Kovalev to defend belt vs Alvarez in new Atlantic City venue

NEW YORK — Sergey Kovalev will defend his light heavyweight title against Eleider Alvarez on Aug. 4 in the first professional boxing match at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

The match was announced Saturday at a press conference in New York. The venue in Atlantic City, New Jersey, is set to open June 28.

Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KOs) has fought three times in Atlantic City, including a 2014 victory over Bernard Hopkins in which he unified three of the four 175-pound titles. The Russian has bounced back from his consecutive losses to Andre Ward to win two in a row, regaining the WBO's version of the title.

Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs) has been the No. 1 contender for the WBC belt, but hasn't gotten the opportunity to fight for that title so instead took the bout against Kovalev.

The fight will be televised on HBO.

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