SERGEY KO­VALEV

Maxim - - BEASTS FROM THE EAST -

DI­VI­SION: Light heavy­weight RECORD: 26 wins, 23 knock­outs, 1 draw

BIRTH­PLACE: Chelyabinsk, Rus­sia NEXT FIGHT: March 14 vs. Jean Pas­cal

ask vet­eran boxing pro­moter Kathy Duva why she signed then-un­known Sergey Ko­valev in 2012, and she doesn’t hes­i­tate. “It was his eyes,” Duva says of the fear­some light heavy­weight cham­pion. Ko­valev’s stare wasn’t men­ac­ing; it was prim­i­tive, pri­mor­dial. “He just had the look of a guy who would do any­thing to win.” Nick­named “Krusher,” the 31-year-old Rus­sian pos­sesses a weapon so danger­ous that he’s knocked out nearly ev­ery­one he’s faced, some­times by merely at­tack­ing their body: his straight right hand. Not that he nec­es­sar­ily fa­vors it. “My fa­vorite punch is the one that hurts my op­po­nent,” he says. “Any punch: up­per­cut, right, left, straight.” In 2011, Ko­valev fought Ro­man Si­makov and beat him so badly that Si­makov later died. Dev­as­tated, Ko­valev do­nated his earn­ings to the fallen fighter’s fam­ily. Last year, Ko­valev eas­ily dom­i­nated the great Bernard Hop­kins in his big­gest bout yet. At 175 pounds, this seek-and-de­stroy puncher is set to de­fend his belts against all com­ers.

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