By Steve Kim
On August 4th at the new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, WBO light heavyweight belt-holder, Sergey Kovalev will face unbeaten challenger Eleider Alvarez.
Originally, it was U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne who was in line for this opportunity before it was revealed last month that he had two separate incidents of domestic violence since December.
Both of those incidents resulted in Browne being arrested.
So in Alvarez - who is the top rated contender in both the WBA and WBC - did they end up with a superior opponent for 'the Krusher'.
"Of course," Kovalev said with a laugh this past Saturday, where a press conference was held in New York City to formally announce this event, "it's a better fight than anybody right now because he's ready. He's ready, he's a clean guy, he's motivated. Right now, it's very interesting for boxing fans."
Kathy Duva, the head of Main Events told BoxingScene.com of this match-up - "Everybody is really happy about this fight and I keep seeing if you put them in with each other, Browne and Alvarez - who would win? It's hard to answer the question. So they're good in different ways but I think when you get this guy who's been in the number one position for so long, he clearly earned it. It's a terrific fight."
The Browne camp has accused Main Events and Kovalev of essentially voiding this fight by using their current legal situation as a crutch.
"They've got to say something, their lawyer told Nicole (Duva, COO of Main Events) that the judge said, 'He steps out of line one more time - he's locking him up.' He's gotten in trouble twice since December. I'm not going to stake my promotion on (Kovalev's) next fight on this," stated Duva.
"As you may have seen with 'Canelo'(Saul Alvarez) and (Gennady) Gololvkin and the implosion of that fight, it sets back people's careers. It causes problems when you lose out on a fight on those one of two or three times a year you get to fight.
"It has ramifications on the guy who gets left behind. It's an uninsurable risk. I can not take that risk, that's crazy."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.