Feature | Premium | Nov 02 2019

The root of Sergey Kovalev’s fury

Ahead of Sergey Kovalev’s rematch with Jean Pascal back in January 2016, Jeremy C. Herriges met up with the fearsome Russian and uncovered some surprising truths
Sergey Kovalev
Stacey Verbeek

WHEN people dream about what it would be like if they were one of the most dominant professional athletes on earth, they might picture a scene imbued with glamour. A scene loaded with million dollar sports cars, living in vast, sprawling mansions, and hanging out with a large posse at ritzy, exclusive clubs popping bottles of Cristal all night long.

This may be a reality for some of the sporting elite, but material wealth doesn’t mean a whole lot to Sergey Kovalev. To him, boxing is a means of survival.

Finding Kovalev’s training camp in Boca Raton, Florida was not a simple task. I was driving down 24th Street on a sunny Florida day, when my iPhone notified me that I reached the PAL Gym. I looked around, but saw nothing except some office buildings and garages. I quickly turned down a side street and ended up in an auto body shop’s parking lot. I couldn’t find an address, so I circled around the wrecked cars in the lot, when Kovalev, clad in a black “Krusher” sweat suit, suddenly manifested in front of my car while talking on his phone.


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