Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev (34-4, 29 KOs), living in Long Beach, CA, will fight Tervel Pulev in his cruiserweight debut on Saturday, May 14 at The Kia Forum in Inglewood, CA and will be streamed live on Triller and Fite.tv.
Kovalev is being trained by Buddy McGirt and his strength and conditioning coach is Teddy Cruz. They are the duo that reinvented Arturo Gatti.
“Buddy was a real smart boxer and a real smart trainer and coach. Sometimes a good boxer can’t be a good coach and sometimes a coach wasn’t a good boxer. But Buddy has it both ways – good boxer and good coach. He does what he needs to do to get me prepared the best for the fight. Buddy gives me tactics and sound techniques and strategy. Together we are working towards getting another world title, this time in the cruiserweight division and become champion for the fourth time.”
For this eight-week training camp Sergey is staying in a hotel in close to the park where he runs and his boxing gym is a twenty minutes away in Van Nuys. “The most difficult part of my career right now is being away from my family,” said Kovalev. “Ten years ago it was just me, now I have a wife and two kids. To be away from them for two months is tough.”
Kovalev hits the boxing gym at 5 pm daily. He spars three days a week and is off on Sunday.
An evening sparring would last about 1.5 hours and go as such: (1) Jump rope 4 rounds (2) Shadow box 4 rounds (3) Spar 7 rounds (4) Neck exercises.
A non-sparring evening workout would be technical training and some game plan.
The Krusher arrives at the fitness gym early morning – every day except for Sunday – with strength and conditioning coach/extraordinaire Teddy Cruz. They will do a workout depending on how much boxing workout he does the evening prior.
The morning after a sparring day would be a low intensity 45-minute session and include: (1) Warm up stretch for 5-10 minutes (2) Squats combined with shoulder presses – 20 reps with 25 lb. dumbbells (3) Step lunges with torso twisting with 10 lbs. medicine ball for 20 reps, (4) Static lunges with curls for 20 reps with 25lbs dumbbells (5) Abs for 600 reps
The morning after light boxing training would be a more intense workout such as: sprints for the legs and punching sprints for the arms, “or he can go run 5 miles.”
This will be Kovalev’s first fight since November 2, 2019. “When you don’t fight for a long time you lose boxing skills. On the other hand the time off has helped me rest and get rid of all of my injuries – it’s like a renewal.
“My first two weeks of sparring I couldn’t touch my opponent (laughing) mostly because I was heavy, about 210 pounds. But then by week three, I had lost some weight and my boxing skills came back. By May 14, I will be at 187 pounds and there will be no rust.
“I don’t really study my opponents. I will watch one or two rounds from his last couple of fights so I can see what style he likes – does he like to fight inside or from a distance then I can prepare. I just can’t wait to get inside the ring and show the world who is the best cruiserweight on the planet.
Kovalev was initially preparing to fight Fanlong Meng but then “Egis (Klimas, manager) called me and said, “you have a new opponent – it is Pulev.” I said “Pulev? He is a heavyweight,” and Egis said “no, he has a brother that is a cruiserweight,” so I said “OK, Let’s go.”
“The only difference in the opponent change to me is we were initially training for a southpaw, now we are training for a rightpaw.