Two-time light heavyweight world champion Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KOs) puts his WBO Light Heavyweight World Title on the line against long-time WBC Light Heavyweight number one Contender Eleider "Storm" Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs) at the Etess Arena in the brand new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on Saturday, August 4, 2018.
The event, promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Groupe Yvon Michel, will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. This will mark Kovalev's 14th appearance on HBO® with Alvarez making his network debut. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, May 18.
Kovalev vs. Alvarez will be the first professional boxing event to take place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, which opens on June 28. Kovalev, 35, of Chelyabinsk, Russia, will be fighting for the fourth time in Atlantic City, including his 2014 victory over future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins, which unified three of the four light heavyweight world titles. The only light heavyweight world title Kovalev has not had the chance to win belongs to WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis "Superman" Stevenson.
Alvarez defeated Isaac Chilemba in 2015 to secure the WBC mandatory position and the opportunity to face Adonis for his piece of the light heavyweight crown. Since then, Alvarez is 4-0 with notable wins over former world champions Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute. After more than two years since becoming the mandatory contender and almost one year since his last fight, Stevenson still has not agreed to fight Alvarez, so Eleider jumped at the opportunity to face Kovalev for the WBO World Title when the offer arrived.
Kovalev explained, "Alvarez has earned his title shot but Chickenson dodged him; just like he dodged me. I want to fight the best in my division. Alvarez took the fight with me without hesitation. I respect that and I am excited to face him in my return to Atlantic City."
Egis Klimas, Sergey's manager, added, "Eleider Alvarez is a great competitor. That is probably why Stevenson refused to fight him. Sergey will face anyone, any time, any place. If Adonis is too scared to take the fight, Sergey is happy to step up and fight Alvarez. He earned this opportunity."
Main Events' CEO and Kovalev's promoter, Kathy Duva, said, "Entering our 40th year in this business, we are so excited to return to Atlantic City and honored to be the first fight in this beautiful new venue. Atlantic City, and the Etess Arena in particular, were home to so many amazing fights with Evander Holyfield, Michael Moorer, and the late, great Arturo Gatti, just to name a few. The Atlantic City fans have always come out to support Sergey and, fortuitously, this event will take place during the French-Canadian Construction Holiday when the Jersey Shore fills up with vacationers from Quebec. We're going to have a great crowd on August 4th!"