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Kovalev prepared to fight dirty against Hopkins

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Sergey Kovalev insists he'll do whatever it takes to upend Bernard Hopkins, even if that means matching his "dirty tactics"

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

As Hopkins-Kovalev draws near, the media attention has been steadily picking up steam. Sergey Kovalev hasn't shied away from the spotlight however and seems completely focused on doing whatever necessary to secure a win. B-Hop has a penchant for utilizing, shall we say, "questionable" tactics in his fights in order overcome whatever deficiencies he may possess on a given night. Many people would characterize these instances as "dirty tactics" but the way Bernard implements them in a fight is more analogous to time-practiced art than anything else; even if it can make his fights unbearable to watch at times.

Regardless of how un-aesthetically pleasing it may be, these tactics have proven effective for Hopkins when intertwined with the rest of his legitimate skills and experience. Kovalev, though, is preparing for everything. He's even willing to employ the same "dirty tactics" against Hopkins should Bernard wander down that winding road. "Any way I need to get a victory, dirty fight or clean fight, for me, it doesn't matter," said Kovalev, 31, whose WBO title will also be on the line.

"I will fight dirty if Hopkins will fight dirty. I'm going to fight a clean fight but who knows what will happen Nov. 8?"

"I don't know what will be happening in the ring. I understand that there will be three judges ringside and one referee inside the ring. It will be interesting, very interesting," said Kovalev.

Three judges ringside and one referee in the ring seems like pretty standard stuff to me. Certainly not as "interesting" as Kovalev seems to indicate. But his main point is this:

"I can't imagine what will happen. I don't know who the referee is or who the judges are - American or international. If I win, I will get the referee to hold up my hands. If I lose, I lose - but I'm not going to lose."

We'll all find out come Nov. 8th...