By: Sean Crose
Former light heavyweight kingpin Sergey Kovalev’s fall from on high continues. Once one of the most rightfully feared fighters in the sport, the 37 year old has dealt with crushing defeats, and legal problems over the past several years. Now the fighter known as “Krusher” is seeing his January 30th battle with Bektemir Melikuziev being cancelled. The reason? Kovalev tested positive for synthetic testosterone in a sample provided to the Voluntary Anti Doping Association (VADA) late in December. Although VADA has offered Kovalev the opportunity to have a second test done, the Fantasy Springs Casino card has reportedly been scratched.
“Upon learning of Kovalev’s adverse finding, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) determined that they must cancel the event,” Golden Boy Promotions, one of the forces behind the card, reported. “While we are crushed for ‘The Bully’ (Melikuziev), we know that he will nevertheless have a tremendous year in 2021. We look forward to our next scheduled boxing event on Feb. 13.” Although he only has five fights to his resume, Melikuziev is a hard hitting prospect who is the subject of much attention within the fight game. Hbadence the the scheduled, now flatlined, bout with a name fighter of Kovalev’s stature.
Needless to say, the 24 year old Melikuziev must clearly be disappointed by this recent turn of events. The Kovalev bout was supposed to be held in Russia, but was recently moved to California. Now, after the jostling of locations across the globe, he finds the bout won’t be happening at all. “It makes no difference to me,” he tweeted Thursday, “just put him (Kovalev) in the ring, let us fight regardless.” Clearly the powers that be had no intention of letting that happen – and rightfully so, as boxing is one of the most dangerous sports on earth.
The 34-4-1 Kovalev asserted himself onto the scene when he stopped WBO light heavyweight titlist Nathan Cleverly back in 2013, taking the Welshman’s title and presenting himself as a force to be reckoned with within the division. A powerful puncher with a mean streak, the Russian fighter went on to beat the likes Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal before dropping two fights to Andre Ward. Since that time, he lost and regained the WBO light heavyweight title from Eleider Alvarez, stopped Anthony Yarde and performed quite well against Canelo Alvarez until the pound for pound great turned out the lights in the eleventh round.