The much anticipated fight between unified light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev and undefeated former super middleweight world champion Andre Ward, two of boxing's pound-for-pound elites, has a date and a site -- as long as both can get through interim bouts this summer.
The Kovalev-Ward fight, which was signed long ago but is contingent on each remaining undefeated through interim bouts, will take place Nov. 19 (HBO PPV) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The arena opened in April and hosted its first boxing event on May 7, when lineal middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez scored a spectacular knockout of Amir Khan in the sixth round.
Although neither side announced the site or venue, Main Events, which promotes Kovalev, and Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports, which promotes Ward, have made a formal request for the date and venue with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The request appears on the agenda for the next NSAC meeting, which was released Thursday and will take place Tuesday.
"We went back and forth with [Las] Vegas and New York for quite a while, as both venues were very enthused about hosting the event," Main Events CEO Kathy Duva told ESPN.com. "In the end, the T-Mobile option made the most sense to us for a number of reasons, including ease of access and affordability for the media."
Ward, 32, who has never fought in Las Vegas despite being one of boxing's pound-for-pound best for years, has also been vocal about wanting to fight there, and he will get to do that in the biggest fight of his career.
Of course, Ward (29-0, 15 KOs), who vacated his 168-pound title and moved up to 175 pounds, where he debuted with a one-sided decision win against then-undefeated contender Sullivan Barrera on March 26, will have to win a fight later this summer to make the Kovalev fight a reality. Ward will fight at the Oracle Arena in his hometown of Oakland, California, probably Aug. 6, although the specifics of the fight have not been announced yet.
Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs), a 33-year-old Russia native living in Los Angeles, also has business to take care of. He will defend his three 175-pound world title belts against top-10 contender Isaac Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KOs), 28, a native of Malawi who fights out of South Africa, on July 11 (HBO) in a homecoming fight at the DIVS Palace of Sports in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
In another item on the NSAC agenda for next week's meeting: Golden Boy Promotions made a formal request for Sept. 17, the weekend of Mexican Independence Day, at the MGM Grand for Alvarez's next fight.
Golden Boy vice president Eric Gomez told ESPN.com that talks are ongoing for a fight so many are enthusiastic about: Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) taking on unified middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs). Many believe, though, that the fight won't happen this fall and will be put off until next year. Regardless of the opponent, Gomez said Alvarez will fight Sept. 17.
While Golden Boy has requested the date and venue from the Nevada commission, Gomez said there is also a chance Alvarez's next fight could take place in either New York or Texas.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is interested in having Alvarez fight at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and has met with Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya and Gomez to discuss bringing an Alvarez fight to Jones' stadium, which has previously hosted two fights, Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey and Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito, both in 2010.