In a rare edition of HBO Boxing on a Monday, July 11th, Light Heavyweight top gun Sergey Kovalev (29-0-1) returns to action to face Isaac Chilemba (24-3-2). Kovalev will be defending his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles at 175 lbs and he is fighting in his home country of Russia for the first time in over five years. Kovalev is a prohibitive -10000 favorite with the books returning +4000 for Chilemba. There is no over/under psoted yet, but with 26 KOs to his name, it is mainly a matter of when for Kovalev, not if. Check back as we get closer to the fight to see if an over/under gets posted for this fight. Chilemba is a good fighter and a tough guy who is used to fighting on the road, but he is simply not on Kovalev’s level. In his 24 victories, Chilemba s just 10 wins via stoppage, so he does not figure to have the pop to take out Kovalev. Chilemba lost his last outing by majority decision, as he faced Eleider Alvarez on the undercard of Showtime’s James DeGale vs Lucien Bute back in November. He also went the disttance twice with England’s Tony Bellew, who has since gone on to capture a world title in th e Cruiserweight division. Kovalev is generally considered one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world, and rightfully so. He has long been seeking big money fights, but negitations with WBC Light Heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson have been on again and off again for what seems like years. When super middleweight stud Andre Ward signed with HBo, he announced a move up in weight and the showdown with Ward has been in the works ever since. To a certain extent, HBO deserves credit. With the looming Kovalev vs Ward fight coming in November, the cable giant has set up a preliminary fight for each fighter, as Ward is set to face Alexander Brand on HBO in early August. that fight is also expcted to have Ward as a major favorite at the sports books, Though for sure HBO is looking to get the benfits of two broadcasts on their free service as part of the build-up to the November fight, it is also notable that HBO let the build-up fights go on at all. The promotion has eight other fights on the card, including two fights with the regional WBC “Asian” belts on the line. DIVS – Ekaterinburg, Russia- HBO Light Heavyweight 12 rounds – Isaac Chilemba +4000 Sergey Kovalev -10000
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