By Keith Idec
Various venues and dates were discussed between executives for Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Kathy Duva’s Main Events.
Ultimately, though, the Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight championship unification fight will occur when and where they originally planned. Duva, Main Events’ chief executive officer, confirmed Friday that Hopkins-Kovalev has officially been scheduled for Nov. 8 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Nov. 1, Nov. 15 and Dec. 6 were other dates considered. Barclays Center in Brooklyn and more recently Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Events Center were explored as potential options.
Duva is thrilled, however, that the highly anticipated showdown will take place where she believes it belongs. The 49-year-old Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs, 2 NC), a Philadelphia native who resides in Hockessin, Del., made his pro debut in Atlantic City in October 1988 and has fought there 17 times during his Hall-of-Fame career. Russia’s Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) has fought twice this year in Atlantic City.
“It really is where it belongs,” Duva told BoxingScene.com. “I looked it up and Bernard has fought in Atlantic City or Philadelphia like 28 times in his career. It’s his home. And Sergey has fought his last two fights there. It feels like our home and after that wonderful run we had with Arturo Gatti, we’ve been trying to find someone who we can do that with again [at Boardwalk Hall], and we think we have him. I can’t think of a better place to put the first real defining fight of Kovalev’s career than in that building. It’s wonderful.”
Duva said tickets for the Hopkins-Kovalev card, which will be priced from $50-$300, should go on sale on Friday, Sept. 5 or Friday, Sept. 5.
“Atlantic City’s offer really blew everybody away,” Duva said. “They really wanted this fight. I’ve got to hand it to Ken Condon, the people from CRDA [Atlantic City’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority], the people from the Atlantic City Alliance and the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, which are all giving us marketing for this event. Caesars is lending financial and promotional support as well. And Global Spectrum [operator of Boardwalk Hall] is giving us an incredible deal for the building and also is giving us incredible support. I couldn’t have possibly asked for more from these organizations.”
The scheduled 12-round fight for Hopkins’ IBF 175-pound championship and Kovalev’s WBO light heavyweight title will be broadcast by HBO.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.