Kovalev on Loyalty to Main Events: If Somebody Offered Me More Money, I Will Not Leave

Sergey Kovalev has no plans on changing his promotional backers at this point in his career.

The former longtime light heavyweight titlist from Russia who ran roughshod over the division in the first half of the 2010s recently restated his allegiance to Main Events, the promoter that took a chance on him and introduced him to the American public.

Under Main Events, a New Jersey-based company that once promoted the likes of Evander Holyfield and Pernell Whitaker, Kovalev became known in boxing as one of the more ferocious punchers in the sport, collecting three major belts on route to two pay-per-view showdowns with Andre Ward, which Ward won both times, albeit controversially.

Kovalev’s fight fortunes have dwindled in recent years. He was knocked out by Eleider Alvarez in 2018, although he avenged that loss six months later. His last fight was an 11th-round stoppage loss at the hands of Canelo Alvarez in a light heavyweight title bout in 2019 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Now, after a nearly two-and-a-half-year absence from the ring, Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs) is set to restart his career at the cruiserweight limit in a 10-round headline bout against Tervel Pulev (16-0, 13 KOs) this Saturday at the Forum in Inglewood, California on a Triller Fight Club card.

Main Events, naturally, will be by his side.

“Listen, I grew up with [the attitude that] if I do the business with somebody who I believe and who I trust, I’m gonna follow for always, forever,” Kovalev said on The DAZN Boxing Show. “We trust each other, believe [in] each other. Let’s do what we do and get success…together.”

“If somebody right now offered me more money, I will not go for more money because I already have my team” Kovalev added.

Kathy Duva, the head of Main Events, has said that the plan for Kovalev, 39, is to win a title at cruiserweight. The titlists in the division include South Africa’s Ilunga Makabu (WBC), France’s Arsen Goulamirian (WBA), Latvia’s Mairis Briedis (IBF), and England’s Lawrence Okoli (WBO).

Duva believes Kovalev’s weight issues at the 175-pound limit severely hampered his performance against Alvarez and that she hopes those hang-ups are not evident at cruiserweight.

“If he wins this fight the goal is to get him into a cruiserweight title fight as soon as possible,” Duva told FightHype last month. “But first you gotta get used to having a bigger body, used to training not to lose weight but to build muscle, which is the opposite of what he’s been doing.

“He was losing muscle to make weight in the last year or so that he was fighting at 175. This will be a great opportunity for him to make all those adjustments. He had a good two years to grow into this weight which I think has been a benefit. In the end, nothing matters except what he does on May 14th.”

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