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Hopkins vs. Kovalev happens Saturday Night on HBO

HBO Sports presents the fall’s most-anticipated boxing event when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: BERNARD HOPKINS VS. SERGEY KOVALEV AND SADAM ALI VS. LUIS CARLOS ABREGU is seen SATURDAY, NOV. 8 at 10:45 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, exclusively on HBO. The HBO Sports team will be ringside for the event, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

Other HBO playdates: Nov. 9 (8:45 a.m.) and 10 (12:30 a.m.)

HBO2 playdate: Nov. 11 (10:30 p.m.)

The most accomplished light heavyweights in boxing take the spotlight when Bernard Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) meets Sergey Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) in a red-hot title unification fight scheduled for 12 rounds. The bout marks Hopkins’ 22nd appearance on HBO and Kovalev’s fifth appearance on the network in a 15-month span.

Philadelphia native Hopkins, who continues to defy the odds and the critics, enters the ring two months shy of his 50th birthday as the oldest champion in history. Widely considered one of the greatest middleweights ever, with victories over Oscar de la Hoya, Roy Jones, Jr., Antonio Tarver and Felix Trinidad, he unified middleweight titles when he defeated Beibut Shumenov by split decision in April. As the more traditional boxer, Hopkins will seek to use ring generalship and veteran savvy to again unify titles.

Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, 31, is one of the most feared light heavyweights today. During his five years as a pro, only one opponent has lasted more than seven rounds against the heavy-handed Russian, who currently owns a nine-fight knockout streak. He will look to extend that run in Atlantic City, which has hosted his last two title defenses.

In the opening bout, Brooklyn’s Sadam Ali (20-0, 12 KOs) squares off against Argentina’s Luis Carlos Abregu (36-1, 29 KOs) in a ten-round welterweight fight. The undefeated Ali, 26, is a rising prospect making his third ring appearance of 2014. Abregu, 30, knocked out the undefeated Thomas Dulorme in his last appearance on HBO in 2012. He holds an impressive seven-fight winning streak since his only loss, against former welterweight champion Timothy Bradley. The winner will likely enter the discussion of world title contenders in this competitive division.

The special “24/7 Hopkins/Kovalev” replays Saturday at 11:00 a.m. (ET/PT) on HBO.

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All HBO boxing events are presented in HDTV. HBO viewers must have access to the HBO HDTV channel to watch HBO programming in high definition.

The executive producer of WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® is Rick Bernstein; producer, Dave Harmon; director, Johnathan Evans.

® WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is a registered service mark of Home Box Office, Inc.

Hopkins, Kovalev Officials

World Boxing Organization (WBO), by president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel, announced today the officials who will work this Saturday, November 8, in the fourth title defense of the light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, from Russia, against Bernard Hopkins, from United States, to be held at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States, in a Main Events presentation.

For this fight, when Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) will defend his WBO 175 pounds belt in an unification bout versus the WBA and IBF champion Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs), the referee will be David Fields, from New Jersey.

Meanwhile, the judges for the Kovalev-Hopkins will be Carlos Ortiz Jr., from New York, Clark Sammartino, from Rhode Island, and Lawrence Layton, from New Jersey.

The WBO supervisor for this fight will be the President Paco Valcarcel.

Kovalev, selected the WBO Boxing of the Year, won his title on August 17, 2013, with a fourth round TKO win over Nathan Cleverly, and got victories over Ismayl Sillah (KO2), Cedric Agnew (KO7) and Blake Caparello (TKO2) on his tree defenses.

This fight will be broadcasted on HBO at 10:45 p.m. (ET).

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