BREAKING NEWS
L.A. Now

Ukraine

Sergey Kovalev hopes to enhance the legacy of boxing champions from Eastern Europe

Sergey Kovalev hopes to enhance the legacy of boxing champions from Eastern Europe

The arrival of Russia’s Sergey Kovalev in the most important boxing match of the year punctuates a near-100-year journey for Eastern European fighters to reach such a landmark event.

Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 knockouts) will defend his three light heavyweight belts Saturday against former super-middleweight and U.S. Olympic champion Andre Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) in an HBO pay-per-view bout from T-Mobile Arena.

The path to professional fighting success in the U.S. was laid by Kovalev’s predecessors whose families immigrated here. The first world boxing champions from Russia, Benny Bass and Louis “Kid” Kaplan, accompanied their families to the...

67°