Tonight, Sergey Kovalev will enter the ring in Atlantic City as not just the WBO light-heavyweight title-holder, but also as the last light-heavyweight champion standing on the HBO network. This reality comes not from the power of Kovalev’s fists, but due to the current nature of “boxing politics,” which has resulted in rival Adonis Stevenson, the WBC champion, confirming this week that he’s taking his talents to the Showtime network. This is dually a good and bad predicament for the man nicknamed “The Krusher.” On one hand, Kovalev now holds the sole attention of a premium network in desperate need of a finding bankable stars to flesh out their brand. But how can Kovalev retain that network and fan attention without the elite dance partners required to make compelling fights?
Enter Cedric Agnew, a fighter whose spent much of this promotion declaring that Kovalev is an “ordinary” fighter he holds no fear of. Usually, a fighter with a 26-0 record would be a hot commodity in the sport. In Agnew’s case, the lack of credible names and recent seesawing between 6 and 12 round fights had kept him off the championship radar until now. Saturday doesn’t just represent a title opportunity, but also what would go down as an Upset of the Year pick should Agnew pull off the victory.
In this exclusive, split interview for Knockout Nation, Agnew and Kovalev give their final impressions on their bout, each other, and what the future may hold.
Go to KnockoutNation.com for the full interview.