RENO, Nevada – Bob Arum would’ve attended the Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev fight Saturday night if his company weren’t promoting a show of its own in another state.
The 87-year-old Arum is intrigued by their fight for Kovalev’s WBO light heavyweight title. Arum’s company also has a promotional stake in Kovalev, who gave contractual options to Top Rank Inc. as part of his deal for an immediate rematch against Eleider Alvarez that was streamed by ESPN+ on February 2.
But Arum isn’t all that disappointed about not being able to attend the Alvarez-Kovalev fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In fact, Arum claimed in an interview with BoxingScene.com over the weekend that the main event of his show, Miguel Berchelt-Jason Sosa, is a “better fight” than the higher-profile battle between Mexico’s Alvarez (52-1-2, 35 KOs) and Russia’s Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs).
“I have a fight that may not be as marquee as Canelo-Kovalev, but it’s a better fight,” Arum said. “Berchelt and Sosa is a sensational fight. Sosa always comes to fight.”
Mexico’s Berchelt (36-1, 31 KOs) will defend his WBC super featherweight title against Sosa (23-3-4, 16 KOs), a former WBA 130-pound champion from Camden, New Jersey. ESPN will broadcast Berchelt-Sosa as the headliner of a doubleheader from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
“I think it’s a terrific fight,” Arum said. “That could go either way. I mean, Sosa is competitive with anybody. And Berchelt is a very good fighter, you know, strong. I love that fight. I can’t wait to see that fight. I’m sorry I’m missing the Canelo-Kovalev fight, but I have a great fight that night.”
ESPN’s telecast is set to begin at 10:30 p.m. EDT/7:30 p.m. PDT. In the opening bout, the Philippines’ Jerwin Ancajas (31-1-2, 21 KOs) will defend his IBF junior bantamweight title against Mexican contender Jonathan Rodriguez (21-1, 15 KOs) in a 12-rounder.
Coverage of Top Rank’s entire card will begin on ESPN+ at 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT.
The streamed undercard will feature the return of junior welterweight contender Alex Saucedo, who hasn’t fought since Maurice Hooker knocked him out in the seventh round of their WBO 140-pound title fight last November 16 in Saucedo’s hometown of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Saucedo (28-1, 18 KOs) will face Rod Salka (24-5, 4 KOs), of Bunola, Pennsylvania, in an eight-rounder.
DAZN will stream Alvarez-Kovalev as the main event of a seven-bout card (6:30 p.m. EDT/3:30 p.m. PDT).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.