Kovalev vs Canelo: Sergey Kovalev kept destructive intentions to himself at press conference
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By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 31/10/19 12:31pm
Russian dolls and respect through gritted teeth as Sergey Kovalev sized up Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez at their pre-fight press conference...
Russia's Kovalev carries the fearsome nickname 'Krusher' and hands of granite that have shattered the aspirations of a string of challengers, but the 36-year-old wisely hid his brutal intentions when he sat on stage with Alvarez.
A Mexican superstar who sits on the throne as boxing's biggest name, 'Canelo' also maintained his statesman-like approach, sending joyful kisses to his child in the crowd, despite rumours of a rift with promoter Oscar De La Hoya.
All the while, Kovalev sat quietly a few feet away, playing the role of a disciplined champion, and it was left to promoter Kathy Duva to take centre-stage as she dished out Matryoshka dolls which signified some of her fighter's greatest victories.
A charm offensive perhaps, similar to when Andy Ruiz Jr hoodwinked the boxing world, which briefly stopped turning when he inflicted a shock defeat on Anthony Joshua in June. Duva perhaps has already etched an image of a fallen Alvarez on the last remaining doll?
Neither man uttered anything of note when they stepped to the mic as Alvarez reeled off his customary list to thank, even acknowledging the courage of his opponent.
A barbed question was aimed at the combustible Kovalev, asking if he was offended by Alvarez's decision to select him out of all the 175lb champions to scalp. Kovalev simply smiled, insisting he was happy, preferring to keep his true thoughts to himself as time ticked towards when he could unload his hurtful arsenal.
It was left to Buddy McGirt, his veteran trainer, who has witnessed the realisation of momentous victories and agonising losses, to deliver a well-timed parting shot.
He told the assembled media with a knowing grin that Kovalev has a 'few tricks up his sleeve,' adding 'you're going to see Saturday night what's going to happen'.
Kovalev nodded his head knowingly and neither man could disguise his superior size when they lined up for pictures. Canelo will believe he is walking towards another historic victory, but the Russian camp could be ushering him towards a trap.