Duva on Why Chilemba Isn’t Facing Kovalev This Saturday

by David P. Greisman

Light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev isn’t the only 175-pounder signed with promoter Main Events and fighting this Saturday at the Revel Atlantic City resort and casino in New Jersey.

Isaac Chilemba, who is 22-2-2 with 9 KOs and coming off a March decision win over Denis Grachev, will face Cory Cummings on the undercard. Cummings is 17-6-1 with 13 KOs.

One reason why Kovalev is facing Blake Caparello instead of Chilemba is because this Saturday’s HBO broadcast is one that wasn’t initially planned for, according to Kathy Duva of Main Events. The hope had been that Kovalev’s March win over Cedric Agnew would then lead into a fall fight with light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.

“This was a summer fight that was added to the schedule; it hadn’t been anticipated,” Duva said. “Sometimes you have to work within the budget you have, and we spoke to Isaac’s people and I told them, ‘I can’t pay you enough to make this fight worthwhile. They wanted to take it. And I said, ‘No, no, you’re going to be able to make more money if you’ll just be a little more patient.’

“Our job is to make the best fights. Our job is also to represent our fighters. And I have to give the best advice to each fighter based on the situation they’re in. We are looking down the road, and I would say by early next year we’re going to have Isaac in a position with a couple of different options. And he’ll be in a position where I think he can better enhance his career by following a slightly different plan.”

Duva declined to delve deeper into that.

“We’re just going to keep that to ourselves for the time being,” she said.

Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at or internationally at Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Hougigo on 07-29-2014

Who would he even fight though? That Grachev fight was a good one... but don't know who else she could be eyeing.... see if she can get E-Rod. Chilemba gets a name and HBO gets rid of E-Rod's last HBO…

Comment by Dr Kewl Hair on 07-29-2014

Good on Duva for looking out for her other lesser-known fighters interests

Comment by richardt on 07-29-2014

Chilemba offers nothing as far as ever being elite and somewhat used up and a light puncher.

Comment by nycsmooth on 07-29-2014

this another of the AC hotels, new, like around 2 years, & read on the verge of closing...some1 needs to make Hopkins fight him or take the belt from him...

Comment by King_ on 07-29-2014

Inb4 Kovalev is ducking Chilemba (Ignoring the fact he's been chasing Stevenson and Hopkins for the past 365 days)

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