Speed, savvy and defense will come face-to-face with explosive power and force this November when Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins takes on Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev. The exact date and locaton are still to be determined, with Atlantic City and New York City both in the running.
Hopkins, just two months short of his 50th birthday, is seeking to add the WBO title to his collection of IBF and WBA belts. Kovalev, who burst on the scene just a year ago, has never lost a fight and has won 23 of his 25 victories by knockout.
“Everything I do at this point in my career affects my legacy,” Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) said. “I’ve set and broken many records, but becoming the oldest undisputed light heavyweight world champion is the goal and Kovalev stands in the way of that goal. He’s another young, hungry fighter and just like the ones that came before him, he will leave the ring beltless.”
“I respect Bernard Hopkins for taking this fight,” said the 31-year-old Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs). “When I came to America, it was dream to fight the best and now I am fighting, I have my chance. He says he is alien. He punch, I punch, then we see who is gonna go to Mars.”
In April, Hopkins defeated Beibut Shumenov to win the WBA Light Heavyweight World Championship, breaking his own record as the oldest fighter in history to win a world title, which he set in May of 2011 after defeating Jean Pascal at age 46. Kovalev comes off of the third defense of his WBO Light Heavyweight Title on HBO, defeating Blake Caparello by TKO on Saturday night. Hopkins vs. Kovalev is set to take place in the first half of November and will be held on the East Coast at a venue still to be determined.
“Golden Boy Promotions has been crystal clear that we will make the best fights for our fans no matter who else is promoting it, where it takes place or what network broadcasts it; this is Exhibit ‘A’ of our keeping that commitment,” said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “At 49 years of age, Bernard continues to electrify crowds with lightening quickness and impregnable defense; Sergey hits with thunderous force and is an early-round knockout threat every time he steps in the ring. With those two forces coming together, fans are in for a real treat.”
“Throughout boxing’s history, great champions have always been motivated by fighting the best,” said Main Events’ CEO, Kathy Duva. “Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya are both living legends who never back down from a challenge. Sergey Kovalev made it clear that all he wants to do is test his skills against the finest in the world. Main Events has always been able to deliver the biggest fights for its fighters and their fans. Since George Foreman defeated Joe Frazier in 1973, HBO has been synonymous with boxing at its highest level. It shouldn’t be any surprise that when you combine those elements, you get the most anticipated fight of the year.”
“Sports capture our imagination when elite athletes seek superlative challenges of the highest stakes, which is precisely the caliber of fight these two intrepid champions have given their fans by choosing to face-off against one another,” Peter Nelson, Vice President of Programming, HBO Sports said. “Hopkins vs. Kovalev is a destination event, and HBO is delighted to present this light heavyweight unification championship to our subscribers.”