As reports in Eastern Europe began confirming the bout on Saturday, Chilemba himself clarified the news to WBN that he will travel away to meet the world’s best 175 pound fighter on July 11.
The Malawian secured the chance despite losing out to Eleider Alvarez late last year as Kovalev has struggled to nail down an opponent for his return home for the first time in five years.
Kovalev last fought in Russia when defeating Roman Simakov via seventh round stoppage in 2011 in a fateful bout that ended the life of his opponent. ‘Krusher’ will head back for an emotional return as one of the best pound for pound fighters on the planet.
Chilemba, 28, had been in decent form up until his 2015 setback but is widely recognised as a tough night’s work for anyone in the division. His status as Kovalev’s Main Events stablemate certainly helped, although Chilemba will have no doubts that he can pull off a shock in three months’ time.
On the other hand, Kovalev may see Chilemba as merely a tune-up for a much-talked about super-fight with former super-middleweight king Andre Ward scheduled to happen this coming November.