Saturday, March 3, 2018

Madison Square Garden / New York, NY

Sergey Kovalev

(32-2-1, 27 KOs) VS.

Igor Mikhalkin

(21-2-0, 9 KOs)

HBO Broadcast: 09:05pm ET | International Time: 02:05 GMT
Available HD

Eager to continue his hot streak, Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (31-2-1, 27 KOs) will defend his WBO Light Heavyweight World Title against challenger Igor Mikhalkin (21-1, 9 KOs) in a match set for March 3, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In November of 2017, the 34-year-old Russian Kovalev took on Vycheslav Shabranskyy, handily knocking him out in the second round, and reclaiming his championship belt. During that match, Shabranskyy hit the mat three times, and after receiving many powerful blows from Kovalev, a technical knockout was declared as Shabranskyy staggered to his corner. The victory was short and sweet, but significant, and now Kovalev aims to hold onto his hard-earned title.

Mikhalkin, a 32-year-old southpaw and fellow Russian, made his professional debut in 2007 with a second-round stoppage against Stefan Stanko. From there, he went on to win his first 11 bouts, with seven of those wins coming by way of knockout. The lone blemish on Mikhalin?s record is a unanimous decision loss to former WBO Light Heavyweight Title contender Aleksy Kuziemski in 2010. Mikhalkin is now ready to really put his strength to the test in his U.S. debut against the formidable Kovalev.

"I really enjoyed fighting at Madison Square Garden in November; it feels like my home," said Kovalev. "I'm very excited to go back to MSG. Everyone should to have a great time watching my fight!"

"This will undoubtedly be the biggest and hardest fight in my career," said Mikhalkin. "Kovalev is for me the strongest man in this weight class. But I feel ready."

In a co-main event, the young champion Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs) will defend his WBA Light Heavyweight belt against challenger Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KOs) who will be competing in his first world title fight.


Dmitry Bivol Tokmak, KG (21-0-0, 10 KOs)


Sullivan Barrera

, CU (20-1-0, 14 KOs)