Boxing fans are becoming increasingly familiar with light heavyweights Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev. The two fighters are quickly making a name for themselves with their superior boxing ability and knockout power. Earlier this year, HBO.com caught up with both of these fighters on the rise.
My first fight as an amateur, I fought in a place just outside New York. I fought a guy with like eight fights, but my trainer didn't tell me that. I asked him how many fights my opponent had had, and my trainer said, "He's starting out just like you. He hasn't had any fights.
So the fight started, and I saw the way he moved and I thought, "Shit. This isn't his first fight." I saw him come toward me and I threw my left hand. Bang! I caught him on the chin. I had my eyes closed, and I had my head down, and I threw my left hook. I opened my eyes and I saw him lying there and he wasn't moving. I was like, "Hey, what happened?" I went to check up on him and his trainer pushed me, saying "Stay away! Stay away!" I felt bad because I saw him on the floor and he couldn't move. Then he got up and everything was OK, and after the fight my trainer came to me and said, "You know he had eight fights?" I said, "What? Why didn't you tell me?" And he said, "If I had, you wouldn't have taken the fight."
Sergey Kovalev's Trainer David Jackson:
He knocks people out because he sets them up a certain way. He has a great boxing style because his foot is always right, and he plants it really well before he throws punches. That doesn't happen because he's lucky.
He's a really intelligent fighter. He just hasn't had the chance to show the public how intelligent he is, because he's been knocking people out by the third round, and honestly I wouldn't care if he never got the chance to show his true boxing skill. But one day he will. He'll face a guy who can take his punch pretty well, and he'll have to rely on his boxing skills to win the fight.