Sergey Kovalev made his pro debut in 2009 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The guy went unnoticed by both Golden Boy and Top Rank, and nobody seemed particularly interested in Kovalev. He fought in the mid-Atlantic and mid-south region through much of his early career, as a virtual unknown until a chance meeting with the legendary boxing promoter Don King.
Kovalev and manager Egis Klimas went to Florida to speak with promoter Don King, and even the powerful light heavyweight didn’t sign with King on that fateful afternoon, but he was able to draw the attention of Main Event some two years later. Kovalev now stands on the doorsteps of boxing stardom, as he continues towards an eventual showdown with WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis Stevenson.
Kovalev sat down with BlackSportsOnline in advance of his first HBO feature bout when he takes on Cedric “L.O.W” Agnew (26-0-0, 13 KOs) March 29 at the Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic, City, NJ. The broadcast begins live on HBO Boxing After Dark at 10:00 PM ET.
BSO: Sergey thank you for taking a few minutes to speak with BlackSportsOnline. Can tell you us how you got involved in the sport of boxing.
SK: I started boxing in 1994 at age 11 and made my amateur debut in 1997 in the Russian Boxing Junior Championship. In 2004 I took part in Russian Senior Championship.
BSO: Can we consider you a boxing prodigy?
SK: I don’t think so. I’ just fell in love with the sport of boxing, and it fell in love with. I had to leave the national competition because of the extremely high competition between me and Matvey Korobov and Artur Beterberiev.
BSO: How does it feel to headline your first HBO main event?
SK: “I’m just a regular boxer now. When I get one more title maybe I can be a star. When I have all four [light heavyweight] titles I will be a big star.”
BSO: What do you think of your opponent for Saturday night, Cedric Agnew?
SK: I know nothing about him. For me it doesn’t matter who is my opponent. Whoever is ready to fight with me I am ready to fight with him. Maybe it will be a short fight. Maybe it will be a long fight and go to the decision. I don’t know. Cedric Agnew was ready to fight me and I am ready to fight with him.
BSO: What are your thoughts on Adonis Stevenson? Do you have any thoughts about a future showdown?
SK: I have to win my next fight March 29. After this fight we can speak about any other fight, but right now I have my focus on my fight on Saturday. I said already a lot of times. I am ready to fight Stevenson. Adonis Stevenson is a coward.
BSO: What are your thoughts on Bernard Hopkins?
SK: He’s a coward as well. For me it doesn’t matter who is my opponent. Whoever is ready to fight with me I am ready to fight with him. Bernard is avoiding as well, so I don’t care.
BSO: What are your future goals and how does it feel to be described in some circles as the next superstar prospect in the sport of boxing?
SK: My goal in boxing is to get four titles in my division, and get a lot of money for my life before I get old.