kovalev-agnew (1)

Photos by Rich Graessle/Main Events –

Atlantic City, NJ: Today amidst all the press about a potential fight with Adonis Stevenson, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) faced the media and his opponent Cedric “L.O.W.” Agnew (26-0-0, 13 KOs) at Caesars to discuss the fight in front of them Saturday night at the Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall and live on HBO Boxing After Dark.

Main Events’ CEO Kathy Duva started things off reminiscing about her experiences at Boardwalk Hall with the late great Arturo Gatti, “We are very pleased to be back here in Atlantic City, NJ. The last time we were at Boardwalk Hall was seven years ago when Arturo Gatti last fought at Boardwalk Hall against Alfonso Gomez. If these walls could talk… Now we have a fight worthy of the house that Gatti built. Ken Condon is the reason that boxing is in Atlantic City and it is wonderful to be here.”

kovalev-agnew (2)

Ken Condon, entertainment and sports consultant to Caesars AC said, “It is a pleasure to have Kathy and Main Events back in Atlantic City. It brings back a lot of great memories. She continues her commitment to Atlantic City boxing and so does Caesars. We are looking forward to a great weekend in Atlantic City. We are looking forward to welcoming Sergey and Cedric to Atlantic City. We have very few tickets left so I wouldn’t wait until Saturday to try to get them because they will probably be sold out by then. We look forward to creating a great relationship with Sergey Kovalev and HBO going forward.”

Duva also addressed questions about why Kovalev is fighting on HBO. She said, “Sergey Kovalev is fighting on HBO because it is the network of champions. HBO is the network that built each and every legendary fighter in the last 30 years. In the United States during the last 30 years no superstar has been built on any other network. Sergey’s plan is to become a legend. That is why he is fighting on HBO.”

kovalev-agnew (3)

Peter Nelson, director of programming, HBO Sports said, “We are very excited to have this event on HBO. We are always pleased to be back in Atlantic City. Boardwalk Hall is the home of many storied fights and Saturday we plan add another fight to that collection. These are the types of fighters HBO loves. It isn’t easy to find people who will step up and fight Sergey. This is Sergey’s debut on the network in a main event. We believe there is going to be a lot of action which will lead to big things down the road.”

Kathy Duva said it is usually difficult to find opponents for Sergey but it was not difficult with Cedric Agnew. She said, “On Saturday, Sergey will fight an undefeated fighter who asked for this fight. Clearly he has a lot of courage. I have always respected a fighter with that attitude.”

kovalev-agnew (4)

Cedric’s promoter Malcolm Garrett of Garrett Promotions said, “We are ecstatic to be here. This is a fight this kid wanted. This is a fight he plans to win. We are glad that everyone in the media, and hopefully Kovalev, have overlooked him. I know Cedric can’t wait for the fight to begin. Cedric has trained hard and is the hardest working fighter I have ever worked with.”

Cedric “L.O.W.” Agnew said, “Everyone who knows me knows I am very quiet. I would like to thank HBO for this opportunity and my team for helping me prepare for this fight. I am ready to go out there and show the world what I am capable of. And show the naysayers what I am capable of. There are always going to be naysayers out there and people who overlook me. I say nothing to them and I will keep doing what I am doing. Saturday I need to fight smart and always be the smartest fighter in the ring. Sergey is a pretty good fighter. He is a tough guy. He is a world champion. He earned that spot. Come Saturday night I will earn mine.”

Kovalev’s manager Egis Klimas reminisced about the path he took with Sergey to get here, “Sergey and I have been down a very long road and it wasn’t easy. When Sergey came from Russia he didn’t speak a word of English. Our relationship is more than just manager-fighter. He is like my son. I took him all over the country to get him any fight we could. At that time nobody wanted him. Then I brought him to Main Events and they took the opportunity. Since then we have had a good relationship with Main Events. They did a very good job to get us here. This is our first main event on HBO. I wanted to thank Cedric’s team for taking this opportunity. I wanted to thank Sergey who trusted in me for all those years when I told him to be patient and that one day we would get here. Finally we are here with Main Events on HBO in Atlantic City. Saturday night do not reach for the popcorn or go for a beer during this fight because you can miss it.”

Krusher’s trainer, John David Jackson, kept Sergey focused these last few months while he trained for this fight. He said, “I want to thank everyone at Main Events, they are a first class company. It is great to be back here at Caesars. I appreciate all that they are doing for us. This is an intriguing fight. I take my hat off to Cedric for taking the fight because a lot of fighters talk a big game but when it comes down to it they don’t want to fight Sergey. We are not overlooking him at all. He is the present and we are not looking over him. We have to get passed him to get to the next phase in Sergey’s career. Sergey has great boxing skills but we won’t know if he will ever get to use them. Sergey is one of the hardest working guys I have ever worked with. It is a great night of boxing. Expect a great evening of boxing all around.”

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev said, “I am not a talker but I just want to say stay tuned and don’t miss HBO Saturday night. I will try to make a good fight. Thank you to Cedric Agnew for agreeing to fight with me. Thank you to Kathy Duva and HBO. I don’t have any predictions for this fight. He is an undefeated guy and so am I. He has big motivation. He is on HBO and it is a title fight. I am going to do my job. Short fights are the result of my job and my work in the gym. I am only boxing. I go into the ring to show good boxing. I want to show the people what they want to see in the ring from me.”

When asked about the Adonis Stevenson situation, Sergey laughed and said, “I never go into the ring thinking about someone else. I want to say good luck to Adonis is in his career but someday he will meet my punch. We will talk about it after the fight.”

Finally, Duva discussed the undercard fights, “The undercard is loaded with tremendous fights if you can make it to Boardwalk Hall. We are going to have a group of fighters whose combined records are: 91-11 (64 KOs) vs. 76-5 (42 KOs). I would also like to thank our sponsors Caesars AC, Do AC and Khortitsia Vodka.”



By Sam Geraci

On February 13, Main Events hosted a teleconference for its March 29 light heavyweight showdown in Atlantic City between WBO champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) and top-rated but relatively unknown Cedric “L.O.W.” Agnew (26-0, 13 KOs). The bout will be televised on HBO and is the first bout at the Boardwalk Hall for Main Events since Arturo Gatti took on Alfonso Gomez in 2007 in Gatti’s final bout. Here are the highlights from the teleconference:

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev

“I have only one big wish, and that is to win this next fight, and I have a main goal to win one more title this year.

“The public and the fans and everybody want this fight (Stevenson-Kovalev). Everybody pushes him, and this year will be this fight.”

“This fight (with Agnew) is dangerous for me too, and who will win we will see. I’m going to the ring to win.”

“All my focus is to win and then win my next title to get better and fight Stevenson.”

“It’s not my fault that my opponents all get knocked out.”

“In my division the best boxer is Stevenson, and I need to beat Stevenson. After this, I will be in first place in my division. I’m ready for any fight in my division.”

“I just want to fight Stevenson right now.”

“I love to spend time with my family and friends.”

Cedric “L.O.W.” Agnew

“I prepare (for Kovalev) the way I’ve been preparing. Training hard, taking things one day at a time, hard sparring and hard work with my trainer, but I take no fight lightly, and I don’t care who I’m fighting.”

“A fight with Sergey Kovalev is a great fight for us, and we wouldn’t have taken the fight if we didn’t think we could win the fight. With that being said, I don’t look at him as no terminator or nothing. He’s a human just like I am. He can be hurt just like anybody else can be hurt. Come March 29 we’ll see what’s gonna happen.”

“Well, to me it doesn’t matter how many fighters I went the distance with or how many I stopped. Everybody knows that styles make fights, and I believe, I mean I know I have the style to defeat Sergey Kovalev or anybody else they put in front of me.”

“Come March 29th, you’ll see what style that is.”

“Like I say, I’m gonna go out there and do what I’ve been doing for years. I don’t look at it as there being pressure from back home because my hometown is gonna stand behind me regardless. On fight night, I’m ready to take care of business.”

“I’m not focused on the fight they’re trying to make or the fight they’re thinking about. I’m focused on March 29th, and I’m not focused on people underestimating me. I’m training, staying positive and staying focused.”

“I don’t know how you guys are taking it. I’m not sounding overconfident. I’m just humble, and I know the roads I’ve had to take to get here and now that it’s here, I have to show the world all of my talent. I have to show the world who is Cedric Agnew.”

“In that fight with Yusaf Mack I just did what I needed to do to win the fight.”

“I don’t see nothing spectacular coming from this guy. My personal opinion I just think he’s ordinary.”

Kathy Duva, Promoter of Main Events

“The bigger names take time to make, and that fight (Stevenson) will get made, but our goal is for Sergey to stay active and Sergey’s goal is to stay active. This is the fight we found. This young man is willing to step up and test his skills, and that’s what this sport is all about. I remember people talking a long, long time ago when Mike Tyson was fighting Buster Douglass when we were trying to make the Tyson-Holyfield fight and you know what happened then, so I never ever discount anyone’s chances of winning a fight and nobody ever should.”

“From what we know, Cedric is a boxer and he is undefeated so he doesn’t know what it feels like to lose.”

“I think no matter what, we’ll see a sensational performance from Sergey Kovalev. Like I said, nobody gave that guy against Mike Tyson much of a chance. There’s no such thing as a sure thing. It’s easy for someone to lose focus when there’s talk of other big fights, and there’s millions of examples of people who have lost focus and walked into something that they didn’t expect. I think Sergey is a great fighter and think he can beat everybody in the world, but I’ve been at this long enough to know that you have to take everybody seriously.”

“As a promoter, I can’t come out and say that I think the outcome is preordained because I don’t think any outcome is.”

“The real challenge aside from Cedric Agnew is not to get distracted by fights that are out there of potentially happening. I mean there’s been more questions on this phone call about Adonis Stevenson than there have been about Cedric Agnew.”

“A fight between Sergey and Andre Ward is certainly something that is gonna happen someday, but it’s not going to happen at 168.”

“When you start out (looking for opponents), you have to look at the top fifteen. You have to see who’s available and then discuss with HBO. Fonfara is someone that HBO would approve but he moved on. Cedric was also on that very short list of people that HBO asked us to approach first, and once we knew that Fonfara wasn’t going to work out, we approached Malcom.”

“He’s American; he’s undefeated; the fight’s in the United States and Sergey’s last two opponents have not been American so it made all the sense in the world.”

Malcom Garrett, Promoter of Garrett Promotions

“Number one, we’re glad that a lot of people are gonna underestimate Cedric Agnew. Cedric Agnew is a very skilled fighter. This is a fight that Agnew is chomping at the bit for. He thinks he’s ready for this fight. We think he’s ready for this fight. He was a good amateur, but had some hand problems in the amateurs, so he wasn’t able to do what he wanted to do; however, he’s been flying a bit under the radar, which may not always be the worst thing. He plans on upsetting, and I believe we got a fight here, gentlemen.”

“Cedric would rather have fought Kovalev (than the IBF eliminator). Style-wise we like Kovalev’s style for Cedric.”

“I know everybody wants to see Kovalev and Stevenson. I’d like to see the fight my self. We’d all sit down and watch it, and I’m sure HBO will buy it later this year; however, they’re just going to have to do it without the WBO title.”

Jolene Mizzone, Main Events Matchmaker

“Sergey Kovalev is must see television, and someone you have to watch.”

“The biggest point that everybody has to realize is that Cedric Agnew wants to fight Kovalev. This is a fight that they’ve been asking for. There’s not many guys out there from doing the matchmaking that want to fight Kovalev. ”

John David Jackson, Kovalev’s Trainer

“Sergey’s become an all-around fighter. He’s going to the body a lot more. He’s placing his punches a lot better, and he’s not rushing his shots like he once did.”

“He (Sergey) has boxing skills, but we haven’t seen those because most guys don’t go past four rounds, so maybe in the future we’ll get a chance to see him display his boxing abilities.”

“He’s not just one-dimensional, and that’s what a lot of fighters don’t realize. They hear he’s a “Krusher” or “Terminator” and they think he’s just one-dimensional. Sergey has a lot of tools to work with. I’m hoping in this fight here that maybe Cedric will make Sergey show people what he can do and Sergey can showcase his talents.”

“It’s an intriguing fight, and we’re not taking this kid lightly. Sergey takes no opponent lightly. When we’re in the gym training, every fighter is the most important person on the planet at that moment.”

“I’m in the same boat you’re in, but we’ll get films on him in the next week or so and then we’ll dissect him and see what he is.”

“Once he became champion, he became the hunted. He’s no longer the hunter. This kid stepped up, so that means he’s hungry.”

“Our sole focus is Cedric Agnew.”

Bobby Benton, Agnew’s Trainer

Cedric’s been fighting since he was eight, and he’s got a bunch of amateur fights and knows how to fight. We’ve been begging for exposure and now we’re getting it. He’s gonna be ready; he always is.”

“Since he’s been down here in the last four years, he’s maybe taken ten days out of the gym. He’s a gym rat, and he’s ready.”