Duva says deal in place to pit Kovalev against Hopkins in November
A massive light-heavyweight unification consisting of three title belts is set to take place in November provided that WBO champion Sergey Kovalev comes through Blake Caparello in Atlantic City tonight.
The big-hitting Russian will be handed a dream date against IBF and WBA belt holder Bernard ‘The Alien’ Hopkins later this year after both sides reached an agreement in the wake of tonight’s HBO televised contest.
“We have made a deal to make Sergey Kovalev v Bernard Hopkins on November 8,” Main Events boss Kathy Duva told World Boxing News over the weekend. “Everything depends upon Sergey’s success on Saturday against Caparello, but yes, if he retains his title the fight with Hopkins is in place.”
Kovalev, 31, claimed his status as one of the premier 175lbers in the world with a bruising win over Welshman Nathan Cleverly a year ago and has since enhanced his reputation with knockouts of Ismayl Sillakh and Cedric Agnew.
‘Krusher’ was due to battle WBC champion Adonis Stevenson before the Canadian decided to switch from HBO to Showtime, but Kovalev certainly won’t be disappointed to replace a fight against ‘Superman’ with a Hopkins showdown.
By the time the fight happens, which is taking nothing away from tonight’s challenger Caparello, Hopkins will be just two months shy of his 50th birthday, but on current form will be more than a handful for Kovalev to deal with.
The ex-middleweight king proved against Beibut Shumenov in April that there is still plenty left in his tank, although Hopkins will go into an encounter with Kovalev as the underdog despite holding the unified championship.
Saturday’s clash between Kovalev and Caparello now takes on even more significance than before, with Hopkins expected to be ringside at the Revel Resort to run the rule over his future opponent.
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