By Steve Kim
It was announced earlier today that WBO light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev will now be facing Eleider Alvarez in his next title defense on HBO.
For a spell it looked like Kovalev would be paired with the undefeated Marcus Browne, a 2012 U.S. Olympian.
But as he ran into legal problems stemming from domestic violence against his girlfriend, Main Events was left looking for alternatives.
The head of Main Events, Kathy Duva, explained to BoxingScene.com on Wednesday afternoon - "When we learned - by reading it in the newspaper - that Marcus Browne had some legal issues and he had two incidents in recent months it was a cause for alarm. As you can see with the'Canelo (Saul Alvarez)-(Gennady) Golovkin situation we as promoters take great risks that aren't insurable and something like a fighter committing a crime and getting locked up or having this over their head because a guy has had a problem like this twice, who's to say it's not going to happen a third time?
"That kind of problem is not an insurable risk for me. So when things like that happen the innocent party, the fighter who didn't do anything wrong is deprived of a fight."
Duva ended up calling Yvon Michel, who had a legitimate contender who needed a fight.
"We started looking for plan B as soon as we knew there was a problem and I called Yvon (Michel) after trying a few different things and not having a lot of success. I think it was last Wednesday or Thursday and I just said; 'I've been reading about you've been having problems with Eleider Alvarez standing in the way of your (Adonis) Stevenson fight (against Badou Jack). You have a problem, I have a problem - maybe we can solve each other's problems?' I suggested that we make this fight," Duva said.
By Monday an agreement was reached and contract sent out on Tuesday and by Wednesday morning a signed deal had arrived on Duva's desk. Michel said that making this a reality was,"very easy, we had two phone conversations with Kathy and one meeting with Alvarez, his manager and trainer and it was done."
Originally, Kovalev was scheduled to face Browne on July 15th at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Duva explained - "I'm going to have to change the date because we're conflicting with (Manny) Pacquiao's date anyways. They've announced that fight so I'm going to have to presume it's going forward so I'm going to find another date. I don't know if it will be in New York City - I don't think so."
The hope is to have all those loose ends tied up and announced by next week.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com