The Saturday, November 25 bout between Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev and Vyacheslav Shabranskyy is a 10-round light heavyweight match-up at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event is promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions and will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Tickets range from $50 to $350 and are available at ticketmaster.com and the Madison Square Garden Box Office.
Kathy Duva, CEO - Main Events: All right, everybody, welcome. We are here today to officially kick off the promotion for a fight that's going to take place at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, November 25. That's the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev is going to fight Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in a fight that is going to be a little departure for what Sergey's gone through lately. It's going to be a fight where both guys stand in the ring and throw punches at each other.
I think it's going to be entertaining and fun for all. We're thrilled to be bringing Sergey to the Mecca of Boxing for the very first time. It's something we've been wanting to do for a while and I want to thank Joel Fischer, Sal Federico and, of course, Larry [Torres] of Madison Square Garden, who is here with us today.
It is the number one destination for boxing in the country as far as I'm concerned and we're really looking forward to putting on a tremendous show. Sergey, of course, the former unified light heavyweight world champion, with a 30-2-1 record, with 26 knockouts; he's anxious to get back to his "krushing" ways. It's been over two years since he's fought on regular HBO in the United States. It is time to get back on track and based on what we've heard this morning, apparently, he's the man in the light heavyweight division again! Sergey said he was going to retire Ward; I guess he did.
He's going to be fighting Vyacheslav "Lion Heart" Shabranskyy, 19-1, with 16 knockouts and he is the current WBC USNBC Light Heavyweight Champion. This bout is scheduled to be a 10-round light heavyweight matchup and it will be in the Theater live on HBO Boxing After Dark® beginning at 10:00 PM, Eastern and Pacific.
At this moment, tickets have already gone on sale. Our presale was very good and you can still get them at ticketmaster.com and the MSG box office. They start at $50 and range up to $350 for ringside, so this is a very nicely priced event. I think it's going to be terrific. We're going to have lots of other fighters on the undercard, you'll hear more about them in the coming weeks, but we've got a lot of guys who will be from New York who are just starting out with Main Events, some others who've been with us for a while. Every fight, as a usual, Jolene puts together the best undercards in boxing, as far as I'm concerned, and I'm sure she won't let us down because she never does.
It is my pleasure to introduce my friend Ray Stallone, HBO Vice President of Media Relations.
Ray Stallone: Thank you. Not too many comments but I just want to obviously say thank you to our host here today, the Renaissance. This is a really, really nice venue. This is so bright, so airy, so classy, it is just lovely. The next time someone asks for recommendation where we should go in New York, this would certainly be considered.
The second thing is there's always a formula in boxing where you feel like something special could happen. I feel like we have something special perhaps on November 25th. You've got promotional firms like Main Events and Golden Boy. You've got Madison Square Garden as the venue, HBO Sports as the television company, those add up to a formula where we really could see something special on the night of November 25th.
The other element that makes that night interesting people say, "Gee, Thanksgiving weekend, people are busy." HBO has traditionally found that that Saturday night is a really solid sports entertainment evening for viewership. Maybe it's because people are traveling Wednesday and Thursday, maybe because by Friday they want to settle in on Saturday night and just stay home and watch live sporting events. It is actually a terrific sports viewing night. So, anyone who's thinking, "Oh gee, it's going to get buried on Thanksgiving weekend with family celebrations," there's a window for some real live sports entertainment and we think we're going to hit it.
The other thing I wanted to mention is, on behalf of Peter Nelson, Tony Walker and Jonathan Galst and the rest of the HBO family, we do have a tripleheader, this Saturday night on HBO at 10:00. Many of our people and executives are on the West Coast today, but as I mentioned to Sergey, they will certainly be back in New York and at the final press conference. All of our executives will be back and we want to welcome Slava to the HBO broadcast. He has been on HBO Latino, I believe, twice now. He's actually familiar to the HBO subscriber family, with the HBO Latino platform, but this will be his debut on HBO Boxing After Dark®.
Last comment I wanted to make: I was doing a little bit of research, if that's the right word, and I think everyone, especially fight fans and boxing media, love it when fighters fight frequently. This fight on November 25th will mark the 10th time that Sergey has fought since January of 2014. This will also be on November 25th, Shabranskyy"s 10th fight since January of 2015. So, that kind of frequency, I think is ideal for boxing fans to connect with these fighters. And obviously, from a television perspective, the more they're on TV, the more you can showcase them. We're pumped up for November 25th. We will see you then.