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Hopkins vs Kovalev report: James Kirkland out of Gabriel Rosado fight

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According to ESPN's Dan Rafael, James Kirkland is out of the proposed fight with Gabriel Rosado, which was expected to be the co-main event on HBO's Hopkins-Kovalev card.

Scott Heavey

Fans of Gabriel Rosado who were concerned for his safety against the power-punching James Kirkland need not fear: ESPN's Dan Rafael reports that Kirkland was never actually committed to the prospective bout in the first place, and therefore the fight will no longer co-headling the Hopkins-Kovalev bout this fall.

Though it lacks the name value, the proposed replacement fight should actually make for a compelling contest. Luis Carlos Abregu is a rising welterweight prospect fresh off a knockout win over the previously undefeated Jean Carlos Prada. With that win Abregu staked himself out as yet another heavy-handed fighter-to-watch out of Argentina.

His would-be opponent, Sadam Ali, is undefeated himself at 20-0, and possesses fast feet and hands to match. His is a decidedly more amateur style, so it should make for an interesting style matchup, as well as a stiff test for Ali.