NO ONE likes marking-time fights. Often bouts of this nature are forced by sanctioning body-imposed obligations and this is certainly the case with Sergey Kovalev’s mandatory defence of his IBF light-heavyweight title (he also holds and defends the WBA Super and WBO straps) against Nadjib Mohammedi, of Gardanne in France. Now, the challenger has earned his shot, halting Anatoliy Dudchenko in seven rounds of an eliminator over a year ago, but fans around the world will be wishing for a competitive match and, at the same time, a quality performance from Kovalev to further whet their collective appetite for a showdown with big rival WBC king Adonis Stevenson or super-middle supremo Andre Ward.

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