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Sergey Kovalev vs. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy upgraded to title fight

Kovalev originally stopped Nathan Cleverly for the title in 2013

Sergey Kovalev v Vyacheslav Shabranskyy Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Sergey Kovalev’s rematch with Andre Ward marked the first time since 2013 that “Krusher” had entered the ring without the WBO light heavyweight belt around his waist. He’ll get a chance to rectify that on November 25th, as the sanctioning body voted to grant the title to the winner of his upcoming fight with Vyacheslav Shabranskyy.

Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KO) had a rather dramatic split with trainer John David Jackson following that June defeat and just recently revealed his new coach: unknown Uzbek Arbor Tursunpulatov.

Neither I, nor Google, have any idea who this guy is, but whatever floats his boat.

Shabranskyy (19-1, 16 KO) ought to be beatable no matter who’s in Sergey’s corner. While a capable, powerful fights, Shabranskyy wilted in the face of Sullivan Barrera, who turned down a fight with Kovalev (while it was still a non-title bout) under the assumption that, as the WBA #2, he’d get to fight Dmitry Bivol for the vacant title.

He didn’t, because boxing is not a meritocracy and anyone who still thinks it is is either an idiot or selling you something.

In any event, Barrera will be fighting Felix Valera on the card alongside a super featherweight eliminator between Jason Sosa and Robinson Castellanos, the winner of which could be next for Albert Machado.

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