Kovalev vs Shabranskyy: Sergey Kovalev returns to the ring in New York, live on Sky Sports

Sergey Kovalev of Russia corners Jean Pascal of Canada during the WBO, WBA, and IBF light heavyweight world championship match

Sergey Kovalev is back looking to rebuild his standing after the high-profile losses to Andre Ward, live on Sky Sports this weekend...

Tale of the Tape - Sergey Kovalev v Vyacheslav Shabranskyy
Image: Tale of the Tape - Sergey Kovalev v Vyacheslav Shabranskyy

On Kovalev...

'Krusher' is back in action looking to not only return to winning ways, but rebuild his position at the top of the light-heavyweight division. Andre Ward took it all away but with the American now retired, the Russian can pick up a world title and fire out a reminder to his new-found rivals. And after splitting from long-standing trainer, John Davies Jackson, he has a new man in his corner for this one, Abror Tursunpulatov.

For me every fight is important but right now this is the situation where I lost the belts, but thank God I am fighting for them again
Sergey Kovalev

Live Fight Night International

On Shabranskyy...

The Ukrainian is now based in the States so will be on home soil but knows he needs a solid base to spring a major surprise and beat Kovalev. He has lost once to another 175lbs star in Sullivan Barrera, but has been sparring with another, Dmitry Bivol, and super-middleweight world champion David Benavidez.

This is a very big event. Fighting for a world title - it's all or nothing.
Vyacheslav Shabranskyy

On the line...

Sergey Kovalev with the WBO, WBA and IBF belts
Image: Sergey Kovalev with the WBO, WBA and IBF belts

The WBO world title was one of the three Ward won off Kovalev before freeing them up with his surprise September retirement. It will take Kovalev back to the very beginning of his rise, when he took it away from Nathan Cleverly in four ferocious rounds, back in 2013. Ward's recent retirement left the IBF and WBA Super along WBO belts free, with Artur Beterbiev (IBF) the first to fill one of the vacant voids, earlier this month.

Talking point...

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Watch highlights of the rematch between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev

'Krusher' has already got his sights on unifying the division, with the vacant WBO his platform. Will compatriots Bivol and Beterbiev take him on and what chance will Adonis Stevenson, who holds the WBC but has yet to dip his toe in the unification water, have? Krusher is on a mission but will he be the same after those two defeats?

Sergey Kovalev with the WBO, WBA and IBF belts
Image: Sergey Kovalev with the WBO, WBA and IBF belts

Who else is on the bill?

Sullivan Barrera celebrates his win against Joe Smith Jr. during the WBC Intercontinental Light Heavyweight Title
Image: Barrera is the night's other light-heavyweight star on show

Sullivan Barrera is another light-heavyweight who has suffered at the hands of Ward, but is yet to fight for a world title. He was the first to meet 'S.O.G' at light-heavyweight and took him the distance. Barrera then saw off Saturday's challenger Shabranskyy in a humdinger that saw them both go down in seven sensational rounds. The Cuban now takes on another light-heavyweight prospect Felix Valera, who carries an 81 per cent KO rate with him.

Jason Sosa (R) exchanges punches with Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine during their WBO Super Featherweight World Championship bout on April 8, 2017
Image: Will Sosa fancy another crack at Lomachenko?

Down the weight ladder, super-featherweight star Jason Sosa faces one of Cuban's best-known fighters, two-weight world champion, Yuriorkis Gamboa. There is no world title on the line but even so, these two are always in entertaining fights. A win for Sosa could set up another world title shot, and even a rematch with Vasyl Lomachenko down the line, while a win for Gamboa could see him return to the super-featherweight top tier.

Also See:

Where is it?

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES:  This 13 February, 2002 photo shows a view of the Seventh Avenue entrance to Madison Square Garden in New York.  AFP PHOTO/Stan HO
Image: Madison Square Garden hosts only its second big fight night this year

The iconic Madison Square Garden has the chance to re-establish itself as New York's premier boxing venue. It has not hosted a major fight since the St Patrick's Day showcase that saw Michael Conlan make his debut, eight months ago, while Brooklyn's Barclays Center has held plenty of high-profile fights throughout the year. There is the small matter of Vasyl Lomachenko-Guillermo Rigondeux at MSG next month, but first Kovalev makes his Midtown Manhattan debut.

What time and channel?

Our latest Live Fight Night International starts at 3am on Sky Sports Action, with Kovalev's comeback the last of three live fights we are showing, his ringwalk is expected to be no earlier than 4.30am.

Watch Sergey Kovalev vs Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, from Madison Square Garden, New York, in the early hours of Sunday, November 26, live on Sky Sports.

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