In a very eventful week, trainer John David Jackson guided two of his fighters to victory in title elimination bouts, proving that he is indeed one of the best rising trainers in the boxing business. Jackson, a former two-time world champion himself, helped two young boxers move a step closer toward their own championship dreams.
First, on Friday, June 14th, in Bethlehem, PA, "Russian Wrecking Ball" Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev, 21-0-1, 19 KOs, destroyed Houston's Cornelius "Da Beast" White to take the #1 spot in the IBF light heavyweight rankings. Kovalev's resounding 3rd round TKO in the scheduled 12-rounder was seen by a live national television audience on NBC Sports Network, and was the latest in a streak of devastating knockouts that have made fans cheer and opponents run.
The victory earned Kovalev a shot at the 175-pound belt currently held by boxing legend Bernard Hopkins. But rather than waiting for the 48 year old Hopkins to get around to giving him an opportunity, Kovalev instead accepted an immediate offer by HBO to face WBO light heavyweight champ Nathan Cleverly, 26-0, 12 KOs, on August 17th.
On the following Friday night, June 21st, another of John David Jackson's top talents, Cuban Rances "Kid Blast" Barthelemy, 19-0, 12 KOs, lived up to his nickname by blasting out Fahsai Sakkreerin, 39-4-1, 21 KOs, of Thailand, at the Minneapolis (MN) Convention Center, in another title eliminator. Barthelemy, who now fights out of Miami, needed less than two rounds to claim the #1 perch in the IBF junior lightweight ratings. The fight, which ended at 1:26 of round two, was televised nationally by ESPN2.
Now the undefeated Barthelemy can look forward to a crack at New York-based Dominican Argenis Mendez, 21-2, 11 KOs, who currently holds the IBF belt at 130 pounds.
John David Jackson has worked with a number of world champions including Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley, Nate Campbell, and Randall Bailey. Now with Kovalev already booked for a title fight and Barthelemy presumably following right behind, Jackson appears to be on the verge of soon adding more championship luster to his already impressive resume. Talk about a good week!