HBO has decided that it will air the July 11 fight between Sergey Kovalev and Isaac Chilemba, though the network is not yet sure if it will have a live airing in the afternoon or tape delay the fight into the evening.
It's a tricky situation, as the fight is airing on a Monday from Russia, and HBO will be in Manchester, England, just two days before for the Tyson Fury-Wladimir Klitschko rematch. But Kovalev is also one of HBO's cornerstone stars right now, and promoting his expected November pay-per-view clash with Andre Ward is going to be highly important, so showcasing him one more time in the ring is probably a good idea.
Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KO) will be defending his IBF, WBA, and WBO light heavyweight titles against Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KO), a solid veteran contender, though not expected to be a significant challenge. It will be Kovalev's first fight in his home country since 2011, and just the third of his pro career.