By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Frank Warren walked away from his meeting with Kathy Duva over the weekend confident that Anthony Yarde’s mandated shot at Sergey Kovalev will be announced soon.
Yarde’s promoter told BoxingScene.com that he expects the Kovalev-Yarde fight to take place in September in Russia. Kovalev-Yarde tentatively had been scheduled for June 29 in Kovalev’s hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia.
The fight was never announced for that date, however, which caused the WBO to call an emergency purse bid for June 11 in New York. That purse bid was canceled because Duva – whose company, Main Events, promotes Kovalev – and Warren had agreed to meet in Las Vegas.
“It’s not our fault it didn’t happen,” Warren told BoxingScene.com. “So, we had a meeting over the weekend here, and hopefully we’ll be in a position next week to announce it. We signed for it once already.”
The Russian investors providing funding to bring Kovalev-Yarde to Kovalev’s home country have assured Duva that the fight will be staged sometime in September. Kovalev, 36, and Yarde, 27, had been training to fight June 29, but Yarde, the mandatory challenger for Kovalev’s title, will have to wait a little longer for his career-high purse and title shot.
“It says a lot about my guy that he’s willing to go there,” Warren said. “I mean, if it does happen, it’ll be in the other guy’s backyard. But a few things have got to happen before it’s announced. But we want it. We want it to happen.”
Kovalev regained his WBO 175-pound championship by out-boxing Colombia’s Eleider Alvarez in their 12-round rematch February 2 in Frisco, Texas. Alvarez (24-1, 12 KOs) knocked out Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) in the seventh round of their first fight, August 4 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, to take the title from him.
The hard-hitting Yarde (18-0, 17 KOs) is the WBO’s No. 1 challenger for Kovalev’s title, but Kovalev will represent a big step up in competition for him.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.