21
Mar
2019

Kovalev v Shabrankskyy a Thanksgiving feast on HBO

Ringside 22/11/2017

HBO Sports celebrates the holiday weekend with an action-packed tripleheader, including the return of light heavyweight powerhouse Sergey Kovalev, when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: SERGEY KOVALEV VS. VYACHESLAV SHABRANSKYY AND SULLIVAN BARRERA VS. FELIX VALERA AND YURIORKIS GAMBOA VS. JASON SOSA is seen SATURDAY, NOV. 25 at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The HBO Sports team will call all the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

The fights will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

The main event features the return of the feared Sergey Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) as he battles heavy-handed Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (19-1, 16 KOs) for a vacant light heavyweight title in a scheduled 12-round bout.

Following a light heavyweight title reign that spanned more than three years and featured eight successful defenses, polished Russian knockout artist Kovalev, 34, is eager to reclaim the belts he lost in 2016 to future Hall of Famer Andre Ward.

Standing in his way is Ukraine’s Shabranskyy, 30, who turned pro in 2012 after a long amateur career in his home country and has been knocking out top contenders on the way to his biggest fight to date. Both men have been active lately, this being Kovalev’s tenth fight since Jan. 2014 and Shabranksyy’s tenth fight since Jan.

2015. The bout marks Kovalev’s 11th appearance on HBO, while Shabranskyy is making his debut on the main channel after fighting on HBO Latino in 2015.

In the co-main event, one of the top light heavyweight contenders, Sullivan Barrera (20-1, 14 KOs) of Miami via Cuba, closes out his tremendous 2017 by taking on Felix Valera (15-1, 13 KOs) of the Dominican Republic in a ten-round fight.

Barrera, 35, is fresh off the biggest win of his career, a unanimous decision victory over Joe Smith Jr. in July and hopes to set himself up for another title shot in 2018 by defeating Valera. Making his U.S. debut, the hard-punching Valera, 29, seeks an upset that would insert him into the light heavyweight championship conversation.

In the opening bout, former unified featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa (27-2, 17 KOs) of Miami, Florida squares off against Camden, NJ native Jason Sosa (20-2-4, 15 KOs) in a scheduled ten-round super featherweight contest.

Gamboa, 35, is an accomplished veteran with success at all levels, including a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics while representing Cuba and a dominating stretch as a world champion in the pro ranks.

Sosa, 29, looks to bounce back after a difficult loss to junior lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko and return to the championship ranks. Sosa is making his third HBO appearance, while the bout marks Gamboa’s tenth fight on HBO.

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