But during her time promoting the WBO's 175-pound beltholder, Main Events President Kathy Duva never had heard an opponent call Kovalev "ordinary."
But that's what happened during Thursday's conference call promoting the 30-year-old puncher's March 29 defense against Cedric Agnew (26-0, 13 knockouts), who stated boldy that he sees "nothing spectacular" in Kovalev.
"I think that he's a pretty good, decent round fighter, you know?" said Agnew, 27, who will challenge Kovalev at the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. "But I don't see nothing spectacular coming from this guy. To me, in my personal opinion, I just think he's ordinary."
A 30-year-old puncher from Chelaybinsk, Russia, Kovalev is 11-0-1 with 11 stoppage victories in his past 12 fights.
Kovalev was last in the ring in November when he scored a second-round knockout of Ismayl Sillakh.
Agnew is coming off April's unanimous decision over Yusaf Mack, a 34-year-old journeyman who has been stopped by Glen Johnson, Tavoris Cloud and Carl Froch.
Before facing Mack, Agnew earned December's six-round unanimous decision over Alfredo Contreras. Contreras is, in fact, one of 14 fighters on Agnew's resume whose records were below .500 when they fought him.
"I'm not overconfident. I'm humble," Agnew said. "I know the road that I had to take to get here, and now that I'm here, I have to show the world all of my talent. I have to show the world who Cedric Agnew is."
"I've been under the radar, and not too many know too much about me, but come March 29, I feel like I have to make a statement," Agnew added. I have to. I'm not trying to sound overconfident or anything, but I'm just saying what I have to do."
Although Kovalev's trainer John David Jackson has yet to see Agnew on film, the former titleholder isn't panicking.
"I've tried to catch him on YouTube a little bit. I've seen, like, one or two fights, but that's pretty much from the early part of his career. But if I'm lucky to get my hands on something that a little more up to date, then that's great," said Jackson.
"If not, I guess what we'll do? We'll do what we usually do. We'll have Sergey working on boxing and punching, and just trying to look at different styles to get ready for the fight. Whatever this young man brings to the dance, then we'll be prepared for it."
Jackson will take a similar approach to the one he took before Kovalev's fourth-round stoppage of Nathan Cleverly.
"It's not rocket science. This kid is either going to box against us, or he's going to punch against us, or he's going to try to box and punch. So we'll just be prepared for those styles. Whatever he brings, Sergey will just have to break him down real nice," said Jackson.
"Whether he is going to box, or whether he's going to get brave and try to punch — which, if he does that, that will be his undoing –then that will work in our favor better. But if he tries to box, then we'll cut the ring down and cut the ring off, and break that body up and break him down and take him to school and knock him out."
KOVALEV'S 'DREAM FIGHT' IS STEVENSON
RING and WBC light heavyweight Adonis Stevenson (23-1, 20 KOs) has a targeted May 24 bout against Andrzej Fonfara. If Stevenson defeats Fonfara, and Kovalev is successful against Agnew, Duva and Stevenson's promoter, Yvon Michel, said the duo could be matched at the end of the summer or early fall.
"I would like to fight Stevenson right now. Last year, in my division, the best boxer was Stevenson," Kovalev said. "I think that I need to beat Stevenson. After that, I would be in first place in my division. I'm ready to fight any fight in my division against any champion."
DUVA: STEVENSON-KOVALEV, KOVALEV-ANDRE WARD WILL HAPPEN
During the call, Duva addressed the notion of Kovalev ultimately facing Stevenson, if not, RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward.
"A fight between Sergey and Andre Ward is certainly something that's going to happen some day," said Duva. "But it's not going to happen at 168…As far as Stevenson, I am very confident that we're going to get that fight made."
WHAT ABOUT BEIBUT SHUMENOV?
WBA 175-pound counterpart Beibut Shumenov is in pursuit of a spring unification bout with Hopkins, which will land on HBO's network rival, Showtime. Duva said Shumenov was offered a bout with Kovalev, but turned it down.
"I hear that he might have been approached by HBO, and then, he signed a deal with Showtime, so that should tell you something. I know, from conversations with Sergey's manager, as well, that Shumenov just doesn't have any interest," said Duva.
"All respect in the world to Cedric, because that's what makes boxing," said Duva. "Sergey, in my mind, is fighting two things on March 29. He's fighting Cedric Agnew, and he's going to fight the temptation to look past him."
VIC DARCHINYAN TO FIGHT MMA?
Vic Darchinyan, who was last in the ring for a TKO loss to Nonito Donaire in November, may be back in action soon, albeit, in mixed martial arts, according to Sherdog.com
ISAAC CHILEMBA-DENIS GRACHEV ON TOMASZ ADAMEK-VYACHESLAV GLAZKOV CARD
Duva also announced that light heavyweight Isaac Chilemba (21-2-2, 9 KOs) will fight Denis Grachev (13-2-1, 8 KOs) on March 15 on NBC Sports Net at the Sands Casino and Hotel in Bethlehem, Pa.
Chilemba-Grachev will be the co-feature to the heavyweight bout between Tomasz Adamek and Vyacheslav Glazkov.
CANELO ALVAREZ-ALFREDO ANGULO CARD FIGHERS ANSWER VALENTINE'S Q&A
In advance of Valentine's Day, Golden Boy sought the thoughts of eight of the fighters on the March 8 Showtime pay-per-view card headline by the Canelo Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo junior middleweight bout. Others asked were combatants Carlos Molina, Jermall Charlo, Leo Santa Cruz, Cristian Mijares, Omar Figueroa and Ricardo Alvarez.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Valentine's Day?
Alfredo Angulo: I just think about training.
Leo Santa Cruz: Love, friendship and family.
Cristian Mijares: I think of the love I have with my wife and children.
Omar Figueroa: The colors red and pink.
Ricardo Alvarez: Love.
Carlos Molina: Relationships.
Jermall Charlo: Hearts, flowers, mushy feelings and growing up.
What is the best Valentine's Day gift you've ever given or received?
Canelo Alvarez: The best gift I received is love.
Alfredo Angulo: My favorite cologne that I can't find anywhere anymore.
Leo Santa Cruz: The best Valentine's gift I ever gave was a pink heart ring.
Cristian Mijares: Only my wife could tell you what the best gift that I've given her is. The best gift I've received is the love of my family.
Omar Figueroa: Thejewelry I've given to my mom or my sister. The best gift I have ever been given is the birth of my daughter. She is the best Valentine's Day gift from now until the day I die.
Ricardo Alvarez: My best gift was a big teddy bear and a romantic dinner.
Carlos Molina: A picture my girl gave me of us back in the day.
Jermall Charlo: I have never received a Valentine's Day gift. I have always given. The best gift I ever gave was to my mom – it was a vacation to the Grand Canyon.
What is your favorite romantic movie or love song?
Canelo Alvarez: My favorite romantic movie is "Diario de una Pasion" ("The Notebook").
Alfredo Angulo: My favorite romantic movie is "Titanic."
Leo Santa Cruz: My favorite romantic movie is "The Notebook."
Cristian Mijares: I really like the song "She's The One" by Robbie Williams. As for romantic movies I like "City of Angels."
Omar Figueroa: I don't really watch those types of movies, but I liked the last one that I saw. It was "P.S. I Love You."
Ricardo Alvarez: "Diario de una Pasion" ("The Notebook")
Carlos Molina: "Forrest Gump."
Jermall Charlo: "Pretty Woman."
Even though you're in training camp this Valentine's Day, will you be sending anything to anyone?
Canelo Alvarez: I don't look at Valentine's Day as the only day I make that person feel special.
Alfredo Angulo: No I will not.
Leo Santa Cruz: I will be sending a very special gift to my love this Valentine's Day even though I'm in training camp.
Cristian Mijares: No, my mind is on my next fight so I haven't even thought about it.
Omar Figueroa: Yes I'm going to send an Edible Arrangement to my one-year and four-month-old daughter.
Ricardo Alvarez: Yes, I will send a bouquet of roses to my wife.
Carlos Molina: Well, I will be going out for a light dinner in Chicago.
Jermall Charlo: Yes, I will be sending a Valentine's Day gift to someone special in my life.
Describe your perfect Valentine's Day date.
Canelo Alvarez: If I'm with the person I love, any place is perfect.
Alfredo Angulo: A romantic dinner.
Leo Santa Cruz: My perfect Valentine's Day date is a romantic dinner followed by a bonfire on the beach.
Cristian Mijares: A perfect day would be one where I'm surrounded by my family.
Omar Figueroa: The perfect Valentine's Day would be to spend time with the women in my life that I love the most: my mom, my sister and my daughter. I would take them out to dinner and pamper them.
Ricardo Alvarez: My perfect date is in a restaurant with a romantic dinner.
Carlos Molina: Dinner and drinks on a warm day.
Jermall Charlo: A comedy show and relaxing.