Kovalev to defend belt vs Alvarez in new Atlantic City venue

NEW YORK (AP) 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.

Updated May 12, 2018