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Showtime's Espinoza: Adonis Has Agreed To Fight Kovalev

BY Michael Woods ON March 30, 2014
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Adonis stevenson 0fccbAccording to Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza, the recently signed light heavyweight standout Adonis Stevenson, the Montreal resident who holds the WBC's 175 pound belt, has no problem taking a fight with Sergio Kovalev.

Espinoza told on Saturday night me that Stevenson, who jumped ship from HBO to Showtime, after latching on with uber advisor Al Haymon, agreed to meet the Russian boxer who holds the WBO strap.

I asked Espinoza if the best-case gameplan for Stevenson would look like this: a May 24 fight against Chicago-based Pole Andrzej Fonfara on May 24, on Showtime, followed by a clash against Bernard Hopkins, and assuming he wins that--a large assumption, by the way, as I'd choose Hopkins to mete out some schooling to Adonis, for the record--a faceoff against Kovalev.

"Why not?" Espinoza rhetorically replied. "If Kovalev's available...Except for some reason (Kovalev's promoter) Kathy Duva seems interested only in HBO and not in maximizing revenues."

I asked for clarity then. Did Adonis sign something? Or make a verbal agreement to that three fight plan?

"Agreed to," Espinoza replied. "Assuming Kovalev is available. He's not available now."

That's fair to say. But HBO, and by and large, many folks in the business, aren't keen to parcel out such info as how long deals are for. No need to let foes get that intel, after all. I can only go by the lines I was reading between, and that's no exact science, that it FELT to me like HBO signed Kovalev to a longer term deal than, say, an Agnew plus one deal.

If they did, and it was for, say, five fights, that brings us to late 2015, and the Kovalev-Adonis pairing becomes less interesting to talk about, because we all know so much could occur in so many months. Still some "ifs" and some blanks to be filled in on this situation, I'm afraid...

If the HBO Kovalev deal is for five or so fights, then I'm guessing the Kovalev Crew, the hardcore Twitter rooters who spew insults at Adonis for past misdeeds, will not stop accusing the Haitian-born hitter of being a ducker. They'll note that it's easy to agree in principle to fight a guy who is contractually bound to the opposition and they'll continue to make quacking sounds.

If the Kovalev deal is only for one more fight beyond the one that Kovalev took part in tonight, then this Showtime three fight plan becomes more meaningful, because it 1) means Adonis can legit blow off the ducking accusations and 2) Mr. Kovalev can possibly look forward to a juicy bidding war for his services if he wishes to go that route.

All in all, this leaves me wishing for peace, love and enough understandin' to get all the people in the game liking each other just enough to get some deals made so we don't miss out on the best fighting the best scenarios. Boxing, ideally, needs to function in the same way all the other big leagues do...as one league. The networks and promoters can still freelance, of course, that's part of the beauty of the sport, no commissioner drawing up a fight schedule a year in advance. But right now, it's like we have NFL A and NFL B leagues not intermingling. And the longer this impasse lasts, the more frustration is going to pile up, and the more opportunities are going to be lost. C'mon people, smile on your brother...

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Comment on this article

brownsugar says:

great article... although the actual reality of the fight is still purely pie in the sky for now... but nay sayers should keep up the squawking... Superman's ego is his greatest strength and his greatest downfall.
The meter is ticking, I hope Adonis and company decide to reap the huge benefits by not letting this confrontation percolate too long.

I don't want to see this fight if they're both wearing neck braces and knee supports... sipping Geritol between rounds in the corner.

The Commish says:

Yes, gr8 article. But that's why Woodsy has long been one of my faves!

-Randy G.

Skibbz says:

Kovalev's on a short multi fight deal with HBO, and they could have asked Stevenson if he was up for swinging with Kovalev and he could have just said yeah I am.. I'm not privy to the details - all I'm interested in is seeing big fights between two world class fighters happen.

We can chat about these bouts forever as long as they're in our imagination.. Someone in the position to make it happen needs to force the strings for the benefit of everyone involved, fighters and fans alike.

Domenic says:

Might as well queue up the computer that pitted Ali v Marciano, because this one is a goner. There will be no getting together here.

Kovalev's a wrecking ball. Definitely worth the price of admission. Ward - Kovalev would be spectacular, provided Andre's interested in moving up.

Boxing functioning as all the other 'big leagues' and as one league is sadly a utopian concept. The goal is to pad a guy's record ala Malik Scott and match him against no-hopers as long as you can get away with it. I love fights like Pavlik -Miranda. Remember that? Both guys were highly regarded, didn't need each other, but they fought, with the winner getting then champ Taylor. Of course the 80's were chock-full of round robins between the greats and the very good.

HBO and Showtime and the promoters need a Potsdam Conference to lighten the tension and recognize that they're all selling the same product. They can all coexist and make a ton of money if they work together. While they're at it, they should address the putrid undercards that have now long been a boxing staple, and arrange for fewer PPV's, not more.

DaveB says:

Wow, a commissioner drawing up a fight schedule a year in advance. I can only dream.

deepwater2 says:

Espinoza sure sounds believable. Yeah right. When he says AS agreed to it it reminds me of bj bill Clinton saying " I did not have sex. With that woman ." sure bj bill , sticking a cigar in the girl and smoking it throughout the day sure isn't anything to worry about. Hbo built up the match , people already agreed to the fight and stevensons camp renaged on the deal. The shadow casts darkness on the boxing landscape.

deepwater2 says:

Kovalev sure said the right thing after the fight. Stevenson is a pos. good job . Fight other guys sergei , leave the pimp and his friends alone.

The Shadow says:

I predict they will fight in the next 12 months. Stevenson will emerge triumphant and become a two-time titlist (but still a one-time champ).

In fact, I predict he will knock him down with a right hook thrown with a left hand brought from the right hip. Also known as the "pimp slap." Only with gloves. Kovalev will tremble, stumble and crumble. And they shall call him "Crumbalev."

Yes, Stevenson may be a piece of sh*t. But Kovalev will be his b*tch.

Here is a headline, as it will appear in the Associated Press.... Nah, screw that. It ain't that big of a deal. As it will appear in the Montreal community newspapers:

Pimp Assaults Boxer-Turned-Trick, Cites "Reckless Eyeballing"

Radam G says:

Kovalev is not as deadly as many have come to believe. He is kyptonite for Superman Stevenson. NYET!

Kovalev is very vulnerable. DA! Holla!

Skibbz says:

Vulnerable yes, he can be hit. But he's got some real power in his fists. When he and if he meets Stevenson in the ring, he's gonna greet him with a fist full of knuckles. Watched that first knock down again... Oh my poor Agnew.

The Shadow says:

Kovalev is not as deadly as many have come to believe. He is kyptonite for Superman Stevenson. NYET!

Kovalev is very vulnerable. DA! Holla!


Man, that's what I been trying to say!

Come on, the dude he fought is the DEFINITION of a bum. He just stood there with his hands in front of his face -- (He should have punched back. He was like a heavy bag that didn't move.) -- got knocked down several times and end up getting stopped from a jab to the gut.

A jab to the gut.

Like George Foreman said when Floyd Mayweather floored some schmuck with a mullet from Oklahoma, "that happens once in a million times," (paraphrased) to which Larry Merchant replied, "he faced better foes in the amateurs."

Andre Ward and Bernard Hopkins won't just defeat him, they will embarrass, maybe even humiliate, this dude.

This exhibition proved nothing to me and was far more of a showcase than those people have complained about in the past with Andre Berto.

And his parents sit there waiting for their cut while sonny boy tucks his gut.

Radam G says:

It is not that much of a cut. Dude's parents have 15 kids. And he got a purse of $75,000 $mall ones. After everybodee and dey momma and Uncle Sam strip him down, he's be lucky if he walk away with $20thou. Holla!

The Shadow says:

Honestly, to me, he's a poor man's Kelly Pavlik. A big guy for his weight class with power.

Remember how they talked about Pavlik? Let me refresh memories for a second.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/17/sports/17iht-boxing17.10119665.html?_r=0

[url]http://www.saddoboxing.com/boxingforum/30882-kelly-pavlik-perfect-power-punching-machine.html

The Shadow says:

[QUOTE=Radam G;47492]It is not that much of a cut. Dude's parents have 15 kids. And he got a purse of $75,000 $mall ones. After everybodee and dey momma and Uncle Sam strip him down, he's be lucky if he walk away with $20thou. Holla![/QUOTE]

Yikes.

amayseng says:

Kovalev's best attribute I feel, which everyone and their mother are overlooking, is his timing. Sure he has dynamite in both hands, but SK has some outstanding timing. It is timing and power that puts guys down in a heap. Not just power.

AS vs SK is a dream fight and I don't know who to pick. I just hope the time comes soon when there is a pick...


I have a feeling it won't happen anytime soon.

flackoguapo says:

[QUOTE=amayseng;47498]Kovalev's best attribute I feel, which everyone and their mother are overlooking, is his timing. Sure he has dynamite in both hands, but SK has some outstanding timing. It is timing and power that puts guys down in a heap. Not just power.

AS vs SK is a dream fight and I don't know who to pick. I just hope the time comes soon when there is a pick...


I have a feeling it won't happen anytime soon.[/QUOTE]

Hey Amayseng, do you mind breaking down Kovalevs timing? Would love to hear how you see his fight style.

I really do not see elite timing in him. I think he has good timing but not top 5 in his weight class. He throws most of his shots with bad intentions, and many of those are landing everywhere and anywhere just to ware the opponent down or obviously drop them. But they do not seem like precise timed punches to me. I always notice great timing when guys get hit with a clean precise shot and you can tell how intentional the punch was, Ala Marquez, Mayweather, Rigondeaux. I realize those guys are counter punchers but I notice the timing those fighters have because the punches land where there is a defensive opening so it lands clean with the intention fully noticeable.

DaveB says:

While with two big punchers the fight can go either way, I see Stevenson winning this one within five rounds. Kovalev is an awesome puncher no doubt but dude leaves himself top open. When Agnew opened up Kovalev's porous defense was on display for all to see. Stevenson will run right through that. Stevenson would have to be cautious so as not to get caught and I'm sure he will be aware of that. I would advise him to take the fight because it is a pretty easy fight for him to win and eventually if they can both keep winning it will be the only blockbuster fight for both of them. However I can see Hopkins beating both of these guys. I do like Kovalev's attitude. You always as a fan have to love guys like him that will fight anyone.

DaveB says:

" leaves himself too open"

deepwater2 says:

Styles make fights. Kovalev had to fight a poor mans winky wright. He had to box a bit and try and crack the shell open. Agnew caught him a few times because Kovalev forced all the action. There was no chance to counter punch the guy because the guy came to survive and not trade. With a Stevenson matchup I see Stevenson coming forward at times and trading which will give Kovalev plenty of opportunities to trade and counter punch . Kovalev will have chances to sit on his back foot and time the shorter stevenson.It was nice to watch him go to the body with the jab because that creates other opportunities . If Stevenson is confident he will make the fight. His actions will tell us all we need to know. Good ole Roy jones had good advice for him. Forget Stevenson. Go fight pascal. I would like that fight too.

BFF says:

i didnt realize kovalev had this many doubters. im a huge stevenson fan but i truly believe kovalev can take it to him. i think kovalevs boxing skills are way too underrated. sure he gets hit and leaves him self open, but thats because he sets himself up with those power punches and that is basically his defense. to me he is a bigger version of GGG, and thats scary. if you think the krusher aint all that as a boxer, watch the cleverly fight, schooled his arse up and finished him, and i think Clevery is a pretty darn good boxer, but the krusher made him look like a little girl...

DaveB says:

Stevenson can definitely get caught as can Kovalev and if that happens it makes the person picking the loser look stupid. But in picking a winner you have to look at what you think is the most like scenario in your opinion. I know that Kovalev will have more counter punching opportunities to get his work done but I think Stevenson has quicker hands, is just as powerful, has a very good defense and moves in and out from good legwork. I'm positive both men can hurt one another. IMO I think Stevenson is the more skilled fighter and that is what tips me in his favor. I think Kovalev is a wrecking machine too. He will run over all but the most elite of fighters. I truly hope this fight happens but I think Hopkins is going to upset the apple cart.

Skibbz says:

I'm not Kovalev doubter BFF. I think he'll hang onto that belt for a while yet.

Sure if you look at his defence as you would other boxers, then indeed you'll find it lacking. However, Kovalev's defence is pure offense. He rarely takes a step back, all he does bang leather anywhere he can see an opening and he bangs hard. He feinted fell, he worked toward landing the solid shots by placing punches all around the shop. His offense is very attractive to watch as a spectator, and as mentioned by others in this thread his timing is underestimated. He timed Cleverly very nicely, and landed sledgehammers to his dome. Sillakh was chewed up and spat out no problems. Agnew.. Well his dad was dressed ready to give him his last rights..

Kovalev is a tough fight for most in the division, Stevenson included. That's an intriguing match up, I think Stevenson may steal the early rounds but Kovalev will improve as the fight progresses. He just looks so powerful, he has a nice variety of shots and he uses them well. I think his only problem, which he can't do much about, is his tendency to get cut. Boy does he get cut easy..

I don't think he'll be fighting Ward any time soon, but that'll be a fantastic fight to watch. Ward does it for me but he'll have to be active enough to keep Kovalev honest... That's not too easy.

Hopkins? I want to see that more than any other fight involving Kovalev. Purely because I would enjoy watching how Hopkins deals with the man who calls himself the Krusher. The ex-ecutioner will show us his vast toolbox of tricks that no one would wanna miss..

Skibbz says:

[QUOTE=DaveB;47525]Stevenson can definitely get caught as can Kovalev and if that happens it makes the person picking the loser look stupid. But in picking a winner you have to look at what you think is the most like scenario in your opinion. I know that Kovalev will have more counter punching opportunities to get his work done but I think Stevenson has quicker hands, is just as powerful, has a very good defense and moves in and out from good legwork. I'm positive both men can hurt one another. IMO I think Stevenson is the more skilled fighter and that is what tips me in his favor. I think Kovalev is a wrecking machine too. He will run over all but the most elite of fighters. I truly hope this fight happens but I think Hopkins is going to upset the apple cart.[/QUOTE]

You're right DaveB I agree with you on Stevenson being the more skilled fighter. He has a lot better movement in the ring with his feet and his head in my opinion. That's how he got Chad, and he showed his ability to execute a solid game plan against Bellew. Not sure how he'd approach Kovalev, but I don't see him getting him out of there on his back.

BFF says:

i dont think stevenson is more skilled. sure he is quick and flashy and moves a lot, and if he does face sergey, once he feels the power it will be a different story, because kovalev will bang coming straight forward for the most part and if stevenson tries to move, sergey does know how to cut off his opponents and he does so effectively while hurting his foes. to be honest, they both have power, but IMO sergey has way more and stevenson hasnt faced anyone with real power and underrated skill that SK has, and that power will be the difference. Any-who, this fight is very intriguing to say the least, and i will admit i think it is a 50/50 fight, and all it would take is one punch from both fighters and it could be a wrap.

Skibbz says:

I'm with you on the 50/50 BFF. If I was to give a slight edge it'd be to Kovalev as I'm sure you can tell.. He has too much power and his punches are all loaded up with badness. He wants to rock brains, and offer you some treacle..

Stevensons head is swirling around with thoughts of wonga and slags. He thinks after his two recent stoppages, signing with Haymon and the interest from Sho that he's the salvation to the dying sport.. Messiah Adonis. Yeah... Watch for the right hand Stevey. Don't forget about the left too.

deepwater2 says:

Kovalev beats Stevenson easy. That is why Stevenson didn't make the fight.

deepwater2 says:

The two words I will use to make that statement are : Darnell Boone.

The Shadow says:

[QUOTE=deepwater2;47566]The two words I will use to make that statement are : Darnell Boone.[/QUOTE]

...who beat Kovalev on one card.

brownsugar says:

Boone put Stevenson to sleep in their first fight. Boone went the distance in his fight with Kovalev and lost a split decision. Kovalev easily stopped him in the rematch. Stevenson also got a KO in the rematch but had to go back to the drawing board.

Kovalev = complete fighter
Stevenson = a one handed fighter with a highly suspect chin and little amateur background.

A fight between the 2 will emphasize the gap in skill between the 2.

I got Kovalev winning by Ko .... Hopefully they can get it done soon ...Stevenson's biological clock is winding down.

Skibbz says:

Isn't that the same Boone that made Ward do a chicken dance? Will check it out when I'm home..

BFF says:

@ bsug. i totally agree with you on stevenson being a one handed fighter, his left is all he's got, dont get me wrong, it is one helluva left arm, but the Krusher has two, and their like sledge hammers..

@ skibbz. that is the same Boone that checked Wards chin and made him do the chicken dance. i almost forgot about that fight.

brownsugar says:

Boone did in fact drop Ward with his crazy throwin-haymakers-while-trying-to-duck-punches style.

Skibbz says:

[QUOTE=BFF;47581]@ bsug. i totally agree with you on stevenson being a one handed fighter, his left is all he's got, dont get me wrong, it is one helluva left arm, but the Krusher has two, and their like sledge hammers..

@ skibbz. that is the same Boone that checked Wards chin and made him do the chicken dance. i almost forgot about that fight.[/QUOTE]

I see it. Ward was a lil too adventurous in that fight. He learned his lesson, just shame we haven't seen him in the ring too often as of late...

He's one handed but he knows how to set up to use that left hand really well. It's like if all you've got is one trick, then you're gonna practice to make that trick work as often as you try it. He may not be there yet but he's getting closer each fight.

Bellew got it the rawest. Adonis kept hitting him in the chest with that straight left to the point where Bellew would cover his chest whenever Adonis feinted to throw it.. What happens next? Feint, left hand straight up to his scouse mug. "All of the lights" were turned right off, good night Bellew.

Domenic says:

My money's on Kovalev here. Shame it's all but certain not to happen, and certainly not happen when the time is right, which is NOW.

The Shadow says:

Did you guys see the interview with Yvon Michel?

gibola says:

Stevenson's agreed to fight Kovalev if it's on his terms and on Showtime. TRANSLATION = he doesn't want to fight him. That's fine but don't try and bull**** anyone Adonis. You'd rather fight Hopkins than Kovalev, we understand that, we would probably do the same. What now for the Krusher? Well, if HBO can't find any better opponents for Kovalev than Agnew they should release him rather than present rubbish like Saturday night's sub-ESPN matchup. I've got a novel idea - HBO have Ward and Kovalev under contract, so make the fight - NOW. I'm sure the no.2 P4P guy (in some eyes) wouldn't hesitate to take the fight. If he's as good as everyone says a one-dimensional puncher like Kovalev shouldn't be a problem. It should look like PBF-Canelo but 20lbs heavier. Who else is there for either guy to fight? Hey HBO, can it be at 175lb and not in Andre's hometown?

deepwater2 says:

[QUOTE=gibola;47608]Stevenson's agreed to fight Kovalev if it's on his terms and on Showtime. TRANSLATION = he doesn't want to fight him. That's fine but don't try and bull**** anyone Adonis. You'd rather fight Hopkins than Kovalev, we understand that, we would probably do the same. What now for the Krusher? Well, if HBO can't find any better opponents for Kovalev than Agnew they should release him rather than present rubbish like Saturday night's sub-ESPN matchup. I've got a novel idea - HBO have Ward and Kovalev under contract, so make the fight - NOW. I'm sure the no.2 P4P guy (in some eyes) wouldn't hesitate to take the fight. If he's as good as everyone says a one-dimensional puncher like Kovalev shouldn't be a problem. It should look like PBF-Canelo but 20lbs heavier. Who else is there for either guy to fight? Hey HBO, can it be at 175lb and not in Andre's hometown?[/QUOTE]

Agreed. Isn't illegal under contract law to interfere with existing contracts. I would think the convicted pimp would have went to the law library at least a few times during his 4 years in prison. Kovalev could fight pascal I think. Look impressive in Canada call out Stevenson on his home turf. I think ward is tied up in contract problems with goosen. Worse comes to worse ko bute if he is not retired or give cloud a beating . There is no one else except Shumenov or Hopkins . Al Haymon is the shadow that ruins boxing.

Skibbz says:

Apparently Duva's adamant that as the fight was agreed to it should go ahead. Let's see what they can do. It wouldn't be a bad move by Sho to reach a compromise, they'd win a major coup if they are the factor that pushes through the fight.

The Shadow says:

Deal? Or no deal? Legal actin? Or moving on?

[url]http://www.boxingscene.com/duva-stevensons-answer-by-3-30-kovalev-moves-on--75253

There are two sides to a story. For the sake of balance, here's Yvon Michel's account about the so-called "deal."

"[I]She's lying. I sent her an email and what the things were that we agreed upon with her, was our split of revenues.....the split with Main Events on the license fee, the local revenue, the international revenue, the Russian revenue...that was agreed upon. And Adonis agreed with that. I have an email and somebody produced an email that I sent her, but unfortunately they only produced half of that email," Michel told BoxingScene.com.

"She sent me an email and said that she had spoken to [Kovalev's manager] Egis and the split was okay on her side. My answer was that 'we are okay on our side also' and now,'[B] and this was the part that was [left out from the produced email] - 'let's make good pitch to HBO.'
[/B]
"Stevenson never agreed on the purse or the license fee that HBO was willing to pay. He never agreed on an overall deal. The main point was, we needed to get a deal with HBO...like [Kovalev] did. They got their deal and we didn't get ours. Kathy should be happy because all of this talk of a Stevenson fight is how she got the fight with Agnew last weekend and how she got the deal with HBO."

"I look at what Kathy Duva declared on March 3rd and that is in line with the discussion that we had together, that they were giving us until March 30th, that she was giving it until March 30th to see if Stevenson was fighting Sergey Kovalev or she will move on. And the [article] said she was waiting for Stevenson to agree and sign a contract, that proves that at that point Stevenson did not approve the HBO deal and didn't have a contract signed."

....

The real problem was not Main Events, Duva or Kovalev, says Michel. The Canadian promoter indicates that the real sticking point was the amount of money that HBO was offering for a Stevenson-Kovalev unification.

According to Michel, HBO offered a license fee, for Stevenson-Kovalev, that was significantly less than what the network had offered for last fall's Andre Ward vs. Edwin Rodriguez clash.

Ward-Rodriguez received an HBO license fee of $3.15 million dollars. Many in the industry were very, very critical of the license fee paid for that fight, especial when the television rating only peaked at 1.2 million viewers. Rodriguez, who most viewed as a hand-picked opponent to test Ward's post-injury abilities, was given $1 million for the fight.

"I have a lot of people telling me that this fight, Kovalev and Stevenson, that it's one of the two or three most important fights to be done this year. If that's the case, then why was the offer [from HBO] for the Stevenson-Kovalev fight not even close, in terms of the license fee, to the fight with Ward and Rodriguez. Ward-Rodriguez, I remember well, was not a huge ratings [hit] on HBO. I'm telling you that if the offer would have been even close to the type of license fee that [Ward-Rodriguez] got, for sure we would not [be going over to Showtime]," Michel said.

"I'm telling you it was far from that number. HBO could have made the deal with us before we got an offer from Showtime. Everybody is saying that it's a great, great fight and I agree, but I also agree that it probably had not matured enough because HBO was not willing to pay the value of what they were paying for other fights on the network. It was always that point that Adonis was bringing to me, that Rodriguez made a million dollars and Ward made two millions dollars and what we were offered for the [Kovalev] fight - it was not close to that."

Last year's HBO doubleheader with Stevenson and Kovalev had higher ratings numbers than Ward-Rodriguez. Stevenson-Bellew had 1,305,000 viewers and peaked at 1,358,000 viewers. Kovalev's KO win over Ismayl Sillakh had 1,254,000 viewers. The license fee offered by HBO for Stevenson-Kovalev was "closer to $2 million than $3 million." (!!!!!!!!!!!)

Showtime's plan is to match Stevenson, should he beat Fonfara, with next month's winner of the IBF/WBA light heavyweight unification between Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov. Both Stevenson and Hopkins have been clamoring to fight each other for some time. With Hopkins defeating Canadian superstar Jean Pascal in a historical 2011 decision win in Montreal, it makes a potential Hopkins-Stevenson fight a very big event on Canadian soil.

Michel says Showtime stepped up financially in a big way to secure Stevenson's fight with Fonfara. How big? Michel explained.

"Adonis will make the highest purse of his career with Fonfara..by far. Against Fonfara, he's going to make more than twice than what he made for his last fight. His highest paid fight [on HBO] was against Bellew. He is going to generate more than twice of that. The license fee is twice the number too. Adonis' purse will be twice as big as his purse was against Bellew and the license fee that we got from Showtime was more than twice than what we got [from HBO] for the Bellew fight," Michel said.

"With Showtime now, and the potential fight with [Bernard] Hopkins, the potential fight with Hopkins will bring much more money to Adonis than he could have made with a Kovalev fight. I know reporters are looking at Kovalev and believe that it will be a great match and I agree, but I also believe that for fans, for people that are not hardcore fans - a fight with Hopkins - here in Montreal - will have twice the number of people [in the venue] than it would be for Kovalev."

"[B]At the end of the day, really, HBO didn't buy [Stevenson's fight] and then didn't match [Showtime's offer], because they decided that it wasn't a good business move for them. They didn't believe the [Stevenson-Kovalev] fight was important for them or they would have made the proper move, which they did not."[/B][/I]

Skibbz says:

Nice work Shadow that was fast. Interesting words from Michel. How much of it is fact and how much of it is fiction? He talks a lot of a lot of air toward the end..


I think there's potentially a lot of truth there but what he doesn't point out is that HBO got mugged. Cloak and dagger style. Such a big fight they'd have to be completely incompetent and/or blind to have allowed to slip through from their grasp. Yet they did... The fighter had probably a few extra hundred thrown at him, told him it'll be a big 7 figures if he meets Hopkins and he was sold.

Will the Kovalev fight happen now? Doesn't look likely. All this bad chat is dirtying the air between the parties involved and it's not nice to see. They'll keep their superman taking out the neighbourhood trash, and far away from the rough, tough soviet Krusher.

Carmine Cas says:

Stevenson is talking shyet, let the war of words begin

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