SERGEY KOVALEV may be a heavy favourite to beat Isaac Chilemba on July 11 in Russia but the WBO, WBA and IBF light-heavyweight champion has warned his challenger could be a threat.

At a pre-fight press conference, Kovalev said, “Hello to everybody here in my homeland of Russia. I hope you are all going to be here Monday night to support me. I thank God for all the opportunities he has given me and all the acquaintances he has made for me including Igor Altushkin who made this event possible. Thank you to everyone for their organization and for making this event for everyone who loves boxing. The hardest time of my training camp is past now and I am going to give you good show. My opponent, Chilemba, is very motivated and that is why he is so dangerous. But I am also motivated. There are a lot of fights in my future. Also I would like to give a special thanks for television channels which are going to televise the event, Match TV and HBO. Thanks to Kathy Duva, my promoter, and Titov Boxing Promotions. Also thank you to everyone who participates in these organizations and to all the fans of boxing. Your support is very important to me. I will be glad to see you all Monday night.”

Chilemba has faith in himself. “In my life I have been through a lot of obstacles. I stumble and fall and I know how to pick myself up. I have been through hell and made it back. Nothing can stop me,” he said. “For the last 10 years of my career, I got into a few title fights. I won IBO Super Middleweight Title. Since I moved to light heavyweight we have been chasing the WBC title. And we came up short three times. Now I have a shot at three world titles. I really believe God works in mysterious ways. This is my time. This is my destiny. I believe I was destined to be WBO, WBA and IBF World Champion.”