Bob Arum has revealed WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev 33-3-1 (28) will defend his title against big-punching Brit Anthony Yarde 18-0 (17) in Russia on August 24.
The veteran US promoter, who co-promotes the 36-year-old US-based Russian alongside Main Events, spoke about the fight in an interview with iFL TV.
“We’re the co-promoter of Kovalev. Kathy Duva is the main promoter. She’s been with Kovalev most of his career,” said the Top Rank boss.
“The fight with Yarde in Russia is on. The deposit has been put up to ensure everybody the fight will happen. August 24 is the date. Yarde is a tremendous puncher. Whether he can deal with the experience, boxing ability and punching power of Kovalev remains to be seen.”
Kovalev was linked to a fight with middleweight world champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in September that would have seen the Mexican superstar jumping up two weight divisions.
But without sufficient time to work out the details of the complex contract, Team Kovalev have opted to make their mandatory defence against Yarde instead.
Arum remains optimistic that the Kovalev-Alvarez fight can still takes place this year, possibly in December.
“If Kovalev is successful with the fight, we’re now planning the possibility of having Kovalev fight Canelo at the end of 2019,” continued Arum.
“Time has moved on. We haven’t finalized a fight with Canelo, so that’s out for September. The step aside [that would have been given to Yarde], that’s out.
“If Yarde wants a chance to be champion, he has it against Kovalev at the end of August. I’m surprised that Kathy and Frank [Warren] haven’t announced formally the fight.”