Since Sergey Kovalev’s second consecutive loss to Andre Ward, he has split up with former trainer John David Jackson — in rather unceremonious fashion. Now, as Kovalev is set to return to the ring on November 25 against Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, he’ll be doing so without the services of a lead trainer, which is just fine by Kovalev.
After mentioning a sluggish performance on his part against Ward in their sequel, and some complaints about low blows, Kovalev tells RingTV that he’s ready to move on with his career, even without the assistance of Jackson.
“It’s funny but I don’t need a coach. All this time with John David Jackson, I got nothing from him. Everything, my preparation, was constructed by myself. Jackson wouldn’t help me. A coach should help you inside the ring between rounds, when you have a minute rest, to explain or help you with tactics. I know when and where to punch, since I began boxing at 11 years old. I had thoughts for a while about splitting with Jackson.”
Specifically, it seems, Kovalev will take his time in seeking out another head trainer, saying he needs someone who can improve his game — something he felt Jackson couldn’t do.
“I read (what Jackson said about me) but in Russian (media). Someone translated what he said to Russian. I don’t want to say any bad words (about him). He’s a nice guy. He’s not the coach for me. He might be a good trainer and a good guy. I need a teacher who will take me to the next level.”
But in the meanwhile Kovalev will have to deal with Shabranskyy. And while I’d never advocate for any fighter to go into a fight without a trainer, if Kovalev isn’t damaged goods he should have enough talent to take this bout.