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Kovalev vs Agnew set for March 29, Team Kovalev calls Agnew 'best option'

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Sergey Kovalev will return on March 29 to defend his WBO light heavyweight title against Cedric Agnew on HBO.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Sergey Kovalev's next fight is set, and as expected, fringe contender Cedric Agnew will be his opponent on March 29, with HBO televising the fight. Team Kovalev realize that this isn't exactly the sort of marquee fight fans might have hoped for, but manager Egis Klimas said fighters weren't exactly knocking down their door:

"As for the opponent, I confess that we didn't have much of a choice. His selection was necessary to coordinate with HBO and of course with the WBO. So Cedric Agnew became the best option - he is young, promising and has a good record. These days it is not easy to pick opponents for Kovalev, so it was significant that Agnew accepted the challenge and agreed to fight."

Agnew (26-0, 13 KO) is a 27-year-old fighter from Chicago, whose biggest win came in his last fight, a decision in April 2013 over Yusaf Mack. He's also got victories over veterans Otis Griffin and Daniel Judah, among others.

Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KO) will be the overwhelming favorite, and most eyes will still be on a potential fight later this year with Adonis Stevenson, who holds the WBC and Ring Magazine championships. Stevenson will face Andrzej Fonfara on May 24 in Montreal.