Former two-time WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev 32-3-1 (28) has revealed he is considering retirement after his shock loss to Eleider “Storm” Alvarez 24-0 (12) that cost him his world title at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Saturday night.
In a dual language post on Instagram from the hospital ward where he was receiving treatment after his seventh round knockout loss, Kovalev solemnly apologised to his fans for his showing against Alvarez and suggested his lengthy three-month training camp may have negatively impacted his conditioning for the fight.
The fight was competitive for the first six rounds but Kovalev appeared in control and was leading 58-56, 59-55 and 59-55 on the three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
With less than a 50% knockout ratio going in to the fight and only one stoppage in his previous six bouts, few considered the 34-year-old Colombian to be much of a puncher. But three separate, crushing right hands in the seventh round proved that assumption wrong with the normally iron-chinned Russian sent to the deck no less than three times in an explosive round that proved to be the last of the fight.
“Perhaps it’s time to put my efforts into other areas,” Kovalev, speaking in Russian, was quoted as saying by RingTV.com.
“I don’t want to rush into any decisions now. We will see what happens down the road. I am sorry this happened but it’s boxing and I thank you for all of your support. Time will pass, and we will decide what to do next.”
The 35-year-old Fort Lauderdale, USA-based Russian appeared to be fading in the mid-rounds of the fight and never seemed to recover from the first right hand that sent him to the canvas. A left hook, right hand combination dropped for the second time shortly after, and a looping right hand around his guard finished him for good. Veteran referee David Fields waved off the fight at 2:45 of the seventh frame.
If Kovalev does decide to continue boxing, he will have the option of a second fight against Alvarez as the contract contained a rematch clause that could be activated in the event that the champion lost his title.