Promoter Kathy Duva has been in Russia, gamely counter-punching the local custom of getting toasted an neauseum by well wishers who down vodka shots like Kool Aid with next to no excuse, but out of politeness.
The Jersey based dealmkaer checked in with TSS, and told us that while she's been locking down the venue and sponsors and such for the next Sergey Kovalev fight, she's also keeping an eye on other Main Events business. Such as, one of her other 175s, Isaac Chilemba. He's involved in some sanctioning body interplay and Duva told me that Team Chilemba has opted to fight for the WBC's top slot, not the IBF's. He wants to take aim at WBC champ Adonis Stevenson, and that makes sense, she said, because then her guys would, if he downed Stevenson, hold all the light heavyweight hardware. First, though, he'd have to fight someone the WBC decides is the top option to clash for the No. 1 ranking. “Whoever it is, Isaac will be ready to fight him,” she told me. “He's been working awhile now with Buddy McGirt and his skills have improved dramatically. He's a beautiful boxer and he's not afraid of anyone!” Best case scenario, he wins a battle for the top slot, faces Adonis, she said, and gets a most handsome payday.
Duva has been getting frequent flyer points galore, hitting Sout Africa and then Dubai before Russia. She's been staying hydrated in Russia, and keeping her wits about her, and I had to ask, what with the news, after she told me she'd been on a safari last week. Gulp…she didn't shoot any lions, did she?
“I did shoot some lions…but only with my camera,” she quipped.
Seriously, she's still working on locking in partners for the next Kovalev date, the end of November. She's having more meetings, in Moscow, this week, to cement deals, and we will soon know specifics, on foe and TV platform and such, she reported. The trip has been ultra fruitful, she said; interest in his homeland has been perked for Kovalev, and his standing as a premier face of Russian success abroad has been upped mightily. As has her tolerance, I dare say, for clear liquid spirits…
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