Every boxing fan has heard this past week about the recent hiccup in plans to stage an Adonis Stevenson Sergey Kovalev mega-fight on HBO this fall. With Adonis signing with influential boxing manager Al Haymon and taking up a deal on Showtime, chances of a fall fight with Bernard Hopkins now seem more likely.
Bernard Hopkins is the better opponent at this time for Adonis. If Hopkins unifies his titles against Shumenov on April 19th then he makes a big fight with Adonis even bigger. More people know Bernard Hopkins as his name has been in some of the biggest fights over the last 20 years. Putting Adonis in the ring with Hopkins builds his name and his experience.
With Hopkins and Stevenson both in Showtime’s corner, a potential unification could even take place on the undercard of Mayweather’s scheduled fight in Septemeber. Mayweather has been adament about creating big undercards and turning his fights into spectacles from top to bottom. We saw that with Canelo, Danny Garcia, Mares, and now Broner and Khan all making appearences on his card’s.
That kind of attention would make Stevenson’s name global, where now its really not that big outside of Canada and America. Even most Canadian fans prefer the veteran Jean Pascal in a popularity contest. Stevenson has some ways to go before becoming a superstar but beating the likes of Bernard Hopkins on a PPV would be a huge gain on his part.
On the other side of the spectrum, Sergey Kovalev is building his name on HBO as he knocks out opponent after opponent. Adonis Stevenson has made a good point that Kovalev hasn’t faced the type of quality of opposition that he himself has. While Kovalev did KO a healthy contender in Cedric Agnew, it’s been tough for his promoter to find him quality opponents on a smaller budget.
If HBO can put up the money for Kovalev to fight the bigger names like Pascal or (previously) Cleverly and if Kovalev can keep getting KO’s, his stock will continue to rise. Building up Kovalev only makes a Stevenson fight that much bigger.
The fight can and probably will still happen given the willingness of Showtime’s Boxing Executive Stephen Espinoza to call for Kovalev to come to Showtime on Twitter and Stevenson saying if HBO [or Showtime] “puts up the money” it can happen.
Whether it’s Showtime or HBO the money needs to be put up. The fight would be bigger in 2015. In the mean time I won’t mind watching both fighters continue to score knockouts and evolve into superstars.