Bernard Hopkins will continue his quest to become boxing's oldest undisputed champion when he meets light-heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev in November.
The 49-year-old Hopkins, who unified the middleweight division in 2001, already holds the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association light-heavyweight titles. The fight's date is still to be announced. It will be televised on HBO and will be held in either Brooklyn, N.Y., or Atlantic City.
Kovalev, 31, defended his World Boxing Organization title on Saturday with a second-round technical knockout of Blake Caparello in Atlantic City. Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 knockouts) sat in the front row. The Russian-born Kovalev (25-0-1, 23 KOs) has recorded his last 13 wins by knockout.
"He says he is alien," Kovalev said. "He punch. I punch. Then we see who is going to go to Mars."
The winner of this bout will likely meet World Boxing Council champion Adonis Stevenson next year to complete the unification. Hopkins will turn 50 in January and is already the oldest fighter to hold a world title. Two more wins and he will be the oldest to be an undisputed champion.
"And Kovalev stands in the way of that goal," Hopkins said. "He's another young, hungry fighter. And just like the ones that came before him, he will leave the ring beltless."