The highly-anticipated potential fight between light heavyweight division champion Adonis Stevenson and the presumptive best fighter in the division, Sergey Kovalev, has hit a surprising snag and stumbling block. After the WBC had ordered a purse bid for the fight, largely at the behest of Team Kovalev, it was Main Events, Kovalev’s promoter, who has now backed away from that process.
Main Events head honcho Kathy Duva cited that Kovalev was exclusively tied to HBO. Meanwhile, in a purse bid scenario, she believed it was likely that the Stevenson side, backed by Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions, would be able to outbid anything realistic for the event.
That would have landed the Stevenson vs. Kovalev fight either on Showtime or a PBC network, and that would be a no go. Why this is only coming up or being considered now is a good question, because surely Duva and Main Events had all of the same information prior to this stage, and as mentioned, they pursued the purse bid to begin with.
For well over a year, the story has been that Kovalev wants Stevenson at all costs. But Stevenson was hesitant, at best, in his desire to take on Krusher. Now that script has been flipped, at least a bit.
Another issue is Kovalev’s upcoming mandatory title defense. He’s supposed to face Nadjib Mohammedi, who has already stepped aside. But that fight would likely pose little threat, and if Mohammedi wouldn’t take money to step aside once again, Kovalev could just drop that title to secure the Stevenson fight.
The good news is that this doesn’t necessarily kill the fight. The two sides can still come to their own terms, beyond the WBC’s purse bid process.
However, Team Stevenson has become peeved at the way this has all played out, and may or may not be willing negotiating partners at this point. We’ll keep you posted as we hear any further developments on the potential Stevenson vs. Kovalev fight.