Sergey Kovalev will get his contractually obligated rematch with Eleider Alvarez sometime in early 2019, but it won’t be on HBO.
The fight has been picked up by ESPN, with promoters partnering with Top Rank on the event. Kovalev’s contract with HBO is also now over.
“Bringing this marquee rematch to boxing fans on ESPN is a great way to start 2019. The light heavyweight division is loaded, and both Kovalev and Alvarez have fan-friendly styles that will make for another gripping fight.”
Alvarez (24-0, 12 KO) upset Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KO) on August 4 in Atlantic Ciy on HBO, stopping the Russian star in the seventh round, dropping him three times. The 35-year-old Kovalev didn’t take long to decide that he would take his rematch, but HBO wasn’t interested in paying a big price for it, and the fight wound up shopped elsewhere, landing with Top Rank and ESPN.
It should be a compelling fight again, as Kovalev was leading the fight on all three scorecards, and deservedly so, when he was knocked out. It’s a nice addition to the ESPN schedule.