'I want Canelo': Kovalev emphasizes wish for superfight with Alvarez after WBO title KO win
A fight between Canelo and Kovalev had been mooted to happen, and Canelo's people had made an offer before the Russian's fight with previously unbeaten Englishman Yarde, who lost a valiant effort at the hands of three-time world champion Kovalev at his hometown of Chelyabinsk.
After the fight at 'Traktor' Ice Arena, Kovalev told press that he was happy with the win and that if Canelo still had the desire to face him, he would "only be for" that fight.
“I am really pleased that you liked [the fight], I’m a little bit tired. I’m a little bit punch-drunk now, but through my experience I managed to grab the spirit of the fight and get the win. Thank God it all came together,” the 36-year-old champion said.
“The home support was unbelievable, thank you to everyone. I’m very happy and thankful that I started out boxing. I didn’t expect an easy fight, I more or less imagined the fight would be drawn out, and if I’m honest I’m a little bit surprised that I knocked him out, I initially expected a full 12 rounds.
“There was a moment where I somewhat lost my way, but thank God I managed to get it together. On account of my experience I didn’t give him a chance to get to me.”
Kovalev then turned his attention to Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, the Mexican TV darling who has won titles at light middle, middle and super middleweight, whose people had made an offer to Kovalev before the fight with Yarde.
“I really want the fight with [Saul] Alvarez, so if he has the same desire, then I’m only for that fight," Kovalev said.
"[Alvarez’s team] played this cunning game, whereby they made an offer which was very hard to turn down when I was in training camp. But I promised Chelyabinsk, that I would be here. To fight in my home town was unbelievably cool," he added.
Kovalev went on to say that he plans to open a boxing school in his hometown, situated close to Russia's Ural Mountains.
“I want to open here a ‘Knockout School’ boxing club and that is something I will definitely do. I am already 36 I have no time to waste, I’ve got big plans ahead," he said.
"Today was one of five fights, which I planned for the remainder of my career, there are another four left. I wish Yarde a big future. He never gave up, but it depends how much he wants it."
With the win on Saturday, Kovalev moved to 34-3-1 with 29 wins coming early, whereas Yarde was handed his first professional loss, slipping to 18-1.Also on rt.com Krushed! Champion Sergey Kovalev KOs Anthony Yarde in the 11th to retain WBO world title in Russia