Former three-time light heavyweight world titlist Sergey Kovalev, who faces up to four years in prison if convicted of the felony assault charge he faces in California, has changed attorneys and had his trial delayed.
At a hearing on Monday, when Kovalev's trial date was supposed to be scheduled, Judge Dwight W. Moore of the Superior Court of California for San Bernardino County delayed Kovalev's next pre-trial hearing until April 8 and did not set a trial date, according to San Bernardino County online court records.
One of the reasons for the delay likely was the fact that Monday's hearing was the first for Kovalev at which he was represented by a new attorney, Keith Bruno of Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley. According to court records, Kovalev relieved attorney Dmitry Gorin, who had been representing him in the case.
The trial was originally scheduled to begin Nov. 25, according to online court records, but was postponed with a hearing scheduled for Monday.
By the time Kovalev's trial begins it likely will have been more than two years since he was arrested on June 9, 2018, in connection with an incident at a party in Big Bear Lake, California, in which he allegedly punched a woman in the face, broke her nose, gave her a concussion and displaced a disk in her neck after she rejected his sexual advances.
Kovalev was released on $50,000 bail, according to the court records, and was eventually charged with assault likely to cause great bodily injury. He pleaded not guilty.
Since being charged Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KOs), 36, a Russia native fighting out of Los Angeles, has boxed four times, losing his 175-pound world title to Eleider "Storm" Alvarez by upset seventh-round knockout, regaining it by dominant unanimous decision over Alvarez in an immediate rematch, defending the title by 11th-round knockout of Anthony Yarde in a Russia homecoming fight in August, and then losing the belt by 11th-round knockout to Canelo Alvarez on Nov. 2 in Las Vegas in one of the most significant fights of 2019.