Kovalev-Shabranskyy Upgraded To Title Fight
The WBO announced through its Twitter account Thursday that its championship and ratings committee has voted to sanction the upcoming Sergey Kovalev-Vyacheslav Shabranskyy November 25th fight for their vacant light heavyweight title.
Kovalev, 34, was the WBO 175-pound championship for three years, until Andre Ward defeated Kovalev by unanimous decision in November 2016 in Las Vegas. Following the first fight that many claimed was via a controversial decision, Ward stopped Kovalev in the eighth round of their rematch on June 17th, 2017.
The WBO championship became vacant after pound-for-pound king, Andre Ward announced his retirement September 21st. Ward, 33, also relinquished the IBF and WBA 175-pound championships when the Hayward, California, native ended his 12-year pro career.
Kovalev is currently ranked No. 2 among the WBO’s light heavyweight contenders, with Shabranskyy rated at No. 10.
HBO will televise the Kovalev-Shabranskyy bout as the main event of a “World Championship Boxing” triple header November 25th at the Theater At Madison Square Garden.