Kovalev (19-0-1, 17 KOs) is after his fourth straight knockout victory and the seventh in his past eight fights against Campillo (21-4-1, 7 KOs), who will have been out of the ring for more than a year since his last appearance, a controversial split-decision loss to IBF beltholder Tavoris Cloud on Feb. 18 of last year.
For the undercard, heavyweight Jarrell Miller (4-0, 4 KOs), a 6-foot-4 prospect from Brooklyn, N.Y., came in at 286 compared to 242 3/4 for opponent Joey Dawejko (7-1-1, 3 KOs), of Philadelphia.
Miller and Dawejko are part of a series entitled “Future Stars,” which will also include Joseph Perez (10-1, 3 KOs), of Hartford, Conn, opposite Jason Sosa (7-1-3, 3 KOs), of Camden, N.J., in a junior lightweight bout, and Marcus Upshaw (14-8-2, 6 KOs), of Jacksonville, Fla., opposite Vladine Biosse (14-1-1, 7 KOs), of Providence, R.I., in a super middleweight clash.
Perez and Sosa were at 130.25 and 130.75, respectively, and Upshaw, 164 to Biosse’s 167.
CHRIS ARREOLA-BERMANE STIVERNE WILL HAPPEN IN COSTA MESA, CALIF.
The WBC elimination bout between heavyweight contenders Chris Arreola (35-2, 30 KOs), of Riverside, Calif., and Haitian-born Bermane Stiverne (22-1-1, 20 KOs), of Las Vegas, will take place on March 9 at The Hangar of the Orange County Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif.
The winner of Arreola-Stiverne would be in line to challenge 41-year-old WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko (45-2, 41 knockouts), who scored his 13th straight win and his 10th stoppage victory during that run against Manuel Charr (21-1, 11 KOs) in September.
The 6-foot-4 Arreola will be after his eighth straight win and his sixth knockout during that span against Stiverne.
Arreola, 31, has not been in the ring since February of last year, when he came up with a first-round knockout over Eric Molina (19-2, 14 KOs). Arreola suffered his two losses against Klitschko by 10th-round knockout in September 2009, and by majority decision to Tomasz Adamek in April of 2010.
Stiverne, 34, is 10-0-1, with eight knockouts in his past 11 fights, including five first-round stoppages during that time. Stiverne’s lone defeat was by fourth-round knockout against Demetrice King in July of 2007.
Promoted by Don King, who handles Cloud, and Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Hopkins, the fight was approved by the IBF providing that the winner of Hopkins-Cloud agrees to make his first defense against IBF mandatory challenger Karo Murat, of Germany, who is 3-0-1, with two knockouts since being stopped in the 10th round in September of 2010 by current WBO beltholder Nathan Cleverly (25-0, 12 KOs).
With a victory over Cloud, Hopkins would extend his own record as the oldest man to win a significant crown, a feat the Philadelphia native accomplished at the age of 46 with a unanimous decision over Jean Pascal for the WBC’s light heavyweight belt in May of last year.
Hopkins was last in the ring in April, when he lost a majority decision to RING and WBC champion Chad Dawson.
Cloud, who is 30, is looking to make the fifth defense of his belt and is coming off a controversial split-decision victory over Campillo.
JON RIEL CASIMERO MEETS LUIS ALBERTO ON MARCH 16
IBF Junior Flyweight Champion Jon Riel Casimero (17-2, 10 KOs), of Cebu, Philippines, will make the second defense of his belt against hometown hero Luis Alberto “Pan Blanco” Rios (18-1-1, 13 KOs), of Panama, on March 16 from the Megapolis Convention Center and Hard Rock Hotel of Panama Avenida Balboa in Panama City.
The clash of 22-year-olds is being promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing and co-promoter Carlos Gonzalez of Best Boxing.
In the co-main event, former two-time titleholder Roberto “La Arana” Vasquez (32-5-1, 22 KOs), of Panama, will face John Mark “Iceman” Apolinario (17-2-2, 4 KOs), of the Philippines, in a rematch of their majority draw in November in Colon Entre Rios, Argentina.
“I am very proud to be bringing this unforgettable night of boxing to the Panamanian people. This show will feature two sensational match-ups for world title belts,” said Lewkowicz.
“The Megapolis Convention Center in Panama City is a beautiful place for a fight, and my partner, Carlos Gonzalez, and I are honored to be able to present it.”
KIMBO SLICE TO APPEAR ON DANIEL GEALE-ANTHONY MUNDINE CARD
Former MMA fighter Kimbo Slice (6-0, 5 KOs) will face heavyweight Shane Tilyard (6-6, 6 KOs) on the undercard of a Jan. 30 main-event rematch between Australian IBF and WBA middleweight titleholder Daniel Geale (28-1, 15 KOs) and countryman Anthony Mundine (44-4, 26 KOs), whose split-decision victory in May of 2009 is Geale’s only loss.
The event is being handled by Gary Shaw Productions in association with Grange Old School Boxing and Black Venom Promotions.
“Tilyard thinks he’s been in the ring with tough guys, but he’s never been in there with a monster like me,” said Slice, whose real name is Kevin Ferguson. “He better be ready because I’m coming to knock his head off and show the fans of Australia who the real KO King is.”
Ferguson is 38, and Tilyard, 27.
“I’ve been training the house down since I heard about this competition and I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to show Kimbo a thing or two about fighters in Australia,” said Tilyard.
“Kimbo has a big reputation, but he has never fought anyone in a backyard, Octagon or boxing ring that has my power. I’ve seen his clips on YouTube and I can tell you there will be another one very soon of me putting Kimbo on his backside once and for all.”
Photo courtesy of Main Events
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org