Top Rank's Bob Arum has stated that Sergey Kovalev and Anthony Yarde have agreed to terms to fight for the WBO light heavyweight title.
The long-time promoter spoke to Boxing Social and said both fighters are currently set to face off in Russia this summer as Yarde, the mandatory challenger for the title, and promoter Frank Warren agreed to terms on the fight. The video of Arum revealing the details can be seen in the video above.
"Right now, the plans are to have the fight in Russia. Frank Warren and Anthony Yarde have agreed to terms and we're getting an appropriate date in June or July for that fight. Everything is a go and an announcement will be made shortly. That is my understanding," Arum said.
Originally, there was a purse bid set for April 8, but it was delayed until April 15, often a sign that a deal is close to be finalized but there was no indication that was the case for this title fight. If the fight does ultimately go to a purse bid, Kovalev stands to make more money based on the location of the fight.
What isn't determined if the fight goes to a purse bid, however, is exactly how much of the winning bid Kovalev and Yarde would get and they won't know until the fight is officially announced. As it stands, Kovalev could get as much as 75 percent of the winning bid and Yarde receiving the remaining 25 percent if the fight takes place in Kovalev's country of origin, residence or nationality. If the fight takes place anywhere else, Kovalev gets 80 percent of the winning bid and Yarde gets the other 20 percent.
Kovalev won the WBO title last February when he defeated Eleider Alvarez by unanimous decision in the main event of a Top Rank Boxing card that was streamed on ESPN+. Kovalev is currently in his third world title reign as the WBO champion at 175 pounds.
Yarde won the WBO European and WBO Intercontinental light heavyweight titles in 2017, making multiple defenses of each title, and is coming off a fifth-round stoppage win over Travis Reeves on March 8.