnard is boxing camp with sparring and heavy bags. For the boxing, I feel very comfortable here. My sparring partners help me. I feel good.”

On his last fight against Pascal:
“I had some problems in my training camp for Pascal. I made some mistakes. I started to make my weight very late. I was very happy after Hopkins fight. It was a lot of things. I celebrated New Year and Christmas in Russia. Christmas is biggest holiday in Russia. I got a lot of overfull. It made for me big trouble to make the weight for the fight. I didn’t have a good sparring partner for the fight. It was a lot of things. Right now everything is clean and going very well.”

On the possibility of a Pascal Rematch:
“I don’t want to speak about Pascal because he does not deserve to get attention. He lost my respect for him even before the fight. I cannot respect even his team. He is piece of shit. Same as Stevenson. I think all fighters make terrible fighters in Canada. I don’t respect and I want to kick his ass again and much, much bigger this time. If it will happen rematch, he will sleep in four rounds because he is a piece of shit.”

On the added pressure of headlining a fight in Las Vegas:
“No for me it doesn’t matter where I am fighting. I don’t have any problems. I feel very comfortable and happy that my fight is in Las Vegas. I wait a long time for my fight. I wanted LA or Las Vegas and it will happen July 25. I am very happy and excited because I wanted to give to my fans who long time waited to watch my fight live and now it will happen. Las Vegas is biggest place for the fight and Las Vegas is terrific place a lot of people from everywhere come to Las Vegas to get more fun. July 25 they will be very happy and very fun day.”

On Nadjib working with Abel Sanchez, Kovalev’s former trainer:
“Who is this Abel? I don’t know any Abel.”

On Adonis Stevenson:
“He is a piece of shit.”

On where he stands among all current boxers:
“I don’t think about this at all. I don’t care where I am. It is most important what I have, not where I am.”

On his opponent, Nadjib Mohammedi:
“I can say that I will kick his ass.”

On the added pressure to impress:
“I want to be better and want to be improved for every fight because a boxer can never to be perfect. 100% everything is good, no. Every boxer wants to be better, better, better. My goal in my preparations is to get better and remove all my mistakes from last fight. To show to people I can not only to punch, I can do boxing. I am disappointed people couldn’t see in my first 14 or 15 fights. I can do boxing. I just started to get good opponents when I signed contract with Kathy Duva. Very big respect with Kathy Duva and her team that they got attention on my boxing. I am very happy that I signed contract Main Events and right now my career is going up. It will continue be going up because we are together right now. We are a team – Egis Klimas, Kathy Duva, Main Events and Krusher Promotions. We are going up. We give to boxing fans good boxing fight because right now it is very seldom in real fights. Because a lot of fighters are making business but not making boxing. I can count on my left hand who are the real fighters in boxing: Gennady Golovkin, Miguel Cotto and Keith Thurman and I don’t remember more. And maybe me. I don’t want to push me that I am the best, but if people are thinking it I am very happy. I wake every morning and get running and working hard. I happy that people are thinking that I am good boxer.”

Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events

“We are very pleased to be working with HBO and Mandalay Bay where we have had such a great history here at Main Events. Sergey Kovalev is a throwback fighter who wants to take on every challenge. He has fought the #2 and #3 guys in his division in Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal. Now he is fighting his mandatory against Nadjib Mohammedi. It will be a great fight. It always is when Sergey gets in the ring.”

On why fans just want to see Sergey Kovalev fight no matter who he is fighting:
“It is the same thing that makes fans wants to watch Mike Tyson or Gennady Golovkin. Fans want to see knockouts. This is a blood sport. Sergey brings all of that. Sergey is a bad, bad man. He’s got that edge and that danger to him. My barometer has always been when I get excited myself to watch a fighter after the thousands of fights I have seen. I still get excited when Sergey fights. Every fighter when he becomes accomplished enough will have to get themselves up for absolutely everybody. He needs to prove this too. He is still on the way up, but he is a lot further along the way. He has had two difficult and challenging fights and there is a natural tendency to taper off in that situation. He needs to stay focused on Nadjib.”

On Mohammedi’s hunger:
“He has nothing to lose and everything to gain. He has had a year to focus on nothing else but this fight. Sergey has had to face two huge challenges. He also had a child and moved across the country. Nadjib has had nothing to do except focus on this fight. He is working with Abel Sanchez, who used to work with Sergey, and they don’t like each other very much.”

On Sullivan Barrera and Isaac Chilemba fighting on the undercard:
“Jolene [Mizzone, Main Events’ matchmaker] was still working to find opponents for them. I believe they are still on the card. Jolene is the best and she will figure it out. If Chilemba can’t fight on this card, he will be ordered to fight as mandatory for the WBC title soon.”

On the current status of ticket sales for this fight:
“There has been a tendency in boxing lately to give all the tickets away. Tickets are in no way sold out. It will take a lot of time before the damage to this market can be undone. We are hoping for a big walk up. I have no thoughts at all on the show down the street. Giving tickets away on the same night that people are charging for a fight down this street is another example of anti-competitive behavior. Our prices are reasonable, tickets start at $25. Sergey is well worth the price of admission and you get what you pay for.”

On why Main Events signed Mohammedi:
“When we met Nadjib, he fought on one of our NBC cards against Anatoliy Dudchenko and became the #1 challenger. As Sergey’s promoter I became interested in him. We struck a good relationship with him and his team. It made sense for us to work with him. When he came here for his fight on the Hopkins’ undercard, his trainer couldn’t make it so he ended up working with Abel [Sanchez]. He decided to wait very patiently for Sergey’s other fights. He is exciting and aggressive and that is what we like to see.”

On the odds for this fight:
“We don’t set the odds. The odds don’t reflect the competitiveness of the fight but certain people’s willingness to bet on the fight.”

On the possibility of a rematch with Pascal:
“I think Sergey just made it a lot more interesting with his comments about Pascal. From a business perspective, it is a great fight. We are keeping Pascal close. He is fighting in the co-feature but first Pascal has to defeat Gonzalez.”

On the possibility of a fight against Andre Ward:
“We have been talking to Andrew Ward’s people all week. We all agree the fight is going to happen; it is just a matter of when. Sergey’s schedule for his next few fights is planned. That fight should happen by the end of next year. Sergey wants to fight the best. The best fighting the best is what people want to see. We want to complete that deal in the foreseeable future.”

On the other potential opponents for Kovalev in the light heavyweight division:
“There are plenty of opponents. There are always new fighters coming along. The landscape of boxing changed six months ago and I am willing to bet that in another six months it will change again. I think between the fighters in the light heavyweight division and guys at 168 that are going to moving up there will be no shortage of opponents for Sergey. When you have that kind of star power in the division, they are going to draw together like magnets. Sergey has a contract with HBO and his career is mapped out for the next three years.”

On Nadjib Mohammedi:
“He has had an education with Abel that he didn’t have before. He came in as the opponent and he showed up on his own and did the job. You have to respect a guy that can do that. He has had a year to focus on this while Sergey has been focused on 1,000 other things over that same year.”

On Mohammedi working with Abel Sanchez:
“He fought on the undercard of the Hopkins-Kovalev fight and worked with Abel on that fight as well. He has been in the gym with other tremendous other fighters. I give Nadjib a lot of credit.”

On Sergey’s improving English:
“I don’t have to tell him that it is important. He came to me about it. Every time I talk to him it gets better. He finds ways to express himself. That is just part of the fun of Sergey Kovalev. He is working with a teacher. I had a similar situation with Tomasz Adamek and now he can express himself as well as anybody. The perfectionist part of Sergey will drive him to continually improve. What you don’t see is when he is in a relaxed setting he is much better. You will see more of that as time goes on.”

John David Jackson, Sergey Kovalev’s Trainer

On Nadjib Mohammedi:
“He is unconventional. He has his own style. He’s wild with some of his shots. Getting ready for him isn’t an easy task. We have to prepare correctly. Now that Abel is working with him they may have a formidable fight plan to combat what Sergey is brings to the table. However, once he gets hit we will see what he is made of. We know they are going to prepare the best they can and so are we.”

Egis Klimas, Sergey Kovalev’s Manager

“Welcome to conference call and we are looking forward to the fight.”

Vince Caruso, Nadjib Mohammedi’s Co-Manager

On Nadjib’s ethnicity:
“Nadjib is of Algerian descent but he was raised in France.”

On the odds for this fight:
“HBO told me that they were up to 45-to-1 and that is about as high as Buster Douglas was. I think we are about 100-to-1 shot. We are in with a guy who doesn’t make mistakes. Odds are against us but this will be the last time he will be overlooked.”

On how Mohammedi started boxing:
“His older brother took him to a boxing gym and he fell in love with it. He was 14 years old and was working in the markets. He’s been in love with it ever since.”

On Nadjib’s preparation for this fight:
“This is the first training camp where I know nothing. Nadjib is secluded with Abel. They are going to do it their way. He is up there doing their thing. I am down here dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. I can tell you this, his weight is on target and he is in tip top shape.”

About Kovalev vs. Mohammedi

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.

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