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Hopkins is fight of my life: Kovalev

BOXING: Sergey Kovalev will realise a lifetime dream when he steps into the ring in Atlantic City on Saturday night for a light-heavyweight super-fight against the extraordinary Bernard Hopkins.

Kovalev grew up in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk dreaming of making it big on the global stage but admitted there were times his hopes were hit by a chronic lack of self-confidence.

Kovalev's breakthrough came when he ripped the WBO title from Nathan Cleverly in Cardiff in August last year, and three more subsequent stoppage wins sealed his showdown with the 49-year-old Hopkins.

While Kovalev's power is rightly recognised, the veteran Philadelphian represents a significant step up in class and the Russian concedes his career is still very much on a learning curve.

He added: "It's just the next step of my career - it's not the finish. I'm not going to stop after this fight what ever the result, win or lose. I will get more more interesting fights. But (for the moment) this is a very important fight. It is the fight of my life."

Derval's new role

RUGBY: Derval O'Rourke, the former Olympic athlete and World Indoor champion, has been appointed player development manager with Munster.

The position is run by the Irish Rugby Union Players Association, the representative body for professional rugby players in this country.

O'Rourke, who met with the Munster squad for the first time on Monday, will be based in Cork and also in Limerick.

The IRUPA employ four player development managers, one in each of the four provinces, and O'Rourke's position in Munster was previously held by former international player Marcus Horan.

Lewis : My best year

MOTOR SPORT: Lewis Hamilton can set more British Formula One records in Brazil this weekend but it is the world championship he wants and that will have to wait.

"I guess I have a buffer for the next race, if something goes wrong you still have an opportunity to be in the fight but that doesn't really change my mentality or approach," said Hamilton.

"I've never won in Brazil. I nearly won in 2012 but was taken out. I've driven the best I've ever driven this year. If I continue to do what I've been doing then there's no doubt in my mind that I can come up winning."


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