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Kovalev Vs. Yarde Aug. 24 in Russia Is Near Set, Canelo Moving In Another Direction From 175

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Sergey Kovalev had been rumored to be in the mix to be next for Canelo Alvarez, and he’s more than open to welcome the Mexican mega-super star to the 175 class.

The Russian light heavyweight, who looked resurgent in bettering Eleider Alvarez in a rematch, working for the first time with Hall of Famer Buddy McGirt, is a better bet to instead fith Anthony Yarde next.

Main Events’ boss Kathy Duva said on the Everlast Talkbox show said that there’s a real good possibility that on Aug. 24, in Cheylabinsk, Russia, the 36 year old hitter will defend his WBO strap.

“My feeling is that is gonna go forward,” she said, talking about the Russian vs the Brit bout. “There’s been all this talk about Canelo. We’ve been hearing for two months now, just about, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna make you an offer, we’re gonna make Sergey an offer, Canelo wants to fight Sergey…and yet no offer is forthcoming, it hasn’t come yet. I’m reading all these stories that that fight’s done….We are at a point where the window’s gonna close on the Yarde opportunity if we don’t make a decision in the next 24 hours….I just don’t understand how anybody expects the Canelo fight to come together that quickly. Sergey loves the idea of it, and if somebody had made an offer, then we can evaluate that offer, and decide if it’s a valid one or not. But for some reason, we just don’t get an offer, we keep getting promises. That’s where we stand, Sergey would love, but we’re certainly not gonna forgo the opportunity to make his defense, his mandatory defense, and leave ourselves with no other options. That will be decided in the next 24 hours.” The door will be left open to fight Canelo after that, then, she said.

Less than two hours after that hit on the pod, word dropped, on Boxing Scene, that, indeed, an offer had been made.

“Multiple sources have informed BoxingScene.com that Golden Boy Promotions provided an offer to Kovalev’s promoter, Main Events, on Tuesday that Kovalev and his handlers have deemed unacceptable. The exact figure is not known, but BoxingScene.com has confirmed that it’s less than half of the low-eight figure guarantee Alvarez’s previous opponent, Daniel Jacobs, made for their middleweight title unification match May 4 in Las Vegas.”

Dan Rafael reported that Jacobs was guaranteed $10 million to fight Canelo, so do the math.

Right now, Golden Boy isn’t seeming to want to respond to this report, or offer their team’s thinking on such an offer. I messaged a GBP exec and will insert a response if one arrives.

So, it’s looking like we should get ready to study up on Yarde, and ready ourselves to watch Kovalev’s defense on an ESPN platform. (He fought his last tango, against Alvarez, on ESPN, in a co-promoter situation with Msin Events and Top Rank.) Duva today said it would be determined by the decision makers at Top Rank and ESPN if plus or ESPN proper would show the Russia outing. (For the record, Russia is nine hours ahead of ET time, so, again, do that math on when a show might occur there, and screen here.)

Regarding a Canelo v. Kovalev match, there is an appetite for it, as far as I can tell, in all corners. No, I’m not privvy to the thinking on that purse offer to Kovalev, as Keith Idec reported. One might surmise that Daniel Jacobs’ status as a Matchroom boxer could a purse-expander. Eddie Hearn had stated and it’s been proven that deals get made more easily, usually, when someone is a “DAZN” fighter, rather than coming in as an outsider.

I like the Canelo vs. Kovalev match, from an intrigue standpoint, because I’m of the mindset that Kovalev is in no way easy work for the younger gunner. Weight classes, y’all. (Oh yeah, Duva talked about the possibility of a catch-weight on the podcast hit, too.) And, there are not THAT many such intriguing matches to be made for the red-head. So, in the fantasy world in which I disburse purses, do I see the widsom of offering Kovalev comparable money to what Jacobs got? I do–though no, I don’t know if Kovalev would be available for and/or open to signing to a Matchroom multi-fight deal. And, as Idec noted in his BS column, a purse would be sliced by set-aside payout to Team Yarde, and also Arum, from the co-promotional option deal off of that Alvarez on ESPN rematch tango.

Expect some more twists and turns regarding Canelo and his next. Flavor of the day possible foe is Jaime Munguia…

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About Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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