Sergey Kovalev finally has a fight confirmed and it carries some “Canelo” ramifications.
On Friday morning, it was announced by the Russian Boxing Federation that Kovalev would be defending his WBO light heavyweight championship against mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde on Saturday, Aug. 24 at Traktor Sports Palace in Kovalev’s hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia.
Kovalev had been in negotiations to take on unified middleweight champion and WBA “regular” super middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for Sept. 14. BoxingScene.com reports both sides are still in talks to for the date in nine weeks. SI.com reports Kovalev’s promoter Main Events and Alvarez’s promoter Golden Boy Promotions are about $2 million apart. Boxing Scene also states if Alvarez-Kovalev does come to fruition then Yarde will receive a substantial amount of money to step aside.
The fact Kovalev vs. Yarde is official now puts the ball in Alvarez’s court to decide what he wants to do.
A fight with Kovalev is still very much on the table, considering $2 million isn’t too much for either promotion. If this is the fight Alvarez really wants instead of a trilogy fight with Gennadiy Golovkin, then he needs to tell Golden Boy to pony up the money to get it done because, in the grand scheme of things beyond a GGG trilogy, this is the most high profile fight out there for Alvarez.
Things can get testy and the possibility remains that Alvarez-Kovalev doesn’t get done. Going back and revisiting the idea of a GGG trilogy isn’t what Alvarez wants as he feels he already went 24 rounds with Golovkin and came out the victor in the rematch last September and doesn’t want to give the Kazakh star the satisfaction of getting another crack at him.
Also, there’s WBA (super) super middleweight champion Callum Smith. Both Alvarez and Smith have expressed interest in the fight. That would appear to be the last resort for the Mexican star at this point unless he’s willing to budge from his customary date during Mexican Independence Day weekend, as Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told The Athletic that Alvarez would compete on Sept. 14.
There’s also WBO titleholder Demetrius Andrade, who dominated and cruised to a lopsided decision win over Maciej Sulecki last month. Last week, ESPN reported Gomez and Andrade’s promoter, Matchroom Boxing Eddie Hearn, exchanged text messages and talked on the phone to see if Andrade can do a quick turnaround with Alvarez. “Boo Boo” took no punishment in the fight, so Hearn told Gomez there is significant interest. And Andrade has been lobbying for the fight on social media.
Ultimately, Alvarez can’t go wrong in any of these scenarios.
For the face of boxing, though, it has always been about fighting the toughest competition out there and trying to conquer biggest challenges regardless of what anyone thinks. The stakes are high and the ball is in Alvarez’s court because time is ticking with the second Saturday in September rapidly approaching.
Written by Steven Muehlhausen
You can order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page.
The post Canelo ramifications for Sergey Kovalev-Anthony Yarde fight being confirmed for August 24 appeared first on The Ring.