By Keith Idec
Sergey Kovalev has agreed to fight another mostly unknown southpaw in Atlantic City.
BoxingScene.com has learned that a deal has been finalized for the Russian knockout artist to defend his WBO light heavyweight title against Australia’s Blake Caparello on Aug. 2 at Revel. HBO will televise the 12-round title fight as part of a split-site “Boxing After Dark” broadcast that’ll also feature a 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.
The 31-year-old Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KOs) signed a multi-fight agreement to box exclusively on HBO before his seventh-round knockout victory over Chicago’s Cedric Agnew (26-1, 13 KOs) on March 29 at Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Ballroom. With potential fights against WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (24-1, 20 KOs), IBF light heavyweight champ Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs, 2 NC) and undisputed super middleweight champion Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KOs) unavailable for various reasons, Main Events, Kovalev’s promoter, and HBO Sports executives settled on Caparello (19-0-1, 6 KOs).
The 27-year-Caparello, promoted by Lou DiBella, dominated a past-his-prime Elvir Muriqi (40-6, 24 KOs) in his last fight, yet figures to be a big underdog against the hard-hitting Kovalev. ESPN2 televised Caparello’s 10-round, unanimous-decision win Jan. 31 from Codey Arena in West Orange, N.J.
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.