WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and challenger Igor Mikhalkin are good friends but on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York they plan to ‘beat the crap out of each other’.
Speaking at Wednesday’s press conference ‘Krusher’ and Mikhalkin greeted each other with hugs and chatted for a while but the champion was very clear that their friendship will be put aside when they step into the ring on Saturday night.
“We’ve known each other for a long time since the amateurs and we are friends but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to try to beat the crap out of each other on Saturday night. This is sport,” said Kovalev
Mikhalkin, for his part, is ‘very excited to fight’: "I trained very good and I feel very good. I know Kovalev and he will try the same style he always does - he will come and try to knock me out and I am prepared for that."
"I’m very excited to fight at Madison Square Garden; it is like a dream come true and I promise to give the fans a good fight because I know there are many Russians that live in the area and many of them will be coming to the fight."