When it comes to boxing’s pound for pound list, many don’t have Sergey Kovalev at the top. That may soon change.
Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) rallied from the brink of being stopped midway through the fight to finish an exhausted Anthony Yarde via 11th-round TKO in front of Kovalev’s hometown fans in Chelyabinsk, Russia.
Kovalev overcame a near-disastrous Round 8 in which Yarde (18-1, 17 KOs) broke him down to the body and appeared on the verge of a knockout win. Kovalev showed the heart of a champion and weathered the storm for a stunning knockout in the 11th round.
Sergey Kovalev stops Anthony Yarde in his home town ?
— Boxing on BT Sport ? (@BTSportBoxing) August 24, 2019
With the win, Kovalev likely secured an eight-figure payday in the form of a fall blockbuster against unified middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, who would move up in weight.
“Canelo? I will fight anybody,” Kovalev said after the win. “Canelo is a great fighter, and if he wants to fight I am ready. I will fight Canelo. I will fight [Dmitry] Bivol. I want the biggest fights for my career. It is my career. I have not much time left so I will fight the best fight’s I can.”
Kovalev went on to interrupt Yarde’s post-fight interview with British television by telling him, “You are a great fighter. You have a great future, believe me. You are good, you are very good.”
At 36, Kovalev time in the ring is numbered. A unification cash out against Canelo would make a ton of money and sense.