Former unified light heavyweight world titleholder Sergey Kovalev faces a maximum of four years in prison because of a felony assault charge.
Kovalev was arrested on June 9 in connection with an incident in Big Bear Lake, California, in which he is accused of punching a woman in the face, according to San Bernardino County online court records. Kovalev was released on $50,000 bail, according to the court records.
He was charged with assault likely to cause great bodily injury and on Aug. 27 pleaded not guilty, according to court records.
On Friday, TMZ reported the incident in which Kovalev was said to have met a woman at a party and after she rejected his advances, allegedly punched her, which resulted in the woman suffering a broken nose, a concussion and a displaced disk in her neck.
The alleged incident happened two months before Kovalev suffered an upset seventh-round knockout loss to Eleider "Storm" Alvarez in their Aug. 4 world title fight in Atlantic City, New Jersey. After the loss, Kovalev, a two-time light heavyweight titleholder, exercised his contractual right to an immediate rematch. They are scheduled to meet again on Feb. 2 in the main event of a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN/ESPN+ card at the Ford Center at the Star -- the training facility of the Dallas Cowboys -- in Frisco, Texas.
Main Events promoter Kathy Duva, Kovalev's longtime promoter, told ESPN on Friday night that the fight is still on.
"While every woman deserves to be heard, Sergey deserves the right to clear his name in court," Duva said. "And that is what he will do when this goes to trial."
Kovalev, 35, a Russia native fighting out of Los Angeles, is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on March 14, according to the court's online schedule.
Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) was ahead on all three scorecards -- 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56 -- going into the seventh round when Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs), 34, a Colombia native fighting out of Montreal, rallied. He knocked Kovalev down three times in the seventh round for the knockout victory.