Even without an official date or venue, HBO Boxing wasted little time in making known its plans for a light heavyweight title-unification bout.
The IBF, WBA and WBO titles will be on the line as Bernard Hopkins will do battle with Sergey Kovalev in “the first half of November” at an “East Coast” venue yet to be determined, according to a news release distributed to the combat sports media Monday afternoon.
“Everything I do at this point in my career affects my legacy,” Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) said in the release. “I’ve set and broken many records, but becoming the oldest undisputed light heavyweight world champion is the goal and Kovalev stands in the way of that goal. He’s another young, hungry fighter and just like the ones that came before him, he will leave the ring beltless.”
Kovalev saw action this past Saturday in a brilliant second-round drubbing of Aussie Blake Caparello. Hopkins, just months shy of his 50th birthday, bested Beibut Shumenov in April.
“I respect Bernard Hopkins for taking this fight,“ said the 31-year-old Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs). “When I came to America, it was dream to fight the best and now I am fighting, I have my chance. He says he is alien. He punch, I punch, then we see who is gonna go to Mars.”
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