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Like many boxing fans around the globe as soon as I heard the announcement that WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis Stevenson had signed a deal with boxing advisor extraordinaire Al Haymon the wheels started turning inside my head. Now I will be the first to admit that a few of those wheels are rusty and some are missing teeth but once those babies start turning there is no stopping them. Firing on all cylinders the only thing I could think about was how this will affect the proposed unification bout with the other Light Heavyweight title holder Sergey Kovalev. For the remainder of the day all I could think about was the possibility that the fight most boxing fans are drooling all over themselves for was somehow in jeopardy.
As I woke up the next day I knew I had to work to get some answers and I knew it was going to need to be just a tad bit more than re-posting a Tweet from a promoter or posting a 30 second video clip of Adonis carving an X into a piece of paper.
By the end of the day I had spoken to Kovalev’s promoter Main Events Kathy Duva , Al Haymon’s right hand man Sam Watson and a highly placed industry source who understands the ins and outs of this business. Also, in Montreal our ace reporter Daniel Cloutier was hard at work getting some answers from Stevenson’s promoter Yvon Michel.
First I put out a call to talk to Main Event promoter Kathy Duva. Her trusty PR Agent Ellen Haley was quick to get me on the phone with “Krushers” promoter.
My questions to Duva were about their concerns for their fighter Kovalev meeting Stevenson after hearing the news of Adonis signing with Haymon. “I have been exchanging emails and agreements back and forth with Yvon Michel and I have been assured through these emails and verbally that we have a deal to fight Stevenson this year.”
Like many I have wondered about the possibility of Stevenson jumping ship now and following the trend of fighters who have left HBO for rival network Showtime. Did Duva believe the fight was still headed for HBO’s World Championship Boxing? “HBO was the intention before yesterday. That is the direction it was headed, our deal has been clearly laid out.”
Looking at the calendar and the fights for the respective fighters already set to take place I asked Duva when she thought the Mega-Fight would go down. “I expect this fight to happen the last quarter of this year. But look, I have being saying this all along and I will say it again, the only thing Sergei has to do right now is focus on Cedric Agnew, That’s it. He just needs to focus on Agnew.”
According to Watson, who I spoke to next, everything is all peaches and cream, “Tell everyone that Al Haymon has signed Adonis Stevenson and we are going to work together with his promoter,(GYM’s Yvon Michel), and everything he has planned to go on this year is going to happen!”
That was obviously what was on my mind and I asked Watson to clarify that statement. Did that mean Stevenson would still be fighting Andrezej Fonfara from Montreal on HBO at the end of May and are plans to meet Kovalev later in the year still on? “Yes Yes,” said Watson, “everything they have planned to do they are still going to do but now they have Al Haymon to help them. We had Adonis come here to California to sign the paperwork and now Al and Yvon can take him as far as he wants to go. Tell everyone to get ready for him.”
While I was gathering my information our writer Daniel Cloutier was hard at work up north. You can read his interview with Yvon Michel that is also posted on our website today, but to give you a preview of that conversation Michel told Cloutier, “Adonis has clearly mentioned he wants to fight Sergey Kovalev and Bernard Hopkins in unification title bouts before the end of the year. Haymon and I will work together to see these fights materialize.”
Lastly, I got some quick thoughts from a highly placed source. I asked our source if he thought the Haymon/Stevenson pact would affect HBO. “Conventional wisdom suspects Haymon was brought on to help Stevenson make money before he has to take on Kovalev.” The source then asked, “How would that affect HBO?”
I said the fear is that while making Adonis more money could there be a possibility that Steveson will jump to Showtime which in and of itself could bring an end to the Kovalev fight? The source answered my question with a very telling question of his own, “The question then becomes whether Kovalev follows Stevenson or Andre Ward steps up and in?
That is a very credible and reliable thought I had not considered.
For all intents and purposes we can all breathe a sigh of relief as it appears Superman vs. Krusher is still a very real possibility.
If not a Kovalev vs. Ward bout has a very nice ring to it.
By William Trillo - www.pound4pound.com