‘Krusher’ Kovalev to make mandatory defense on July 25, on HBO

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Updated: May 26, 2015
Kovalev W 12 Hopkins

Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 KOs) is scheduled to defend his unified WBA/IBF and WBO light-heavyweight championships against Nadjib “Ironjib” Mohammedi (37-3, 23 KOs) on Saturday, July 25, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. The bout will be televised on HBO World Championship Boxing.

“I am very excited to return to ring on July 25 and fight for Vegas fans,” said Kovalev , who will be making his sixth world title defense dating back to August 2013. “I love fighting on HBO and am happy for this next opportunity.”

Kovalev is on the verge of becoming one of boxing’s biggest, most reliable, and very exciting stars. He has won 11 of his last 12 fight by knockout within eight rounds. In 2014, Kovalev had a career-best year having won 2014 Fighter of the Year honors; unified the World Boxing Organization, International Boxing Federation, and World Boxing Association light-heavyweights belts. Kovalev posted a dominant 12-round decision win against the legendary Bernard Hopkins.

In January 2015, Kovalev dominated former WBC light-heavyweight champion Jean Pascal. He knocked him out in the eighth round in Montreal, Canada.

Opposing Kovalev is Mohammed, the IBF mandatory challenger, who earned his title shot last year with a KO of Anatoliy Dudchenko last June.

“My turn has come to show the world who I am,” Mohammed said. “I let this Kovalev beat some guys but now I will show you he ain’t no Krusher. I am smarter. I am faster. I am the next generation of light heavyweight real champions!”

Kovalev unified the light-heavyweight titles against Hopkins and made one voluntary defense against Pascal. Thus, making his fight with Kovalev much bigger and appealing to HBO and its viewers.

“Fans who appreciate underdogs, respect Sergey Kovalev,” said Peter Nelson, Vice President, programming, HBO Sports. “As an amateur and professional, the unified light heavyweight champ has spent his entire life as an underdog, beating the odds as he does his ring opponents: with total domination. Now a new underdog, Nadjib Mohammedi, seeks to shock the boxing world and dethrone the light heavyweight king. July 25 in Las Vegas will be a great event.”

Nadjib, 30, Gardanne, Bouches-du-Rhone, France, is training in Big Bear Lake, California and is trained by Abel Sanchez. It is Sanchez who trains current WBA middleweight champion Gennday Golovkin.

Main Events CEO Kathy Duva, who promotes both pugilists, said, “This will be a great fight. Sergey had a little trouble with Jean Pascal’s awkward, aggressive style in March. Nadjib will bring a similar style to the ring on July 25th. He also has Abel Sanchez in his corner, who might have some inside knowledge about Kovalev. The Krusher will try to do what he does best – Krush him. We know for sure that this will be an all-action night at Mandalay Bay, where Main Events is very happy to return.”

Tickets for Kovalev-Mohammed are priced at $300, $200, $100, $50 and are on sale.  To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at the mandalaybay.com or ticketmaster.com.

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