According to a release from Kathy Duva, light heavyweight slugger Sergey Kovalev will make his in-ring return on August 2nd against Blake Caparello on a split-site broadcast. Brandon Rios will headline the other card in Las Vegas against Argentina’s Diego Chaves.
This will be the 2nd card Kovalev will get top billing on HBO. His opponent is 27 years old out of Australia. (It’s a good summer for Aussie’s. Geale fights for Golovkin’s title, Fletcher will get a shot at the interim WBA title, and now Caparello gets a shot at Kovalev.) Caparello is 19(6)-0-1 and will challenge for Kovalev’s WBO light heavyweight title. The fight is scheduled for the Revel Resort in Atlantic City.
After an 8 month layoff, former lightweight champion Brandon Rios will make his much anticipated return. Rios will taken on hard punching Argentine Diego Chaves at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Rios is coming off the 1st and 2nd loss of his professional career. He was thoroughly outboxed against Mike Alvarado in a highly entertaining fight and was shutout against Manny Pacquiao in Macao. Chaves, 23(19)-1, was last seen in America when he fought Keith Thurman. Chaves won a few early rounds and appeared to be on the way to scoring an upset over the welterweight prospect. Chaves’s game plan backfired as Thurman adjusted and punished Chaves to the body. (That fight was the infamous San Diego fight.)
Rios is in a must-win fight. While one could never question Rios’s heart and he’s a dangerous opponent for any fighter at any weight class, a loss could put him permanently out of contention for another title. Should Rios not care about titles, he has nothing to worry about. Rios is never in a boring fight and will continue to be a staple of HBO for as long as he can pass medical tests.
Chaves is a stiff test for Rios. Chaves can punch and he can box well. If Rios is unable to plod and get inside like he normally does, Chaves can coast to a victory. Alvarado and Pacquiao have laid out a formula for beating Rios. This fight has war written all over it. Put it in your calendar.
Caparello, on the other hand will have a harder task. Kovalev struggled a little against Cedric Agnew in his last fight, but that was the result of Agnew punching at the same time as Kovalev. Caparello will need to prove he’s got the chin to take some if he hopes to give some.
This promises to be a highly entertaining night of boxing. You can watch these fights live on HBO, August 2nd.