For the second straight fight, Dmitry Bivol will defend his WBA light heavyweight title on the same card as Sergey Kovalev’s next title defense.
Bivol will fight Isaac Chilemba on August 4 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey and serve as the co-main event to the card headlined by Kovalev’s WBO light heavyweight title defense against Eleider Alvarez. Both fights will be televised on HBO television.
This will be the second consecutive HBO boxing card both light heavyweight champions fight on the same card as both Bivol and Kovalev appear set on a collision course for a unification fight. In their last time out, Kovalev defeated Igor Mikhalkin by seventh-round TKO to retain his WBO title while Bivol beat Sullivan Barrera in the 12th round to retain his WBA title. Both fights headlined the March 3 HBO card at Madison Square Garden in what was both men’s first defense of their respective titles at the New York venue.
Chilemba is a former light heavyweight title challenger, losing to Kovalev in 2016 with the IBF, WBO and WBA light heavyweight titles on the line. That loss was the second of three consecutive losses for Chilemba, who sports a 25-5-2 pro record. Chilemba did snap his losing streak last March when he defeated Blake Caparello to win the WBC International light heavyweight title.
The 27-year-old Bivol, undefeated in 13 pro fights, was a former interim champion until "super" champion Andre Ward and "regular" champion Badou Jack vacated their titles. Bivol was elevated to full world champion and has defeated Trent Broadhurst and Barrera in Bivol's two title defenses.