Former light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev has been charged with felony assault for allegedly punching a woman in the face back in June — but he claims he’s not guilty … TMZ Sports has learned.
Here’s what we know … the Russian fighter was arrested in Big Bear, CA on June 9 after a woman told police the feared puncher struck her in the face, causing serious injuries.
Sources connected to the case tell us … the woman is claiming Kovalev had hit on her at a party earlier in the evening but rejected his advances. She claims Sergey and a friend followed her back to her cabin and that’s where the alleged attack occurred.
We’re told the woman claims she suffered major injuries including a severely broken nose, a concussion and a displaced disk in her neck.
Cops tell TMZ Sports … they began searching for Kovalev immediately and arrested him a short time later.
He was charged with assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury — which carries a maximum sentence of 4 years in prison.
Kovalev appeared in court and entered a not guilty plea.
What’s interesting … Kovalev fought Eleider Álvarez in August — just 2 months after the arrest — and lost in a shocking upset.
Kovalev is due back in court in March. He also has a rematch with Alvarez lined up for Feb. 2.
We’ve reached out to Kovalev for comment — so far, no word back.