Last April, Alex Ovechkin knocked out Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov in a fight that no one saw coming.
On Wednesday, Svechnikov was asked by ABC 11’s Mark Armstrong at the Canes’ practice facility who he thought the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
He picked Ovi.
Svech has taken boxing lessons the last several years so I asked who he thinks the best pound for pound boxer in the world is — expected Lomachenko or something.
Instead – w/o skipping a beat – he says OVI
— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) September 4, 2019
The bout occurred in Game Three of the Capitals’ first-round series against the Canes. After exchanging some angry words in the Capitals defensive zone, the two Russians with over a decade difference in age, dropped the gloves. Ovechkin hit Svechnikov with three straight rights, the third knocking the rookie out.
“They were battling for a while before that, no one really realized,” Wilson, Ovechkin’s line-mate on the first line, said recently in an interview with Cabbie Richards. “End of the regular season, they were really going at it and [the fight] was kind of the peak of the confrontation. And Ovi’s a lefty. He’ll tell him, that’s not even his dominant hand.”
“At first, I’m like, ‘Oh god, don’t get hurt, Ovi,’” Wilson said. “At first thought, it was ‘Why is Ovi fighting?’ Then it was, ‘Oh. Oh no.’ And then, it is what it is.”
Ovechkin was asked about the fight by Match TV’s Pavel Lysenkov while he was still in Russia. Ovechkin said in the interview published Thursday that “I would not have changed anything” in consideration of fighting the 18-year-old.
“It doesn’t matter who you fight,” Ovechkin said. “It’s the playoffs. You have neither friends nor compatriots. You fight to lift the Stanley Cup. And if there is an obstacle in front of you, you must go through [it].
“If you yield at any moment, it may impact the whole series,” Ovechkin added. “I am the captain, after all, the whole team is looking up to me. You have to fight. Even if I would have lost the fight, it’s nothing terrible. The point is not to beat him up, to bury him into the ice. The adrenaline is shooting up, the emotions are boiling. I had no choice but to accept the challenge to fight, that’s all.”
But he admitted, he’s still confused about the whole thing.
“I simply don’t know why Svechnikov got so hot under the collar all of a sudden,” Ovi said.
Headline photo: NBC Sports Washington
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