Exclusive: Duva marks calendar for Kovalev v Ward, eyes Nov 19 date

Main Events / Tom Casino

Promoter Kathy Duva has informed WBN that a mid-November date is pencilled in for a massive light heavyweight clash between Sergey Kovalev and ex-168-pound king Andre Ward.

Talks to make the mouth-watering fight have been ongoing for some months and Duva is hopeful of firstly securing a summer return for WBA, WBO and IBF title holder Kovalev in his homeland before facing the American.

“November 19th has been on the calendar as our tentative date for Kovalev-Ward since the fall,” Duva exclusively told World Boxing News.

“At the moment, I am still working on plans for Sergey to fight in Russia in June, so once we finalize a site and date we will start working on an opponent.”

Duva had initially put an offer on the table for long-term rival Adonis Stevenson to face Kovalev, although the WBC champion is unwilling to fight solely on HBO to make the fight a reality.

Stevenson and his manager Rudy Louis recently confirmed to WBN that they only want a unification with 32 year-old Kovalev if the deal involves both HBO and their own network, Showtime, which seems to be a deal-breaker for Duva.

Felix Valera, Artur Beterbiev and Dominic Boesel are the current top contenders to face Kovalev, according to the respective rankings, as Duva scouts an eighth world title challenger for the big-punching Russian.

Prospective opponent Ward, 31, must first come through dangerous and undefeated Cuban Sullivan Barrera on March 26 in Oakland to seal a massive encounter with Kovalev, in what will be one of the most eagerly-anticipated bouts of the year.