Sergey Kovalev’s clash with mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde means a delay to a potential super-fight with Canelo Alvarez at 175 pounds.
As confirmed by Frank Warren on Friday, Yarde will challenge long-standing world champion Kovalev for his WBO World Light Heavyweight championship in Chelyabinsk, Russia on August 24.
The fight will be broadcast live and exclusive in the UK on BT Sport.
Yarde, 18-0 with 17 KO’s, has again accepted the delayed mission. He heads into the home nation of the world champion. Yarde faces Krusher in order to fulfill the first part of his dream of holding multiple world title belts and ruling the division for years to come.
The 27-year-old now gets the opportunity to take on the most experienced and formidable of the current world champions. 36-year-old Kovalev has clocked up 28 KO’s from his 33 wins.
Kovalev has operated in world title competition. This is ever since parting Nathan Cleverly from his WBO belt in August 2013 in Cardiff.
“This is my time now. I am going to show the world what I am all about,” said the challenger, the self-styled Beast from the East of London.
“Waiting for my time to come around could have been a frustration. But we turned it into a positive. I am even more ready to seize the moment.
“Everything has fallen perfectly into place for me, this will be my coronation as world champion and I am going to realise my dream by beating the most decorated of the current world title holders.
“I’m more than happy to achieve my goal in Russia. I think it is only right that a great world champion such as Kovalev is given the opportunity to defend in his home country. He has earned that right.
“What I know is that on August 24 another world title belt will be under British ownership. I’ll have done it the hard way, one that nobody will be able to question.
“My promoter and my manager have made all the right moves to get me into this position. I thank Frank Warren and Tunde Ajayi for creating this opportunity for me.
“They have done their part. It is now up to me to deliver.”
The Kovalev v Yarde battle means a Canelo fight was ultimately unable to be completed due to the time-frame.
Furthermore, Canelo could be available to Kovalev in December or early in 2020, provided he gets past Yarde.