P4P countdown: No. 10: Sergey Kovalev
Over the course of the next few days, Boxing Monthly online is counting down our latest pound for pound top ten, based on the votes of a panel comprising ten of our writers. Today we reveal the man who came tenth...
Name: Sergey Kovalev
BM online P4P ranking: 10th (down 2 places on January)
Fight record: 32-2-1 (28 KOs)
Report card: Kovalev's reputation has suffered since his pair of fights with the now retired Andre Ward. Although many believe that Kovalev should have got the nod in the first fight and that referee Tony Weeks handled the conclusion to the rematch poorly, the way in which Kovalev seemed to mentally disintegrate in the second bout has raised many questions about the Russian. A routine two-round victory against Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in November 2017 and seventh-round TKO win against Igor Mikhalkin in March this year told us little about Kovalev that we did not already know.
Prospects: Although Ward has retired, light heavy is a hot division right now. Promisingly, Kovalev's next contest in August is against BM ranked no. 6 light heavy Eleider Alvarez. After that bouts against any of the other boxers ranked by BM between no. 2 and no. 7 at 175lbs would be welcome (Adonis Stevenson, Badou Jack, Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev, and Oleksandr Gvozdyk). Rumours abound that a WBSS light heavy tourney is approaching - if so it would be great to see Kovalev involved.
Total points from BM P4P ranking panel: 7 (down from 23 in January) Kovalev has been steadily slipping down our top ten of late and was a long way behind the fighter ranked in ninth. Just three of our panel placed him in their top tens with a highest ranking of eighth. The big Russian needs a signature win against a top-quality opponent if he is to enhance his P4P credentials.
NB: Voting panel for the BM online P4P rankings were: Mark Butcher, Luke Byron, Luke G. Williams, Andrew Harrison, Paul Zanon, James Oddy, Chris Williamson, Callum Rudge, Michael Montero and Shaun Brown.
Each panellist ranked their top ten in order, with the boxer placed first receiving ten points, second nine points, third eight points and so on. Boxers were then ranked by the overall number of points accrued.