As soon as the Adonis Stevenson passage HBO to Showtime was formalized last Tuesday, the Twitter world was immediately inflamed. Several reviewers and boxing fans have accused the champion heavyweight WBC to avoid confrontation apparently everyone wants to see against the defending champion of the WBO Sergey Kovalev.
There are yet four months ago, only 7 percent of the 2,300 respondents to a poll – unscientific – the RDS.ca wanted the next opponent is renowned Stevenson Kovalev! All other choices – Carl Froch (48%), Bernard Hopkins (19%), the winner of the fight Jean Pascal-Lucian Bute (16%) and Andre Ward (10%) were the most popular.
In his defense, Kovalev was champion until recently and had not passed the knock-out Ismayl Sillakh and Cedric Agnew. If the same exercise was repeated today, there is a safe bet that the results would be completely different. Still, this was the end of November was.
By agreement with Showtime, Stevenson was considerably up of a megacombat unification WBC, WBA and IBF against the eventual winner of the duel between Hopkins and Shumenov belts. Obviously, a gain of B-Hop arrange more Superman.
Because in the end, that’s what the Quebec boxer calls for months, since it caused a shockwave spraying Chad Dawson in 76 seconds. In short, long before Stevenson hiring manager Al Haymon controversial to represent its interests. The promoter Yvon Michel’s mandate has always been clear: to allow Stevenson to write the story and maximize revenue. This strategy can be criticized, but it has always been.
In the weeks that followed the conquest of the title of Stevenson, it was already talk of a fight against Hopkins presented the PPV. “Hopkins much like Adonis and he told me that if he had to lose a day, he would prefer it against Adonis”, said Michel August 14, on the sidelines of the press conference announcing the duel with Tavoris Cloud. “It think it’s the boxer who most resembles him and he would pass the torch.”
After his victory over Cloud, Stevenson knew he should make the mandatory defense of his belt against Tony Bellew. Again, what the developer left no doubt about the following things. “The name of Kovalev has absolutely no resonance outside the circle of boxing fans”, stated Michel September 28. The promoter also stressed the urgency to keep the shock at Hopkins because time was running out.
At the announcement of the fight against Bellew on October 18, and Jean Michel Bedard cause some surprise by informing their groups unify their efforts to lather career Stevenson. Therefore, the prospect of a summit meeting with Hopkins seems less likely, since HBO is not willing to finance the holding of such an event. Kovalev is not, however, the alternative considered, the eyes are rather oriented Froch. “It is a matter of reputation and earnings potential,” proclaimed Michael.
Stevenson free of any obligation after his win over Bellew November 30, Michel said that “if it is possible, the next opponent will Adonis Hopkins. Froch is not an option according to his promoter. ” This will truly that on January 18, in his first public appearance since his triumph over Bellew, Stevenson will discuss formally for the first time the name of Kovalev in the company of those Froch and Ward. “I have projects with HBO,” he revealed backstage at the Bell Centre on the evening of Pascal-Bute.
In a rare interview later, Michel explained to a journalist from The Canadian Press January 27 he began discussions with HBO and Kovalev for a unification bout in the fall or at the end of summer. Thereafter, Michel explained that Stevenson had agreed with Kovalev on the terms of sharing of rights acquisition and local revenues, but the Quebec boxer will be unable to do the same with the U.S. network. Michel had nevertheless strongly suggested to Stevenson to accept the offer HBO this time.
The game takes another twist on February 18 when the powerful Haymon made its debut. Even if difficult to accept the new departure, Michel admit that it was for the best. “That to brought comparisons. It gave me the tools that I did not”, said Michel RDS.ca the last week. With Haymon follow an enticing proposition Showtime HBO finally not equalize as the network had yet law. Fly and also the possibility of a fight with Kovalev short or medium term.
A World Of Difference
Now, is it legitimate to accuse Stevenson avoid Kovalev and do not offer the fight that fans want so much? This is a step that might be unwise to cross as demonstrated by the course of events in recent months. With Showtime, Stevenson is more ready than ever to reach the goal he had set at the start: face Hopkins.
Even if it is easier at first sight target, Hopkins is nonetheless one that will Stevenson to write the story and maximize revenue. The famous “risk-reward” ratio motivates decisions in boxing does not benefit Kovalev. Change the name of Hopkins by those Froch or Pascal and the result will be the same.
There is a world of difference between asking what fans diehard boxing and sports fans everyday. And no offense to the first group, it is thanks to that second boxers in their pockets. Talk to Floyd Mayweather son.