Sergey Kovalev will defend his WBO light heavyweight title on Saturday night in Atlantic City, as he faces Australia's Blake Caparello in an HBO-televised fight that doesn't have too many people talking, as Caparello is both unknown in the States, and seen even by those who know his work as a major underdog.
Kovalev, however, insists he's focused entirely on this fight, and not on potential clashes with Adonis Stevenson and/or Bernard Hopkins. From RingTV.com:
"Look, I have to fight Caparello next, I don't want to speak about any other fights right now," Kovalev said, through Klimas, who interpreted the more complex questions. "I don't want to really speak about anyone else - my focus is on the next fight, and that's Blake. He's good and a challenge. Why speak about somebody if it cannot happen at all? We're fighting Blake Caparello, understand me?
"My feeling right now is Blake Caparello. It is my job - and my focus has to be put on him. He is an undefeated guy who is very underrated. He is a defensive fighter. We'll see if he can get away. I want to put on a good show - but knockouts, I don't go into every fight looking for the knockout. Blake is left handed and there is one more in the division who is left handed [Stevenson]."
Even that response, though, manages to mention Adonis Stevenson at the end, as Kovalev (via his interpreter) seems to indicate he's facing Caparello in part to prepare himself for fellow southpaw Stevenson.
Caparello (19-0-1, 6 KO) is working off of back-to-back wins over American veterans Allan Green and Elvir Muriqi, both decisions where he was able to rather handily claim victory. Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KO) last fought on March 29, hammering Cedric Agnew in seven rounds.