Former two-time light heavyweight world titleholder Sergey Kovalev's long association with HBO is over, and he's coming to ESPN for his rematch with titleholder Eleider "Storm" Alvarez.
The sequel will headline a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card in early 2019 at a site to be determined, Top Rank announced on Friday after making a deal with Kovalev promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events.
After Duva received an offer from Top Rank to put the fight on ESPN, she was contractually obligated to bring that offer back to HBO, which had a matching right.
"Bringing this marquee rematch to boxing fans on ESPN is a great way to start 2019," Top Rank president Todd duBoef said.
Said Burke Magnus, ESPN's executive vice president of programming and scheduling: "This has been an exciting year for boxing on ESPN, and the Kovalev-Alvarez rematch is another example of the world-class caliber of events we look forward to continue to showcase on Top Rank on ESPN in 2019."