By: Sean Crose
Credit Dan Rafael for this one. Sergey Kovalev, the former light heavyweight powerhouse, has tested positive for synthetic testosterone, via VADA, the most reliable anti-doping agency in the world. This comes as bad news for those who were anticipating the fighter known as “Krusher” facing off against rising bruiser Bektemir Melikuziev on the 30th of this month. The bout was supposed to be a main event on DAZN. Now, of course, it’s likely that fight won’t go down. According to Rafael, Kovalev was tested by VADA on the 30th of December, and the results were presented yesterday.
Kovalev was once regarded as one of the top fighters in the business. He had incredible knockout power (he could literally stop a fight with his jab), a mean streak and considerable skills as a boxer. The 34-1-1 Kovalev held numerous light heavyweight titles, was arguably avoided by fellow light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, and is believed by some to have been robbed by the judges when he lost to Andre Ward in their first battle back in 2016 (this writer had it a draw). Since that time, however, Kovalev has lost his rematch to Ward, traded wins in two fights with Eleider Alvarez, and has been stopped by Canelo Alvarez late in a close 2019 battle.
Kovalev has also had outside the ring problems as of late. An accusation of assaulting a woman. An accusation of assaulting a dog. An accusation of sexual harassment – on an airline, no less. An accusation of driving while under the influence. An accusation of illegal streaming. It has certainly been a dark time for the Russian immigrant. Here’s hoping the man will find a way to turn his life around. He’s certainly not the first person in this sport to have his life go into free-fall. With that being said, Kovalev can request a second test with VADA, should he choose. In other words, if he’s innocent of this PED finding, he can defend himself.
As for Melikuziev, the 5-0, heavy-handed 24 year old has taken to social media to declare he’s willing to fight Kovalev whether Kovalev is clean or not. “It makes no difference to me,” he tweeted, “just put him (Kovalev) in the ring, let us fight regardless.” Seeing this tweet, it’s clear why Melikuziev is gaining attention with such a thin resume. He may have only had five fights, but his willingness to face the likes of Kovalev, even a fading and aging Kovalev, indicates a self belief which is quite fan friendly. Now we may never get to see whether or not the young man can crush the Krusher.