Kovalev To Face Agnew On March 29 In Atlantic City


By Keith Idec

Promoter Main Events announced Tuesday that Sergey Kovalev will defend his WBO light heavyweight title against Cedric Agnew on March 29 in Atlantic City.

The scheduled 12-round bout between the Russian knockout artist and Chicago’s Agnew will be broadcast by HBO from Boardwalk Hall. The 30-year-old Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) had hoped after tearing through Ukraine’s Ismayl Sillah (21-2, 17 KOs) on Nov. 30 in Quebec City, Canada, that he could land a unification fight against Adonis Stevenson (23-1, 20 KOs), the WBC light heavyweight champion.

Stevenson stopped England’s Tony Bellew (20-2-1, 12 KOs) in the seventh round of the HBO main event that followed Kovalev’s second-round knockout of Sillah on Nov. 30. Stevenson, 36, has since decided to defend his title against Chicago’s Andrzej Fonfara (25-2, 15 KOs, 1 NC) on May 24 at Bell Centre in Montreal.

Stevenson’s decision left Main Events executives to seek a less appealing opponent good enough for HBO Sports executives to approve.

The 27-year-old Agnew (26-0, 13 KOs) defeated former light heavyweight contender Yusaf Mack (31-7-2, 17 KOs) by unanimous decision to win the USBA 175-pound crown in his last fight, April 12 in New Buffalo, Mich.

Mostly, however, Agnew has a faced a moderate level of opposition since making his pro debut seven years ago and figures to be a huge underdog in what should amount to a showcase fight for the hard-hitting Kovalev. Agnew is ranked No. 15 by the WBO, but is rated No. 3 by the IBF.