Light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson could be getting ready to fight titleholder Sergey Kovalev next month. That was the fight we all wanted to see as the year began.
But when Stevenson bailed on the bout and went from HBO to Showtime, he did it -- so he says -- to facilitate a fall fight with unified titleholder Bernard Hopkins, who was fighting on Showtime at the time.
While most would have preferred Stevenson-Kovalev, it was at least understandable why Stevenson would prefer a Hopkins fight. Hopkins is not a puncher like Kovalev, he has a much bigger name than Kovalev, and Stevenson likely would have made the same or more money against Hopkins.
But then Stevenson, who struggled severely to hang on to his title against unheralded Andrzej Fonfara in May in what was supposed to be a tuneup for whichever big fall fight he was going to have, also blew off the fight with Hopkins.
So what happened? Hopkins and Kovalev, having both been snubbed by Stevenson, got together and made a fight for Nov. 8 as Hopkins makes his return to HBO. It’s one of the biggest fights of the year.
And what of Stevenson? Not only did he skip out on fights with Hopkins and Kovalev, but he also turned down a fight with fellow Montreal star Jean Pascal, the former champion, leaving Stevenson with nothing this fall. Sure, he might fight again before the end of the year, but the three most significant and interesting matchups are all off the table.
With no fight set and all the momentum from his huge 2013 down the toilet, Stevenson apparently has a lot of time on his hands. So he took to his Facebook page and announced, “I will be ringside on November 8 for the fight of Bernard Hopkins vs. Sergey Kovalev. I will fight the winner for the unification.”
Ummmm, yeah. OK.
Didn’t he already have the chance to fight both of them in a unification fight?
If he really intends to fight the winner -- and I’ll believe it when I see it -- why didn’t Stevenson sign the deal that had been agreed to for the Kovalev fight? You know, the one that led to Stevenson, Al Haymon (Stevenson’s adviser), Showtime and others getting sued by Kovalev promoter Main Events? That lawsuit was dropped when Hopkins-Kovalev was made.
If Stevenson really wanted to fight Hopkins, why not finalize the fight when it was sitting in his lap? There was plenty of time to get it done. It was the entire reason, supposedly, that Haymon steered Stevenson to Showtime in the first place and blew off the Kovalev deal.
Stevenson has been awfully good at talking this year but not very good at fighting. I hope he enjoys Hopkins-Kovalev. His ringside seat will probably the closest he will get to either of them for the foreseeable future.