It Ain’t Necessarily So

By Johnathan Lee Iverson on April 15, 2014
It Ain’t Necessarily So
Kovelev’s ambitions are commendable, but he should be careful for what he wishes for.

Power is king and the Knockout reigns supreme as the most definitive happening in all of sports. No touchdown, no home run, no hole in one or buzzer beating basket can compare to the concussive annihilation of one’s foe. As heavyweight great George Foreman articulated, “Boxing is the sport to which all other sports aspire.” So one can understand how our collective interests peak at the sight of a talent like Sergey Kovalev, even to the point of hyperbole. He who possesses highlight reel power tends to be referred to in mythological terms. He and his abilities are exalted to ethereal status. Hence, power is king, better yet in the sport of boxing power is god. This is the buzz surrounding Sergey Kovalev and he’s smart enough to recognize it, which is why one would have to commend his efforts to learn English. He understands that if he can live up to the hype, he’s as good as gold and he’s going to want to communicate with the English-speaking world where his pot of gold lies. 

For the moment, Kovalev is all the rage, and the fury and the glory. As Max Kellerman and his cohorts would have us believe, as they have on so many occasions, with so many fighters that they’ve prematurely anointed in a desperate attempt to erect a star for their network, this guy is the most dangerous man in boxing. I’ve heard that tune and its remixes one too many times before, but, as the great George Gershwin penned for the conniving character, Sportin’ Life in the classic Porgy & Bess, “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” Indeed, Kovalev is a power puncher par excellence and purports himself with an aura of unwavering assurance in his abilities. He makes for good barstool chatter and message board face offs, in addition to dutifully providing HBO with reel worthy footage. Thus, the cocksure Kovalev has given them something to believe in. Rumor has it that the Superman Adonis Stevenson may very well have found his Kryptonite and has opted to stay far, far away. At least this is what Max Kellerman would lead us to believe. And it looks as though Sergey has taken to his own hype, having even called out Super Middleweight Kingpin and most observers’ second pound-for-pound boxer on the planet, Andre “S.O.G.” Ward.

But, alas, boxing always brings us back to the truth. No matter the hype, no matter the anxious zeal of a network, no matter what a fighter believes about himself, the truth will always find its way inside that squared circle. Power is king, but this is still the Sweet Science, and if one is going to be king he’d best acquire and understand the full arsenal of his trade. Sergey Kovalev’s ambitions are commendable, but he should be careful for what he wishes for.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Kovalev vs Cleverly

It Ain't Necessarily So By Ray Charles & Cleo Laine

Read More Blogs
Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Darrell 11:08pm, 04/15/2014

    Wow, Cleo Laine…..she was a big deal on the music scene in the Commonwealth.  Wonder what her profile was like in the New World?  Ta much for putting that particular video up, enjoyed it immensely!

    Kovalev is a big deal also.  Not saying he would beat Ward, though I believe he has every chance against Stevenson.  As much as anyone else in the division, that’s for certain.  I don’t believe he is out of line for calling out either of those two guys, he’s walked the walk & stopped some pretty decent fighters…..only the titlists are left, why not.

  2. raxman 08:39pm, 04/15/2014

    one need only watch kovalev vs sillakh to see that Kovalev has boxing chops to match his ones of power. the way he works out sillakh lateral movement, how he takes control of sillakh timing and moves him into position for the power shot.
    the thing that struck me about kovalev is how similar his boxing is to that of his erstwhile compatriot Kostya Tszyu. like KT he uses to stances - the one he delivers his power shots from which is a more square, say 60degree stance
    - and the one he sets up his power shots from, his boxing stance, where he uses the jab to the head and body, fighting with discipline and using just 1-2 and occasionally a long left hook
    both stances have there place but the most impressive thing, and what reminds me most of Tszyu, is how he switches between the two stances.
    this is never more apparent than in the almost 2 rounds vs Sillakh - less so with Cleverly as he clearly has no fear of Cleverly’s power and pushes in hard to make position for his power punches

  3. Joe (R.I.P ALEXIS ARGUELLO) 01:59pm, 04/15/2014

    I am not sure what you were trying to accomplish with this article J. Fredrick but calling out Max Kellerman and his “cohorts” was juvenile at best. Need I remind you that Max also raves about fighters like Guillermo Rigondeaux who is the epitome of The Sweet Science. Did Golden Boy/Showtime put you up to this? Come on be honest. ALL announcers in every sport sometimes jump the gun or get caught up in the heat of the moment when giving their opinions and time will only tell if these were some of those moments. “The truth will always find its way inside that squared circle” but not if one jumps ship, while being called out by the other top dog in their weight class, and right before Adonis would have almost had to answer to Kovalev.  Too be honest I know nothing about you but I do know a lot about Max and his cohorts and respect most of their opinions whether I agree or not.

Leave a comment