By Keith Idec
Tickets went on sale Friday for the Sergey Kovalev-Blake Caparello light heavyweight title fight Aug. 2 at Revel in Atlantic City.
Don’t expect an apology from promoter Kathy Duva. She and HBO Sports executives gladly would match the Russian knockout artist against Adonis Stevenson, Bernard Hopkins or Andre Ward. None of those high-profile fighters have expressed genuine interest in facing the WBO light heavyweight champion Main Events promotes, thus Caparello, a southpaw promoted by Lou DiBella, drew the daunting assignment.
“Caparello stood up and said, ‘I want to fight,’ so let’s do it,” Duva said. “Anybody who wants to discount him or anybody else, he’s got the courage to say, ‘I want to come to another country and fight for a world title because that’s why I’m in this,’ and against the guy that’s perceived as the toughest guy out there. I have to give him respect. Everybody was writing off Chris Algieri last week, and look what happened. Guys who can box are always a problem for guys who punch, and that’s why you put the boxers in with the punchers, because it makes interesting fights. Sergey always has been in interesting fights. He’s must-see TV.”
Duva believes the best course of action for Kovalev’s development is to keep him as active as possible, no matter how long they have to wait for a light heavyweight championship unification fight.
“If those big, marquee names don’t want to get in the ring with him because they’re afraid, I can certainly understand that,” Duva said. “Or because they’re too old, I can understand that. But people who want to fight him are going to fight him. The alternative is to be inactive and sit around and wait until everything works out perfectly. Well, you know what? That’s not the way to be at the top of your game or be the best, so we’re going to keep fighting. And he’ll be fun to watch – he always is.”
Tickets for the Revel card headlined by Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KOs) and Australia’s Caparello (19-0-1, 6 KOs) cost $55, $80, $160 and $250 (VIP, including waitress service) and can be purchased by visiting ticketmaster.com or calling 800-745-3000. HBO will televise the 12-round Kovalev-Caparello fight as part of a split-site “Boxing After Dark” broadcast that’ll also feature a 10-round welterweight bout between Brandon Rios (31-2-1, 23 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., and Argentina’s Diego Chaves (23-1, 19 KOs) from The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
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.