Atlantic City, NJ: Over the past week or two the boxing world has been consumed with the verbal sparring match happening in the media between Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) and Adonis Stevenson. But before any Kovalev-Stevenson match can take place "Krusher" will face-off against undefeated challenger Cedric "L.O.W." Agnew (26-0-0, 13 KOs) for the WBO Light Heavyweight Championship on March 29th at the Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ and live on HBO Boxing After Dark.
Agnew has been flying under the radar, so few people know how deeply the sport of boxing runs in his veins. His uncle, Chicago's own "Mighty" Mike Evans (38-11-1, 27 KOs), started taking Cedric to the gym with him when he was just eight years old. Agnew spent the majority of his childhood in Chicago working out with his pro-boxer uncle. His youngest brother, Frankie, is also a fighter, coming off a Chicago Golden Gloves Championship and contemplating a professional career.
Cedric had a stellar amateur career, winning 110 of his 120 bouts. During his amateur career he won gold medals at the 2003 United States National Junior Olympics, the 2003 Sweden Cup for Under-19's, the 2004 Chicago Golden Gloves, the 2004 United States Under-19 Championships, the 2006 Chicago Golden Gloves and won a silver medal at the 2004 National Golden Gloves. He also defeated current WBA Champion Beibut Shumenov.
According to Cedric's promoter, Malcolm Garrett of Garrett Promotions, he was not looking to sign another fighter when he first heard about Cedric. He received a call from legendary boxing trainer Sam Colonna, who has worked with such names as Andrew Golota, Angel Manfredy, Angel Hernandez and Vaughn Bean, and told Garrett he needed to come look at Cedric. According to Garrett, "Sam Colonna told me that Cedric is the most talented fighter to come out of Chicago in over 30 years. When Sam said that, I needed to listen so I signed him."
Cedric turned pro in 2007 at the age of 20 and has not lost a fight since. He is no stranger to big fights. Agnew defeated Rayco Saunders via unanimous decision on May 1, 2008 (just one year after his professional debut) to take the vacant WBC Continental Americas Light Heavyweight title. Three years later, on November 3, 2011, he knocked out Daniel Judah in the sixth round to take the vacant WBC United States (USNBC) Light Heavyweight title. Finally, on April 12, 2013 he defeated Yusaf Mack via unanimous decision for the USBA light heavyweight title. According to Agnew, "My win over Yusaf was one of the biggest of my career thus far."
"L.O.W." is a student of the sport. According to Garrett, Agnew watches almost every fight but especially the fights in the light heavyweight division. He has studied Kovalev extensively and feels he is ready for this fight. Malcolm said, "He believes he is right there with Kovalev. He plans to win the fight. We are hoping for a big upset and he has the ability to upset him. Hopefully the public will enjoy the fight." And Agnew believes he has what it takes to defeat Kovalev, he said, "My brain and the way I think will be my biggest advantage in the ring. I'm a very smart fighter. I'm just looking to fight my fight, that's all"
When Garrett approached Agnew about the possibility of a fight between him and Kovalev, Agnew did not hesitate. Garrett said, "I have learned when you have to convince a fighter to take a fight you are already in trouble. I was encouraged when Cedric took the fight without an ounce of hesitation. He wants this fight and he knows he's ready."
And Agnew is not bothered by the Kovalev-Stevenson hype; he said, "I try not to listen to the media. I'm just focusing on what I need to do come March 29th." Malcolm is hoping the hype will work to their advantage and that the media is not the only one overlooking Agnew, "I think all the media attention about Kovalev-Stevenson is great and I hope Kovalev is overlooking Cedric like everyone else and it will work to our advantage. This is a fight Cedric wanted. He knows he's been overlooked - out of the limelight under the radar - but when the bell rings, we will all know."