Sergey Kovalev clash becomes answer to Canelo, Golden Boy problems

Canelo Alvarez Sergey Kovalev

DAZN / David Spagnolo

Sergey Kovalev is set to land a crack at Canelo Alvarez later this year provided the Russian comes through Anthony Yarde on August 24.

‘Krusher’ defends his WBO light-heavyweight title against his British mandatory challenger knowing a huge battle with Canelo hangs in the balance.

WBN has been informed talks are still ongoing between Golden Boy and Main Events to get a deal done for 2019.

Canelo v Kovalev would happen at the 175-pound limit. It would take place in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena in November or December.

Kovalev has to beat Yarde, but also has to preferably do it via an early knockout. This would give the 36 year-old veteran a longer preparation time.

November is pencilled in as the ideal date. Although December could be utilized if Kovalev is involved in a long, hard slog with Yarde and/or suffers a cut or slight injury.

The fight has resurfaced after initially being ruled out. It comes after Canelo and Golden Boy went through problems negotiating a deal to face IBF mandatory Sergey Derevyanchenko.

It’s been made apparent that GBP opened talks without Canelo’s knowledge. Those discussions ultimately ended with the IBF stripping the Mexican superstar of his title.

Not happy, Canelo made his feelings known on social media.

“I’m very upset and ashamed for my fans,” said Canelo. “To be unfairly stripped of my belt by the IBF, but especially when I did not have the knowledge of the agreement that GBP matchmaker (Robert Diaz) had signed.

“For my part I will continue as usual, with discipline and desire to continue being victorious,” he added.


Derevyanchenko was never a viable option in Canelo’s mind as the three-weight ruler is determined to win a fourth weight strap.

As WBN reported first on June 24, Kovalev was the number one target for Canelo, which became apparent very quickly.

Canelo even put off his usual September showdown in order to wait for Kovalev to become available.

Step aside money was offered to Yarde, although it seemed an easier option for Canelo to let the situation play out. A niggling knee injury would then be given more time to heal.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay