Mansour and Kassi Collide on Triple Header Edition of NBCSN Fight Night Nov. 8 Live from Sands
Tickets Available Now!
Bethlehem, PA: Heavyweight powerhouse Amir “Hardcore” Mansour (20-1, 15 KOs) headlines the final Fight Night edition of 2014 with a ten-round heavyweight battle against Frederic “Big Fred” Kassi (18-2, 10 KOs) on Nov. 8 live from Sands Resort Casino in Bethlehem, PA. The Mansour-Kassi match-up will serve as the main event on a triple header edition of Fight Night. Tickets are on sale now.
This will be the third Fight Night appearance for Mansour, the Southpaw from Philadelphia, PA who lost a narrow decision in a Fight of the Year candidate to Steve “USS” Cunningham in his last Fight Night appearance on Apr. 4 in his hometown of Philadelphia.
“If a guy sits there and bangs out with me, he’s going down,” said a confident Mansour. “I just go in there with the mindset that whoever my opponent is they are going to fight the best fight they ever fought against me so that’s what I prepare for. Whoever it is, I’m prepared for them to come out to be their best.”
Mansour is trained by Howard “Moses” Mosely who said, “From what I gather, [Fred Kassi] is a slick-type of boxer with a lot of slick moves and can give anybody problems, but he’s not going to give Amir any problems with the way I’m training him.”
Joe Hand, Sr., Mansour’s manager, added, “We’re anxious to fight this guy. Amir feels he has the power to take care of Fred Kassi. After his last fight with Steve Cunningham, we were finding it hard to find opponents because of Amir’s knockout power, so we welcome this match-up against Kassi. Top-ranked fighters refuse to take a fight with Amir. With Amir’s style against Kassi’s, we expect him to take care of business.”
Kassi hails from Cameroon, Africa and now resides in New Orleans, where he assisted with the recovery of the New Orleans community after the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. He has never been stopped and 10 of his 18 wins (55.5%) have been by way of knockout.
Mansour may be the favorite, but Kassi isn’t intimidated: “I like being the underdog, it motivates me, whenever I was told I couldn’t do something, I did it,” explained Kassi. “I have nothing but respect for Amir Mansour. He’s a big hitter and comes out swinging. I understand the challenge and look forward to showing the boxing world what I’m about. This is going to be a great fight.”
The telecast will kick off a big night of boxing at at 8:30 PM ET with a ten-round showdown between two undefeated light heavyweights, Russian Vasily “The Professor” Lepikhin (16-0, 9 KOs) and Brazilian Jackson Junior (15-0, 13 KOs).
The current WBO Oriental and PABA Light Heavyweight Champion Vasily Lepikhin, 29, is coming off a fifth round TKO over Robert Berridge in his Fight Night debut in August where he earned both titles and impressed many viewers with his skill and power. He said, “I am very excited to be back fighting in United States. This is going to be my second fight on NBCSN and I am looking forward to another victory.”
Brazilian Jackson Junior, known as “Demolidor” in the ring, has an outstanding knockout-to-win ratio (13 of 15 for 87%). He impressed many in his U.S. debut in January 2013 when he scored a first round KO of former U.S. Olympian, Dante Craig. Jackson said, “I am thrilled to be fighting in the USA again and grateful for this opportunity. I know my opponent is good and will be ready to give a good fight. My goal is to win this fight and get my rhythm, stay active and win a world Championship for Brazil and for me.”
The middle bout features ten-rounds of welterweight action between undefeated Dmitry “The Mechanic” Mikhaylenko (17-0, 6 KOs) of Russia and Emmanuel Lartey (17-2, 8 KOs) of Ghana.
This will be the first Fight Night appearance for Mikhaylenko, 28. Dmitry made his US debut last month with an eight-round unanimous decision victory over Sechew Powell in Atlantic City, NJ after which he signed a co-promotional agreement with Main Events and German Titov Promotions. “I am very happy to be back with Main Events and fighting on NBCSN,” said Dmitry. “I will do my best to show to my fans what I am capable of in the ring.”
Emmanuel Lartey, known as “Ice Cold”, hails from Ghana, Africa and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. He is a dynamic southpaw fighter who has drawn many positive comparisons to Ghana’s greatest boxer, Azumah Nelson. “My goal is to be a world champion and a victory on Nov. 8 gets me one step closer to accomplishing that goal. I'm working very hard to ensure my arm is raised as the victor on Nov. 8,” said Lartey.
Lartey is managed by Sidney Martinez Jr. who added, “We understand that fighting Dmitry Mikhaylenko is no easy task and will be prepared to go a strong ten rounds in order to pull off a decisive victory. Lartey has made many sacrifices and traveled a long way from his native Ghana to get this opportunity and will show the boxing world that he belongs within the upper echelon of his division.”
Both Mikhaylenko and Lepikhin are co-promoted by German Titov Promotions. German Titov said, “I would like to thank Main Events for giving us another opportunity to showcase these two very hot Russian prospects, Lepikhin and Mikhaylenko, who are fighting here in United States. We have no doubt these fighters will deliver a good performance.”
Both Russian fighters are also managed by Egis Klimas, the same manager who advises WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev. Egis added, “It is my pleasure to represent both of these fighters here back in the United States and I am sure they will do a good job in the ring on Nov. 8.”
Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said, “Saturday, November 8th will be a huge night for boxing. This card, featuring three bouts and six fighters that have a combined record of 103-5 with 61 knockouts between them and not a single stoppage loss, is a perfect way to start the night early at 8:30 pm ET/5:30 pm PT. I expect all of the winners, and perhaps even some of the losers, to go on to much bigger fights from their start here, as we’ve come to expect from Fight Night.”
Tickets ($50 and $75) are on sale now through ticketmaster.com, the Sands Event Center box office (610-297-7400) or through Peltz Boxing (peltzboxing.com or 215-765-0922).
Final Results from Foxwoods:
Dargan & Mchunu Walk Away With NABF Titles
In the main event of the afternoon cruiserweights Thabiso "The Rock" Mchunu (17-1, 11 KOs) and Garrett "The Ultimate Warrior" Wilson (13-8-1, 7 KOs) faced off for the NABF Cruiserweight Title. The ten-round cruiserweight match-up between Mchunu's southpaw style and Wilson's wild style made for an exciting fight. Thabiso landed some clean shots and Wilson countered to no avail. The fifth round was slow with Wilson chasing down Mchunu and Wilson finally landing some shots. The ninth round started off with a bang, both fighters were trading big punches. The crowd began chanting for Wilson and the action started to pick up in the final round with both fighters coming out swinging. In the tenth, the referee deducted a point from Mchunu for holding, but it did not matter as Mchunu retained his NABF Cruiserweight Title with a unanimous decision victory (96-93, 99-90 and 98-91).
After the fight Mchunu said, "First of all thank God. Thank you for supporting me to all my fans in South Africa. My trainer, Sean, and my corner for getting me this victory smooth and easy. I would like to thank all of you for coming to the fight. I had it in mind it was going to be tough, really tough. It was as tough as I expected. He is a strong guy. I knew after three rounds it was going to be tough but then I nearly knocked him out. I knew it was going to be tough and I just can't go for the knockout. I knew it was going to go for the distance. I boxed him. I showed I can think in the ring. I'm smart. I'm fast and elusive." He added, "I want the WBC belt, there is a guy from Poland [Krzysztof Wlodarczyk] who got it so I am going for him. After that I will fight the other guys like Marco Huck [current WBO champion] and [Yoan Pablo] Hernandez."
"He's fast. I didn't quite listen to my corner like I was supposed to. I dropped the ball on this one but even if he wins that world title, I ain't done," explained Wilson. "I will be right back. It is just the beginning. I may not have gotten the NABF this time but I am going to be back as long as he is willing to rematch me. I wasn't listening to my corner and I paid for it. His defense was pretty good. His defense was really good and I couldn't figure it out the way I wanted to. He kept leaning down and I kept ending up over top of him. I have been making adjustments and hopefully we get a rematch going on. I am going at that belt. Let's keep it going."
Mchunu connected for for 54% (105 of 195) of his power punches whereas Wilson only connected for 23% (54 of 231). Also Mchunu (53 of 211 for 25%) threw more than two times as many jabs as Wilson (18 of 108 for 17%). The total punch comparison also favored Mchunu (158 of 406 for 39% compared to 72 of 339 for 21%).
Starting off the live broadcast on NBC Fight Night was ten-round battle between undefeated lightweight Karl "Dynamite" Dargan (17-0, 9 KOs) and Angino "The Nightmare" Perez (16-6, 14 KOs). The bout started slow with both fighters feeling each other out. Dargan was knocked down in the second and got up with a couple of hard shots at Perez. Dargan knocked down Perez in the fifth but he managed to make it back to his feet. "Dynamite" made quick work of Perez after that and knocked him out with a face first fall a few seconds later to secure the Junior NABF Lightweight Title. Now the 29-year old Dargan has two belts (USBA Atlantic Coast Region Lightweight Title).
In the fight Dargan connected for 42& of his punches (71 of 170) whereas Perez only connected for 17% (38 of 230). Although both fighters threw nearly the same number of power punches (96 for Dargan and 87 for Perez) Dargan connected for almost twice as many of them (50 as compared to 27 for Perez) for 52% when compared to 31% for Perez.
"I knew he could punch and I knew he got power. He had about a 90% knockout ratio but I don't care who it is. He caught me with a good shot but I wasn't hurt. It was like a buzz. I got back up there. I guess he thought he could pressure me so I just basically lured him in," explained Dargan. "Him coming forward and me being able to step in the middle of it put more power on me. After the first knockdown my corner said just don't come straight for the head; go for the body because he doesn't really expect it." He added, "Of course I don't see anyone in my division I don't see why I can't beat them. I have the dedication so that I can go up against any of them. I use my ability when it is needed."
After the live NBC broadcast middleweights Anthony Everett (0-2) and David Wilson (4-0) met for four rounds. Wilson remained undefeated with all three judges scoring the bout 40-36. Everett is still looking for his first professional victory.
The final fight before the NBC broadcast featured Piotr Apostol (1-0) of Atlantic City, NJ and Tyrell White (0-2) of Queens, NY for four rounds of wild lightweight action. Apostol managed to squeak out the split decision victory. The fight was close with two judges scoring the bout 39-37 for Apostol and one judge scoring the bout 40-36 for White.
In a lightweight rematch Joseph "Chip" Perez (10-3-2, 3 KOs) and Agustine "The Dancing Jaguar" Mauras (6-0-3, 3 KOs) met for six rounds. Perez and Mauras' previous fight, back in July of this year, ended in a draw. Both men started the fight aggressively. In this action-packed bout both fighters gave their all and the crowd was pumped to watch these two warriors battle it out for another brutal six rounds. Ultimately, the judges scored the bout 58-56 for Mauras, 58-56 for Perez and 57-57 for a split draw.
"I thought I fought more aggressively this time, explained Perez. "I thought I got the win both times. I am not taking anything away from him and I have nothing against him but I thought I got the win."
Mauras added, "We need an eight-rounder to make the determination. He came to fight and I always come to fight. I will fight him again or anyone else."
Undefeated light heavyweight Sullivan Barrera (13-0, 8 KOs) of Miami, FL knocked out Eric Watkins (10-8-1, 5 KOs) of Harris, NY. Barrera was leading the entire bout but Watkins managed to hold his own. Sullivan managed to finally take down Watkins at 0:24 in the sixth round. After the fight Barrera said, "I feel great. I am very happy with the new team. I am very happy to be training in Big Bear Lake. I want to thank Main Events and NBC for putting this fight on." Barrera remains undefeated after his first fight with his new trainer, Abel Sanchez.
In the first fight of the afternoon super middleweight Charles "The Truth" Foster (6-0, 3 KOs) of New Haven, CT made quick work of Robert Jackson (0-2) of Hampton, VA stopping him at 1:51 in the first round.
*Note: All records have been updated to reflect today's results.
Steve “USS” Cunningham Fights Natu “The Truth” Visinia on Oct. 18 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia
Tickets Available Now!
Philadelphia, PA: Heavyweight contender Steve “USS” Cunningham (27-6, 12 KOs) takes on unbeaten Natu “The Truth” Visinia (10-0, 8 K0s) on Saturday evening, Oct. 18, at the 2300 Arena when NBCSN’s popular Fight Night boxing series returns to South Philadelphia.
Cunningham’s brutal battle with then-undefeated Amir “Hardcore” Mansour on April 4 in front of an electrified hometown crowd earned him the USBA Heavyweight Title and was an instant classic.
The Oct. 18 show also features a solid 10-round junior lightweight contest between Edner Cherry, of Wauchula, FL, and Jerry Belmontes, of Corpus Christi, TX. The Fight Night telecast will begin at 9 PM ET. The doors will open at 6 PM.
Tickets priced at $50 and $75 are on sale at Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) or online at www.peltzboxing.com. They also can be purchased through Wanamaker’s Tickets (215-568-2400). The event is sponsored by Rocco’s Collision.
Cunningham, 38, spent the majority of his career at cruiserweight before moving up to heavyweight two years ago.
“This is the third undefeated heavyweight that I am facing and he has more career heavyweight fights than I do,” Cunningham explained. “I have fought more undefeated heavyweight fighters than some heavyweights fight in their entire career. I am up for the challenge. It is always a challenge fighting a young untested fighter, but a job has to be done. We are going to do the job, get this victory and be impressive.”
Visinia, 28, of Lakewood, CA, is a former stand-out high school and college football player. He was all-state in Missouri for William Chrisman High School then went on to start at left guard for Southern Illinois University. He took up boxing in 2006 to stay in shape for football, but fell in love with the sport. He began his fighting career in MMA, where he became the #2 ranked amateur heavyweight in the US before making his pro debut on King of the Cage. He then switched to boxing and joined the All American Heavyweight camp. More recently, he signed with Final Forum Promotions, who delivered a reinvigorated Derric Rossy for the August 9, 2014 Fight Night main event against Czar Glazkov. Visinia has knocked out eight of his ten pro boxing opponents—seven of them in the first round. This will be the first 10-round fight of his career.
“Steve Cunningham is a long-time respected world champion and Natu is a young-rising heavyweight contender,” said Visinia’s promoter, Sal Musumeci, of Final Forum Promotions. “And on October 18 it will be out with the old and in with the new.”
Visinia: “I am extremely excited for the opportunity to fight former cruiserweight champ, Steve Cunningham. As much as I admire his experience and accomplishments in the sport, I do not intend on leaving Philly without the win.”
There also should be fireworks in the co-feature.
Cherry, 32, has not lost in more than six years and is ranked No. 11 in the world by the IBF and No. 17 by the WBC. His 32-6-2 record includes 17 knockouts and he has beaten Vicente Escobido, of Woodland, CA; Stevie Johnston, of Denver, CO; Daniel Alicea, of Santurce, Puerto Rico, and Monte Meza-Clay, of Rankin, PA.
The last man to beat Cherry was Timothy Bradley for the WBC junior welterweight title in 2008. Cherry also lost on points to Paulie Malignaggi in 2007.
Cherry, who has never been stopped, beat Robert Osiobe, of Las Vegas, NV, earlier this year in Philadelphia.
“This is a solid match between two of the best in the world between 130 and 135,” said Hall-of-Fame promoter J Russell Peltz, who handles Cherry. “It's nice to see fights like this at this level. No one gets a free pass and it's on neutral ground--neither guy is from Philadelphia.”
Cherry: “I want to thank Russell Peltz and Main Events for this opportunity. I'm ready and hungry and I guarantee the fans are going to get an exciting fight, for as long as it lasts. I will show the world that I am the best 130 pound fighter in the world.”
Belmontes, 25, who lost a disputed 12-round split decision to Omar Figueroa, of Welasco, TX, for the WBC lightweight title earlier this year, is 19-5, 5 KOs. He followed that with another split-decision loss, this one over 10 rounds against Abner Cotto, of Caguas, Puerto Rico.
Belmontes earned his title shot early in 2014 when he out-pointed previously unbeaten Will Tomlinson, of Australia, at the MGM in Las Vegas. He also has beaten Daniel Diaz, of Nicaragua.
“This is a huge opportunity for Jerry,” said manager Adrian Clark. “He loves Kathy [Duva], Jolene [Mizzone] and everyone at Main Events and he is excited to work with them again. He is looking to redeem himself after the loss to Cotto by beating Edner Cherry and getting back in the hunt and hopefully soon fighting for a 135 pound crown.”
“Once again our matchmakers, Jolene Mizzone and Russell Peltz, have come up with a pair of intriguing cross-roads fights to entertain the Fight Night fans,” said Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events. “Steve Cunningham is always in a great scrap and the undefeated Visinia is determined to make a statement. Meanwhile, the battle between Cherry and Belmontes promises a lot of action from two fighters who need to win in order to advance their careers.”
Polish Heavyweights Tomasz "Goral" Adamek and Artur Szpilka Collide in Poland Nov. 8
Kraków, Poland: On November 8, 2014, Polish heavyweights Tomasz "Goral" Adamek (49-3, 29 KOs) and Artur Szpilka (16-1, 12 KOs) meet for the IBF International Heavyweight title in their own backyard at the Kraków Arena in Kraków, Poland. The fight, which will be telecast by Polsat via pay-per-view, is presented by Knockout Promotions, Main Events, and Ziggy Promotions. Ticket prices range from 75 - 5000 zł.
The veteran Adamek, 37, returns to fight in his home country from the United States for the first time since he lost the WBC Heavyweight Title match-up with Vitali Klitschko in 2011. Earlier this year, Adamek faced undefeated stablemate Vyacheslav "Czar" Glazkov at Sands Casino Hotel in Bethlehem, PA. Czar managed to squeak out the decision after a brutal 12-round war for the IBF North American Heavyweight Title. Prior to the loss to Glazkov, Adamek had won his previous five fights in a row dating back to his fight with Klitschko (Mar. 24, 2012 - Nagy Aguilera, 10-round unanimous decision victory; Jun. 16, 2012 - Eddie Chambers, 12-round unanimous decision victory; Sept. 8, 2012 - Travis Walker, fifth round TKO; Dec. 22, 2012 - Steve Cunningham, 12-round split decision victory; and Aug. 3, 2013 - Dominick Guinn ten-round unanimous decision). When asked about the fight Adamek said, "It is good to be fighting in Poland. This will be the biggest fight in Poland since my fight with Vitali Klitschko. I look forward to satisfying my Polish fans with a knockout of Szpilka.
The young challenger, Szpilka, 25, has only 17 career fights as compared to the 52 professional fights Adamek has on his professional resume. Szpilka is also coming off a tough loss. He suffered a TKO at the hands of Bryant Jennings in the final round of a ten-round fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY on Jan. 25, 2014. This was the first loss of Szpilka's young career since making his professional debut on Oct. 18, 2008 against Senol Cente (a four-round unanimous decision win). Twelve of his 16 career victories have come by way of knockout for an impressive 75% knockout-to-win ratio. When asked about the fight, Szpilka said, "I will surprise a lot of people with my style and really don't care about people seeing Adamek as a clear favorite. I learned a lot losing to Bryant Jennings at Madison Square Garden. There will be no distractions this time, I feel stronger and better than ever. Just watch me on November 8. You will not believe your eyes."
Main Events CEO Kathy Duva said, "This is a fantastic heavyweight fight that will be a great event for Poland. When Tomasz fought Andrew Golota and then Vitali Klitschko in Poland, it felt like all of Poland was watching. I'm sure that will be the case again on November 8th."
Placing the bout for a US telecast is being explored at this time.
TICKETS FOR “BERNARD HOPKINS VS. SERGEY KOVALEV”
ON SALE NOW
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Tickets for the light heavyweight unification bout featuring oldest world champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins power puncher Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev taking place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ are on sale now.
Tickets are priced at $300, $200, $150, $100 and $50, plus applicable fees and service chargers are available for purchase at the Boardwalk Hall box office by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
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BERNARD HOPKINS VS. SERGEY KOVALEV CONFIRMED TO TAKE PLACE AT BOARDWALK HALL IN ATLANTIC CITY, NJ ON SATURDAY, NOV. 8 LIVE ON HBO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®
Tickets Go On Sale Friday, Sept. 5!
Atlantic City, NJ (Aug. 22) – Since the August 4th official announcement of the Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins vs. Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev light heavyweight title unification fight, the boxing world has been waiting and wondering when and where the two will meet and put their respective titles on the line. The wait is over as Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events announced today that the fall’s most anticipated boxing event will take place Saturday, Nov. 8 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ live on HBO World Championship Boxing.
Tickets priced at $300, $200, $150, $100 and $50, plus applicable fees and service charges, go on sale on Friday, Sept. 5 at noon ET and will be available for purchase at the Boardwalk Hall box office, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Both fighters have a history of big fights on the Jersey Shore as Hopkins has fought 19 times in Atlantic City, five of which took place at Boardwalk Hall. Kovalev fought his only two American title defenses in Atlantic City, both of which were knockouts. Most recently against Blake Caparello on August 2nd.
“Atlantic City is a second home to me,” said Hopkins. “Some of my most memorable victories and greatest accomplishments of my career have taken place there including my fights against Antonio Tarver and Kelly Pavlik. I expect Philly to represent and come out to Boardwalk Hall to see me make history once again.”
"I am happy to be back in Atlantic City,” said Kovalev. “This is my third time fighting there, but this is the most special because this time I am facing the legendary Bernard Hopkins."
"November 8 is going to be a great night for boxing in Atlantic City, said Oscar De La Hoya, founder and president of Golden Boy Promotions. “I would like to thank Caesars Atlantic City, Global-Spectrum, the Atlantic City Alliance, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) and the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority (NJSEA) for working together to bring this fight to the boardwalk, where east coast fans can get to see a historic fight between Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev and show the world what a big fight night is all about."
"This fight is exactly where it belongs,” said Kathy Duva, Chief Executive Officer of Main Events. “Sergey Kovalev made his last two title defenses in Atlantic City and Bernard Hopkins fought much of his career there. Boardwalk Hall has a rich history in boxing and it holds a lot of great memories for Main Events, working in conjunction with Ken Condon and Caesars. I look forward to making some more memories on November 8th."
"We're thrilled to have one of the top boxing matches in the country here in Atlantic City,” said John Palmieri, Executive Director of CRDA. "We've been known for hosting great fight events for many years, and we welcome the fans, as usual, to experience all the action at both Boardwalk Hall and throughout the city."
"Bernard Hopkins is a world champion athlete who grew up and trained in the greater Philadelphia area, just a short ride from Atlantic City, so this fight is going to be a great draw for the destination," said Kevin Ortzman, President and General Manager for Caesars, Bally's and Showboat Atlantic City. "Some of the greatest boxing matches and sporting events have been hosted in Historic Boardwalk Hall - and this November, Atlantic City will once again be the backdrop to one of the most historic bouts in the sport - Caesars is proud to sponsor this event and look forward to an entertaining weekend this fall."
BOXING LEGEND BERNARD HOPKINS TO MEET UNDEFEATED SERGEY KOVALEV IN LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT UNIFICATION BOUT LIVE ON HBO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®
IBF, WBA and WBO Championships all on the line as The Alien vs. Krusher comes to the East Coast in November
(August 4, 2014) -- Speed, savvy and defense will come face-to-face with explosive power and force this November when Bernard "The Alien" Hopkins takes on Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev in a Light Heavyweight Unification title fight, Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events announced today.
Hopkins, incredibly just two months short of his 50th birthday, is seeking to add the WBO Light Heavyweight Championship to his collection of IBF and WBA belts. Kovalev, who burst on the scene just a year ago, has never lost a fight and has won 23 of his 25 victories by knockout.
"Everything I do at this point in my career affects my legacy," Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) said. "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."
"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."
In April, Hopkins defeated Beibut Shumenov to win the WBA Light Heavyweight World Championship, breaking his own record as the oldest fighter in history to win a world title, which he set in May of 2011 after defeating Jean Pascal at age 46. Kovalev comes off of the third defense of his WBO Light Heavyweight Title on HBO, defeating Blake Caparello by TKO on Saturday night. Hopkins vs. Kovalev is set to take place in the first half of November and will be held on the East Coast at a venue still to be determined.
"Golden Boy Promotions has been crystal clear that we will make the best fights for our fans no matter who else is promoting it, where it takes place or what network broadcasts it; this is Exhibit 'A' of our keeping that commitment," said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. "At 49 years of age, Bernard continues to electrify crowds with lightening quickness and impregnable defense; Sergey hits with thunderous force and is an early-round knockout threat every time he steps in the ring. With those two forces coming together, fans are in for a real treat."
"Throughout boxing's history, great champions have always been motivated by fighting the best," said Main Events' CEO, Kathy Duva. "Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya are both living legends who never back down from a challenge. Sergey Kovalev made it clear that all he wants to do is test his skills against the finest in the world. Main Events has always been able to deliver the biggest fights for its fighters and their fans. Since George Foreman defeated Joe Frazier in 1973, HBO has been synonymous with boxing at its highest level. It shouldn't be any surprise that when you combine those elements, you get the most anticipated fight of the year."
"Sports capture our imagination when elite athletes seek superlative challenges of the highest stakes, which is precisely the caliber of fight these two intrepid champions have given their fans by choosing to face-off against one another," Peter Nelson, Vice President of Programming, HBO Sports said. "Hopkins vs. Kovalev is a destination event, and HBO is delighted to present this light heavyweight unification championship to our subscribers."