by Jim Calva: Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev Fanlong Meng will face off in a 185-pound hunting weight fight in the main event on March 12 at Triller Fight Club in Los Angeles, California.
Some boxing fans will be excited about the news of Kovalev’s return after a long hiatus from the sport, but many people won’t see this as a good thing. Kovalev looked shot in the last set of fights, and that was in 2019.
Mike Coppinger reported Kovalev’s return to the ring on March 12 against Meng Fanlong. It’s unclear if this is Kovalev’s one-on-one or if he intends to attempt to run a lightweight or cruiserweight title.
Did Kovalev have anything left?
Given how weak Kovalev was against Canelo Alvarez and Anthony Yard in 2019, he should shy away from champions Artur Petterbiev, Dmitri Bevol and Joe Smith Jr at the age of 175.
The 38-year-old former IBF/IBF/IBF heavyweight champion Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 points) will miss a nearly three-year stint when he meets China’s Fanlong (17-0, 10 points.).
Kovalev might still be able to hit really hard, so he’d have a chance to score a knockout if he could figure out Southern Bao Fanlong’s proficient fighting style.
It would not be surprising if Fanlong outperformed Kovalev, because he was twice beaten by Andre Ward, and he was not a boxer. Ward just fought hard and had the advantage of gassing Kovalev after six rounds in each of their battles.
In Kovalev’s last fight against Canelo Alvarez in November 2019, the Russian fighter fought as if he was stuck at first speed in the entire competition.
He didn’t look like Kovalev inside the ring that night, throwing poor shots without any speed and looking like he was arguing with Canelo.
Sergey has to fight hard to win
Kovalev can’t walk to sleep during his fight with Fanlong on March 12th because he’ll lose again, and this is someone he has to beat without any issues if he has anything left.
Before Kovalev lost to Andre Ward in 2016, his career was swimming smoothly with him to rule the opponent his promoter put up with him. From 2013 to 2016, Kovalev was one of the best fighters at the age of 175.
You wouldn’t say Kovalev was the best because Adonis Stevenson was around at the time and held the WBC 175lb title.
It’s safe to say that if Kovalev had fought Southbow Stephenson at the time, he would have been out. Adonis was out of this world well before he got too old and suffered an injury that ended his career against Oleksandr Gvozdyk in December 2018.
Fanlong was supposed to challenge IBF Light Heavyweight Champion Artur Beterbiev in 2020, but the fight failed to happen. It would have been difficult for Fanlong because he’s not punched, and Beterbiev would have punched him all over, punching holes in his midsection.
Kovalev vs. Fan Long 185 lbs.
In October 2021, 33-year-old Fanlong defeated little-known Israel Duvos in a round of 10 by unanimous vote. Prior to that, Fanlong defeated Gilberto Rubio and Adam Deines in 2019. And he didn’t fight at all in 2020.
Sources: Sergei Kovalev and Meng Fanlong agree to the March 12 battle in Los Angeles, weighing in at 185 pounds, a major Triller Fight Club event. “Kovalev’s first fight since the 2019 KO team lost to Canelo Alvarez,” Mike Coppinger said on Twitter.
It’s too bad Kovalev can’t collapse to 168 because he could potentially extend his career if he fought in that weight class. If nothing else, Kovalev could be paid big fighting Canelo in a rematch or by taking on David Benavidez, or Caleb Plant.
During the best years of Kovalev’s rule, he triumphed over these fighters:
- Nathan Cleverly
- John Pascal x 2
- Isaac Chelmba
- Elizabeth Alvarez
- Bernard Hopkins
- Nadjib Mohammedi
- Gabriel Campbell
- Cedric Agnew
- Cornelius White
- Darnell Boone
- Ismael Selah