Former light heavyweight titlist Gabriel Campillo will face Sergey Kovalev in a dangerous crossroads bout on September 21, multiple sources have confirmed Boxingscene.com.
The bout will headline the next edition of the rapidly growing NBC Sports Fight Night series, which was recently given a two-year extension.
“Campillo has arguably beaten two world champions and the number one contender without receiving the decisions,” said Kathy Duva of Main Events. “A win for Campillo (against Kovalev) would put him right back into the title picture.”
One of the bouts referenced in the robbery claims by Duva was Campillo’s most recent ring appearance, landing on the wrong side of a highly questionable points loss to unbeaten Tavoris Cloud this past February on Showtime.
Campillo (21-4-1, 8KO) has a flare for not landing on the favorable side of the judges. In fact, his lone two stateside appearances ended in controversy. In addition to the aforementioned debacle, Campillo was also given the short end of the stick in a Jan. ’11 rematch with Beibut Shumenov in Las Vegas.
The scoring misfortunes are bi-continental for Campillo. Separate bouts with Karo Murat in his opponent’s adopted homeland of Germany produced a split decision loss and a draw in fights most felt Campillo won with plenty of room to spare.
In Kovalev (18-0, 16KO), Campillo faces his sixth undefeated fighter since becoming a prominent force in the light heavyweight division. His record in the previous five fights against unbeaten competition is 2-3, though the only clear loss among the lot was a 6th round knockout in Sept ’07 at the hands of Vyachaslev Uzelkov, who lost a decision to Shumenov last summer.
Kovalev is still more of a prospect than a contender, but made a lasting impression on Main Events and the NBC Sports staff with his most recent performance. A 2nd round knockout of Darnell Boone in their rematch took place on the undercard of the June 1 NBCSN telecast at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA, which will host the September 21 card as well.
“After he stopped Darnell Boone on NBCSN in June, Kovalev stated that he is ready to fight for the world title. On September 21st he will get the opportunity to prove to the world that he is worthy in a very tough fight,” notes Duva.
The televised co-main event features the type of hometown tale the Fight Night series has aimed to tell with each episode. Bethlehem’s own Ronald Cruz returns to the series and the venue, as he faces prospect-turned-gatekeeper Antwone Smith (21-4-1,12KO).
Cruz (17-0, 12KO) turned back the challenge of Prenice Brewer in his last ring appearance, scoring a wide decision win in the televised co-feature slot. The welterweight prospect fills the same capacity in this telecast, which – as was the case the last time Cruz appeared – airs in a special Friday night edition at 9PM ET.