She had to wade through rivers of vodka to see all the folks she needed to see to help nail down most all aspects of the next Sergey Kovalev fight, but Kathy Duva did it, and is back in the States, working on finishing the remaining elements.
Such as, foe.
Who will be next to try and smash that O from the Russians' ledger?
We heard here that Cuban Yunieski Gonzalez would get the gig, slated more than tentatively for end of November in Russia, where Duva last month worked on perking knowledge and interest in what could and arguably should be a point of pride for Russians who may not be aware that this current California resident is one of theirs.
Gonzalez was last seen surprising to the upside mightily when he fought on the last Kovalev promotion, July 25th. Having fought less than A grade foes to this point, Gonzo stepped up two rungs and fought Jean Pascal. The judges said he lost after ten rounds, on the card that saw the 28-0-1 Krusher annihilated IBF No. 1 Nadjib Mohammedi (KO3), but many watchers disagreed. With vehemence. People saw the Cuban emotional after the loss, and he wept, on camera, with naked feelings surging through his body and mind after experiencing the trauma of what he perceived was a massive injustice.
I nodded my head and thought the choice of Gonzalez for Kovalev was a righteous one, being that Gonzo may well have beat Pascal, who himself had been stopped (TKO8) by the Russian when they faced off in March. The thinking was that Pascal would beat Gonzalez and set himself up for a Kovalev rematch, being that their first fight had been fan friendly and the Haymon Boxing League keeps many available 175ers out of the possibles pool to tangle with Kovalev.
Alas, it looks like it's not to be.
Gonzalez promoter Joe DeGuardia told me that indeed his kid had been offered the fight. But the money wasn't right, Joe D said. Duva told me she thought her matchmaker hadn't even mentioned a fee and the Gonzo people turned down the tangle, which will take place in Russia, which might in fact have some potential foes bumping up their asking price, being that they might think the scoring could reflect a hometown advantage for Kovalev.
So we wait, and hope maybe by next week we get clarity on Kovalev's next.
Meanwhile, DeGuardia said his Cuban will likely have a bout in November or December, and told me his American Long Islander, Joe Smith (age 25; 18-1 record), who headlines Friday on a club show in Huntington, Long Island, would be happy to travel to Russia and meet Krusher. Again, if the price is right.
If you didn't know it, this sport does more so revolve around that endeavor as much as anything. Keep that in mind, and use it as a filter more often than you might be inclined to when thinking about what fights do, or don't get made…