Sergey Kovalev Looking to Stage Boxing Return Against Fanlong Meng
Shortly before the end of 2021, 3Kings Boxing reported that former light heavyweight champion Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KO’s) was looking to return to action. Now, ESPN has officially validated this notion by reporting that Kovalev will stage a March 12 return versus Fanlong “Cold Blood” Meng (17-0, 10 KO’s). Despite both men naturally competing at light heavyweight, the match will have a 185-pound catch weight.
A FALL FROM GRACE
Provided that everything goes to fruition, it will be very revealing to discover what the Krusher has left to offer the sport. At one point in the not so distant past, Kovalev was one of the more feared men in the sport. He also, for a time, was the man to beat at 175-pounds. A great deal has changed since then!
His fortunes began shifting toward the negative when he first fought Andre Ward on November 19, 2016. The Russian bruiser would go on to lose this bout by way of unanimous decision, a decision that he very vocally disagreed with. Six months later, in their rematch, Ward settled all doubt by knocking Kovalev out in the eighth round.
Kovalev would snag two stabilizing wins, versus Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and Igor Mikhalkin, both by way of knockout, following his pair of matches with Ward. Sadly, for team Kovalev, he would lose by knockout to Eleider Alvarez on August 4, 2018. To his credit, the Krusher avenged his loss to Alvarez six months later when he beat him via unanimous decision.
The Russian would then beat mandatory Anthony Yarde before suffering his fourth professional loss to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The defeat at the hands of Canelo, his third professional knockout loss, was the most demoralizing because the redhead had to come up two divisions to do so.
FROM BAD TO WORSE
Even worse, along with his in-ring setbacks, Kovalev has certainly taken his lumps outside the squared-circle. These blows came in the form of legal battles and his reputation taking a nosedive. In one incident, he was removed from an airplane for his vulgar and disrespectful behavior toward a female passenger.
Kovalev was also involved in a high-profile incident where he was accused of stalking a woman, breaking her nose and beating up her dog! Luckily for him, Kovalev narrowly missed receiving jail time for the debacle. These stories led many to believe that not only was his career finished, but that he was also a despicable character. Obviously, the Krusher was not content to end his story in this fashion and is looking to finish on a much brighter note.
Meng Fanlong was last in the ring on October 29, 2021, in a winning effort, versus Israel Duffus. Prior to that, the Chinese pugilist had not competed in the previous two years. Despite his relative inactivity, Fanlong holds the meaningful rankings of #1 (IBF), #8 (WBO) and #8 (WBC).
Therefore, a win for Kovalev could very well catapult him straight back into serious title contention. It will be telling to see what either of the two combatants have to give in the ring. Regardless of how it plays out, 3Kings Boxing will be there to report the news!
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By: Bakari Simpson