WBA Super, IBF and WBO world light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev has hailed Malawian boxing icon Isaac Golden Chilemba, describing him as “a good and experienced boxer”.
Kovalev (30-1-KO26) beat Chilemba on a unanimous 12-round decision in Ekaterinburg, Russia on Monday night.
“He is good, very experienced and had as many fights as myself and with boxers of the highest level,” Konvalev was quoted as saying by skysports.com.
When asked about his underwhelming points win over Chilemba, the Russian attributed it to illness during training camp.
Although Kovalev managed to floor Chilemba in the seventh round, his energy levels appeared to fade late in the fight before being awarded a comfortable win on the scorecards.
“There were obviously some moments during the training with regards to my health, because I got a cold and I didn’t say anything, so the information wouldn’t get to Chilemba and might work against me.”
On the knockdown, the Russian said: “If it wasn’t the end of the round I would have pursued to actively attack him. But because the bell rang, we rested and he managed to pull himself together and I didn’t want to waste my energy.”
Chilemba, (24-4-2-KO10) has previously fought the likes of Tony Bellew, said he was proud of his performance although he did not get a victory.
“I am a fighter. I was born a fighter. I was born a warrior. I always fight. I always get going and I won’t back down. I will be back soon in the ring. I believe my promoter and my team will give me that. I will be back soon,” said the 29-year-old boxer.