Sergey Kovalev vs Sullivan Barrera: A True Crossroads Battle

It's "Do Or Die" For Sergey Kovalev and Sullivan Barrera!

Sergey Kovalev and Sullivan Barrera
Sergey Kovalev (left) and Sullivan Barrera

Sergey Kovalev vs Sullivan Barrera set for January 30!

When former unified light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (34-4-1, 29KOs) returns to the ring on January 30 he will be taking on the formidable and dangerous Cuban Sullivan Barrera (22-3, 14KOs) in a true crossroads matchup!


Kovalev once held three of the four belts at light heavyweight. His power made him a juggernaut, turning back many challengers. He’s faced some huge names in the business including Bernard Hopkins, Andre Ward and Canelo Alvarez.

While he beat Hopkins pretty easily, he would take losses to both Ward and Canelo. Albeit very controversial in his first fight with Ward, the two would run it back months later with Kovalev suffering a knockout loss.

The second loss would effectively kill the mantra of the former champion being a “Boogyman!” He attempted to regain this by following up with two knockout losses, grabbing the vacated WBO title by Ward along the way. However, he would be stopped again in a shocker against top contender Eleider Alvarez in August 2018.

Understanding that he could be completely “written-off” and not ready to retire, Kovalev immediately rematch Alvarez six months later. He avenged the third loss of his career and regained the WBO title.

Besides the legal issues that seemed to plague his image, Kovalev was on a new high! He would defend his title in a grueling bout against undefeated WBO #1 contender Anthony Yarde in August 2019 and was prepared to make the biggest purse of his career against Canelo in November.

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In that bout, Kovalev was winning majority of that fight but would succumb to the power of the Mexican superstar in the eleventh round! Now he is back to attempting to regain his status as a serious threat, but may be facing a harder, internal battle at the age of 37.


While the career of Barrera hasn’t been as glamorous, it’s been filled with its own ups and downs. Back in 2016 he got a major opportunity when he too fought Andre Ward. Although he would lose that fight, he accounted well for himself.

He has taken out some top names in the division like Joe Smith Jr and Vyachaslav Shabranskyy, but Barrera still searches for that career defining victory.

In his lone world title opportunity in 2018 he would be stopped in the twelfth round against WBA champion Dimitry Bivol. More recently he dropped a decision to super middleweight turned light heavyweight Jesse Hart.

Barrera has been calling to fight Kovalev for years. A win here would grant him a victory over a big name he has been yearning for.


It’s “do or die” for both men who are approaching the tail ends of their careers.

Can either get back into contention at light heavyweight? Only time will tell. Their first shot at that will come against each other on January 30, 2021!

By: Jerrell Fletcher & EJ Williams

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