Sergey Kovalev returns to HBO Boxing After Dark and Atlantic City on Aug. 2 to defend his WBO light heavyweight title against unbeaten prospect Blake Caparello at Revel Casino Hotel, the Russian beltholder's promoter Main Events announced on Saturday.
The 175-pound title bout will be part of a split-site HBO broadcast that also includes the return of Brandon Rios against Diego Chaves from the Cosmopolitan resort in Las Vegas.
Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 knockouts) will make the third defense of the WBO title won from Nathan Cleverly with a brutal four-round TKO in Cleverly's hometown of Cardiff, Wales on Aug. 17, 2013. It will be the 31-year-old Russian's fourth fight on HBO and his second in Atlantic City.
Caparello (19-0-1, 6 KOs), a 27-year-old southpaw from Australia, will be the third undefeated opponent Kovalev has faced since last August. Caparello is not a puncher, but he has more experience in later rounds than Kovalev, having gone the distance in 14 out of 20 fights and having fought past the Round 8 nine times in his career.
"I am happy to be back in the ring on Aug. 2 and thanks to HBO for offering us the date," Kovalev stated in the press release from Main Events. "(I'm) looking forward to (facing) an unbeaten fighter, I know he will be coming to fight and to take my title away, but it belongs to me and I won't let that happen. I already started my preparation for this bout and will be ready in good condition when time comes to step into ring."
Lou DiBella, of DiBella Entertainment, Caparello's promoter added, "Kovalev is one of boxing's hardest punchers, but Blake Caparello is one of the best pure boxers in the 175-pound division. This is a classic matchup between boxer and puncher and Blake has the skills to give Kovalev fits."
John David Jackson, Kovalev's trainer, says his fighter has to be ready to face whoever is bold enough to face him, hinting that most of the "name" fighters of the light heavyweight division are unwilling to do so.
"It is difficult to find an opponent to step in the ring with Sergey," Jackson said. "Hopefully this Australian kid can step up to the plate. We are here to put on a show for the public. We know he is going to be a tough opponent but Sergey is up to the challenge."