Three days after he called out Bernard Hopkins, Sergey Kovalev may have gotten his wish on Monday: The International Boxing Federation reportedly has ordered Hopkins to defend his light-heavyweight title against the Russian.
According to the report by Sports Illustrated, the fight negotiations must be completed by July 17 and neither boxer can take another fight.
Last week, Hopkins' July fight against Karo Murat was canceled because of Murat's inability to obtain a visa to enter the United States. The 48-year-old Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 knockouts) said his promotional team was working on something big for September.
Main Events, Kovalev's promoter, confirmed the report but declined further comment.