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Notes: HBO to show Kovalev's Russian homecoming fight

Unified light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev's July 11 title defense against Isaac Chilemba in Russia will be televised in the United States on HBO. AP Photo

A few notes from around the boxing world:

• When Main Events put together unified light heavyweight world titleholder Sergey Kovalev's homecoming fight for July 11 at the DIVS Palace of Sports in Ekaterinburg, Russia, it was unclear if HBO, which has him under contract, was going to televise the bout. There are logistical issues and the fight is also on a Monday, the preferred day for the Russian broadcaster, as opposed to Saturday, HBO's usual boxing day. However, HBO told ESPN.com on Friday that it is on board and will carry Kovalev's defense against Isaac Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KOs). The network, which will have personnel in Manchester, England, to cover the July 9 heavyweight championship rematch between Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko, is still trying to figure out if it will air the fight live in the afternoon from Russia or on tape-delay a few hours later. If Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs) wins he is contracted to defend against former super middleweight champion Andre Ward (29-0, 15 KOs) in November. Ward may also have an interim bout in July but is not sure yet if he will.

• Junior welterweight Raymundo Beltran (29-7-1, 17 KOs), 34, a Phoenix-based Mexico native, will fight for the first time in a year against San Antonio's Ivan Najera (16-2, 8 KOs), 23, in an eight-rounder Saturday night in the main event of Top Rank's "Solo Boxeo Tecate" card (UniMas, 11 ET) at the Laredo Energy Arena. Beltran's layoff was because he tested positive for a banned substance after knocking out Takahiro Ao in the second round of what was supposed to be a vacant lightweight world title bout (for which Beltran missed weight as well).

"I am very excited for this Saturday. After a very long year I will again have an opportunity to do what I love and for this opportunity I am so grateful," Beltran said. "Life is full of ups and downs, successes, failures, victories, defeats and Lord knows mistakes. This past year has given me much time to reflect. I have reflected on my life and my career, my triumphs and my mistakes, for which I make no excuses. I want it to be known that I am completely dedicated and focused on becoming a world champion. I am ready to take anyone in this division.”

• The WBA, which says it is trying to reduce the number of belts in each division from three to one, has ordered junior bantamweight titleholder Kohei Kono (32-8-1, 13 KOs), of Japan, to face interim titlist Luis Concepcion (34-4, 24 KOs), of Panama, in a mandatory bout. They have 30 days to reach an agreement. If they don't, a purse bid will be ordered.