- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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The heavyweight title elimination fight between contenders Alexander Povetkin and Mike Perez, which will take place on Friday in Moscow, will stream live on WatchESPN and air on same-day tape delay on ESPN2.
ESPN said it completed a deal for the rights to the card with Perez promoter K2 Promotions, which holds American distribution rights, on Monday.
The WatchESPN stream, which also will include undercard bouts, will utilize commentary from England’s BoxNation broadcast. The ESPN2 replay -- which will lead into the Boxcino tournament championships on the series finale of Friday Night Fights -- may have FNF announcers Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas calling the bout.
The specific start times have not been set, nor have what other live bouts will be on, but it will include cruiserweight titleholder Grigory Drozd (39-1, 27 KOs) making a defense against late replacement Lukas Janik (28-2, 15 KOs).
The winner of Povetkin-Perez will become the mandatory challenger for the winner of the June 13 bout between world titleholder Deontay Wilder and Eric Molina.
Perez (21-1-1, 13 KOs), 29, a Cuban defector living in Ireland, lost a split decision in a title eliminator to Bryant Jennings in July and then won a tuneup fight on Feb. 5, knocking out journeyman Darnell “Ding-A-Ling Man” Wilson in the second round in his first fight under the guidance of trainer Robert Garcia.
Russia’s Povetkin (28-1, 20 KOs), a former titleholder, suffered his only loss in one-sided fashion to world champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2013. He has won both of his fights since, knockouts of Manuel Charr and Carlos Takam (who has a draw with Perez).