A Bully Unmasked

By Johnathan Lee Iverson on June 19, 2017
A Bully Unmasked
Either you rise to the occasion or you find yourself naked and exposed. (Photo: Courtesy)

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” so goes the quip made famous by Mike Tyson…

“Sports do not build character: they reveal it.”—John Wooden

In no sport is character so vividly displayed than prize fighting. “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” so goes the quip made famous by Mike Tyson. Who you are always shows up in adversity or when things don’t exactly go your way. Either you rise to the occasion or you find yourself figuratively naked and exposed, as the mere mortal that you really are, grasping for excuses in a post-fight press conference where your promoter and manager’s lack of class becomes fodder for the worldwide web and even your trainers throw you under the bus. When giants fall it reverberates.

Bullies are liars. They cultivate a persona of fear, likely to deflect from their own brokenness. If they are particularly gifted they have the ability to make themselves into demigods, who are emboldened by the public’s thirst for illusions. To see a bully unmasked is all at once, shocking, sad, and exhilarating. Sergey Kovalev was unmasked and it was ugly. As a fan of the sport I took great pleasure in his defeat. He’s been despicable when he didn’t have to be. Be it his dalliances with racism when facing black fighters or his utter disregard for his opponents in general. There’s a difference in using intimidation tactics and mind games as is tradition between combatants and then there’s being nasty. Kovalev opted for the latter and it made watching him bent over in defeat, as if bowing to Ward, all the more delightful.

His behavior throughout the entire promotion with Andre Ward, culminating in its aftermath was unbecoming of someone as gifted and fortunate as he has been, a champion. But, it was typical, even the fact that his demise came at the hands of someone so unlike him. I suspect that was at the heart of his disdain for Andre Ward. He huffed and he puffed, but Ward still saw him for what he was, and Kovalev knew it. It was like watching Rhonda Rousey before her bubble burst at the hands of Holly Holm. He even adopted her unsportsmanlike conduct in refusing to shake hands with his opponent before the bell and like her, his post-fight conduct left much to be desired of a fighter of his stature. I suspect his career, like all bullies will go the same route as well, into obscurity.

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  1. Your Name 04:33am, 06/28/2017

    Rob, this is not the thread for this discussion, Follow Trump’s FAIR edicts and you will find some clarity around racial issues, TRUE!

  2. Rob 01:59am, 06/28/2017

    Your name here. Look up the rest of the video that was just released a couple of months ago and see the truth about the police and “justice” system. You are white and you don’t give a damn about what’s happening to your fellow black Americans! If white America’ gave a damn about liberty and justice for all this crap would stop instantly! You like the fact that police are murdering minorities for some dick reason and you even feel the need to gloat about it and rationalize it every chance you get. But I submit yo you that God is in control and will issue his verdict in due course and it won’t be debatable

  3. Rob 01:50am, 06/28/2017

    Your name here. You are an idiot and willfully ignorant of course you don’t think about that stuff too hard because it is not your people who are getting slaughtered and murdered by those who are sworn to protect and serve it is not your people Who are being denied the constitutional right to life what do process under the law. Take Mike Brown four instance that video you claim shows he was a strong armed robber that video was put out by the police but guess what there was more to that video that only came out two years later it shows that The upstanding 120 pound Asian Saint storekeeper was trading items for weed with The teenager Mike Brown and that if you saw was not a strong arm robbery it was a dispute over how much weed he left for the items. Like I said you are an idiot and willfully ignorant The Tony weeks tweet was fake Tony weeks did not tweet that statement it is important to say that. Just as the police withheld important parts of that video just like racists posted that picture of that poor BMX biker laid up in the hospital broken and duing and said it was the cop that shot Mike Brown when in fact the cop who shot Mike Brown was six foot for two hundred and forty pounds twenty eight years old and bigger and tougher than Mike Brown ever was it’s important to tell the truth . just like they posted the pictures of the game and said it was Trailane Martin that was a lie and propaganda is the same thing. You live in a bubble of make-believe and bullshit and have the nerve to come on here and try to scold me you must’ve bumped your head

  4. Your Name 09:35am, 06/27/2017

    Brown was the quintessential bully. Now he is a saint. WTF

  5. Mike 05:00am, 06/27/2017

    This is to Rob especially,

    I really haven’t followed the aftermath of the fight too much,  especially re: Tony Weeks.

    Nor did I follow the exact particulars about the other items you mentioned. I feel bad that there is all this constant talk about racism.  Can’t we all take a deep breathe?  BTW Rob I would note that if you are trying to tie all the people in where - New York, America, who knows? that just like you who seem to be following this stuff to accuse lots of people of racism, hey you don’t know me?  There are probably as many people give or take who use any forum for their views on this topic, which is a shame, after all this is a boxing site.

    You are clearly wrong on one thing and I am about to tell you what it is. Regarding Mike Brown I wonder how you would feel if it was your father that Mike Brown pushed, I believe twice, in that candy or convenience store taking that owner’s property?  This is a man who probably opens up at 6 a.m. or has some helper who he must pay to open at 6 a.m. or some relative who must do the hard work.  Think you would feel too good if it was your father who he pushed.  You know why the Asian man reacted.  He gets up and Mike Brown perhaps shames him, and the little man, halve the size of Mike Brown, tries twice because it is his property, not Mike Brown.  The little gentleman probably tried twice cause not to try would have meant shame.  YOU ROB yes you ought to be ashamed.  Why no mention of this.  This guy weighed what - 120 pounds and Mike Brown weighed or looked to weigh 300.  How would you like it if some person with no heart pushed you aside?  Liker a bully.  SHAME ON YOU FOR COVERING UP.  Plaudits for my black brothers who didn’t.  SHAME ON YOU ROB.  I pray if you have kids that you have taught them not to be bullies.  Hey Rob why not become a cop?  You talk the game, don’t you.
    That’s enough.  Mike from Brooklyn

  6. Rob 11:40pm, 06/26/2017

    The Tony weeks account was a fake just like that fake picture of travon martin that was really the rapper the game and that fake pic of the cop who murdered Mike brown all messed up in a hospital bed turned out to be some BMX racer who had died. Racists always use dirty tricks and are utterly dishonorable

  7. nonprophet 06:38am, 06/22/2017

    Salty Alt Knight HATES it when a BLACK MAN whups a white boxer’s ass as Ward did TWICE to KKK.

    That’s why he ALWAYS interjects race into pretty much every comment he makes (along with Irish Frankie whateverthefuk).

    The comments they make illustrate their sheer ignorance. 
    They are both basically ignorant savages; disservices to humanity; pitiful examples of banal human excrement who deserve to be eaten by wolves and shit off a cliff.


  8. Mike 06:09am, 06/20/2017

    To the Barker…..............and that seems to be a good name for you.  I ask an innocent question and i get talked to like the red headed son.  (Sorry to redheads, just an example).  I should do my own research?  How’s this, I don’t have all that time, so I thought as a Brooklyn or NYC neighbor so to speak, since you were so positive you’d simply supply some possible answers.  I almost confused you with Alt. Knight who if you did what I just did, read his comment, you would see that he is wrong on his facts re: Kovalev was wearing a gorilla tee shirt.  He wasn’t.  He saw some kid wearing one and he seemed to have laughed about it because there was talk in the air about an Adonis Stevenson fight.  Not nice at all, but I got a fact right, and there is a difference between wearing one and commenting about one.  Is Kovalev a racist?  Let’s just I don’t appreciate his looseness on the subject. He is not my favorite person and I don’t like what he said.
      If someone asks you about this again Mr. Big Mouth (yeah I don’t talk that way to people unless someone tries to make me look small first) you can refer them to Ring Magazine.
    I have spent too much time on a guy with a nasty mouth, ordering people around. You sound like a bully actually.  So I will not respond to you again.  So take a deep breathe Mr.Barker and talk to people as you wish to be talked to.
    Signed, Mike from Brooklyn

  9. Alt Knight 05:14am, 06/20/2017

    @Mark…..I’ll tell you about the “racist"horrors committed by Kovalev. haha. Nice Barker, usually your ilk always wants a link provided, but I do wonder in this day of Google, why some just don’t do a search. Sorry, Mark, but Kovalev has allegedly uttered the blasphemous N-word, and had a gorilla’s face over the image of another black fighter on a T-shirt. KInd of weird considering that Ward’s late biological father was White.  That’s right, book him Danno, in the Orwellian world of douchebags this qualifies Krusher as a demonic wayciss. IF George Carlin were still alive he could list the 7 racist words you would be allowed to say and get away with it. All would be disparaging remarks about Whites, and someone like Barker or Caryn Tate wouldn’t have a problem there. Kovalev could have called Jesus Christ every name in the book, called, George Washington a POS, and everything would have been just fine. Usually SJWs live in places like Vermont, Seattle, and look like Trigglypuff or Carl The Cuck,etc., Go figure. Even though I doubt this bullsheeit robbery will be reversed, I’m hoping Duva and the Kovalev team can have this decision reversed and rightfully be called a no-contest, when it is obvious, Ward should have be dq’ed.

  10. The Barker 04:34am, 06/20/2017

    Mike from Brooklyn,

    Are you kidding? You have access to information like anyone else. I’m certain if you want “proof” you’d find it. I can’t speak for this writer, but l have heard and seen this behavior from him for years. Do your own research.

  11. Mike 08:28pm, 06/19/2017

    Regarding the racist charges against Kovolev, and I am not talking about the 7:15 a.m. comment from Alt Knight, I have read those charges twice with no substantiation.  For someone who claims Kovolev is a racist can you please detail exactly what he said or did to prove this is true.  The act of being a racist is of course not very nice, but to say it and repeat it is not proof.  We need proof.

    Can someone who calls Kovolev a racist please give us the proof.  Thank you.

    Mike from Brooklyn

  12. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:21pm, 06/19/2017

    The NSAC isn’t going to overrule anything…..for sure they will review….they’re good at that….oh wait….maybe the shit that Rigo pulled “to make himself more exciting and marketable” will go NC….maybe….but doubtful! These are the shitheads that decided that the Floyd/McNugget scam is a fair fight.

  13. raxman 07:52pm, 06/19/2017

    oh my god. this bully thing is ridiculous. its something the great pretender Virgil Hunter said post fight, he should use some of his % prize money to buy a dictionary. What Kovalev proved himself to be over the last 7 months is a cry baby bitch. He sooked about the last fight for so long that he took a whiners mentality into the ring with him and instead of just fighting fire with fire and hitting Ward low he looked to the ref to protect him.
    If anyone deserves the bully label its Ward with his 2011-2016 fighting inferior opposition. That’s more akin to being a bully. Kovalev has spent years fighting the best 175 had to offer - Ward on the other hand fought guys like Rodriguez, a weight emaciated Dawson and the 35-5 Paul Smith. If a bully is someone who beats on someone they know can’t beat them back then that’s much more Ward than Sergey Krybaby Kovalev. Add in Wards dirty, dirty, fighting style and its almost definitive. Ward is the bully!!

  14. thatguy 07:25pm, 06/19/2017

    lets not mention his robbery of kovalev. this lack of context is pretty appalling in a so called journalistic article

  15. Anonymous 04:23pm, 06/19/2017

    “When the bully looks toward the ref on two beltline shots that the ref literally touched on Kovalevs high waisted trunks before the fight…, and said the area was fair game ....Then Dont expect me to sympathize when Kovalez calls a few beltline shots a foul…

    “The last blow at the conclusion of the fight was low, but by then Weeks was already moving in to wave it off. And KK was slumping forward to obscure the punch angle. ...”

  16. Alt Knight 01:14pm, 06/19/2017

    @ Your Name….“I stopped the fight due to Kovalev not protecting himself, had I saw the shots were low, I would not have stopped the fight. My mistake.” Tony Weeks.

    Nope, I think it is very clear what is being said, and I did see the final moments of the fight. Bullsheeit stoppage. Sorry if I don’t buy into your bullsheeit, hook, line and sinker. This clown apparently is inept as a referee and maybe he should look for another line of occupation.

  17. Your Name 12:48pm, 06/19/2017

    Kovalev ate 7-8 very hard punches before he even got nailed on the ropes…. Weeks is a good ref and probably prevented some serious damage. So we will have to agree to disagree

    Eric, I think you are taking Tony’s comments a tad out of context. He save Kov from a brutal KO that might have had career-altering ramifications. BYW, have you actually seen the fight? If not, please STFU.

  18. Lucas McCain 12:00pm, 06/19/2017

    Haven’t seen the bout yet, but I’ve been seeing comparisons to Golata’s low blows.  Sounds to me more like Felix Trinidad’s—strategically chosen, sparing enough to get away with it, but ruthless and deadly efficient.  Old Timers used to chuckle at Fritzie Zivic’s clever thumbing and more recently, Holyfield’s butting, but when you see how it turns bouts around, it’s infuriating.

  19. Alt Knight 11:53am, 06/19/2017

    The ref, Tony Weeks, has already tweeted he made a mistake stopping the fight and missed all the low blows. STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH. Looks like Tony is doing damage control after the fact.

  20. Your Name 11:49am, 06/19/2017

    Mao, STFU and get back to China

  21. Anonymous 11:48am, 06/19/2017

    Head shot is the beginning of the end.

    Lack of stamina then pops up.

    Fear of pain also a possible factor.

    Kov is all done. Had Tony not stopped the mugging, Kov would have been stretchered out. He was trying to buy time to rest every time he got hit with a body shot.

  22. Allen 11:06am, 06/19/2017

    Alt Knight, formerly know as Eric and other screen names is just a hot air blow hard who thinks he knows everything and constantly makes inane comments. It’s a mystery to me why the owner of this site doesn’t block him. This is not the place for his non boxing opinions. And I’m sure outside of this forum he is a total bore without friends. He’s a blow hard tough guy behind the keyboard.

  23. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:57am, 06/19/2017

    Just saw a clip of the coup de gras that caused Kovalev to sit down on the middle rope…..it was low…..it was intentionally low. Weeks was in good position as always because he is probably the best referee extant….he saw the whole thing but more than likely has Kovalev down in his book as a racist, so why not close the fuker out?!

  24. Mao 10:48am, 06/19/2017

    Writers trying to cover the boxing commissions ass. Please, Bully. He was the greatest thing since sliced bread before the first fight with Ward and Ward right there beside him, a great fighter and a great match up.  Ward lost the first fight and no one had ever punished Ward so badly in any fight before.  The fight was stopped too early and low blows are real especially with their kind of power.  But he was far from crushed.  Fights like this are what boxing needs, ring interference is why the MMA has taken over the fight game.  To defend what happened by shedding negative press on Kovalev makes you exactly who you say Kovalev has become.

  25. Anonymous 09:58am, 06/19/2017

    “Yes I am perfectly fine with the proceedings except that I wanted to see Ward t-off on the crusher a little more. ... When Kovalev began turning his back and looking for timeouts from the ref he was defeated at that moment and was relieved with no protest when the fight was out….. even when interviewed after the fight. It wasnt until the post presser that Kovalev began making some noise. .. But the damage has been done. His competitors have learned that Kovalev is extremely talented and a fantastic boxer but they also know that he has a very finite tolerance for pain…and they will force him to visit that place again. “

  26. The Barker 07:38am, 06/19/2017

    Your name is Alt Knight. It sums up what you’re about and your previous comments on black fans and Andre Ward speak volumes. You’re not at all credible, but you found a way to hijack these message boards and pepper them with your “alt right” sentiments.

  27. Alt Knight 07:15am, 06/19/2017

    Still haven’t seen the fight but I heard that the fight might have been stopped prematurely. I’ll make that call after seeing it, of course either way it will just be my opinion and not the one that counts. Please explain how this guy is perceived as a bully? First off, he’s a boxer who makes his living beating other men senseless. I’m not expecting him to be monk-like, like the always classy Floyd Patterson or as humble as Rocky Marciano, but neither am I expecting a guy who grew up in an environment like Kovalev, to be a boy scout. Here we go with the RACE thing AGAIN. Face it, be brave enuff to say that is the real reason you hate Kovalev, and stop with this “bully” nonsense. I described real racial hate on the previous article by Caryn Tate. There was a 12 year old white kid in Texas who experienced the worst kind of racial hatred imaginable and a nightmare that even a soldiers will never see or experience in their worst day on the battlefield. What is your take on the racist rants by Charlie Rangel, Bernard Hopkins, Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, Jamie Foxx, and countless other black athletes and/or celebrities? Sure, people being people will always drop someone under the bus when they lose or hit hard times. 98% of all the people out there are self serving pricks when all is said and done, and they only care about themselves. I can bet that if I was a fly on the wall in all these PCtards homes one night, I would hear and see the most vile and racist things ever. haha. The closet racists are always the worst ones.

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