Promoter Kathy Duva mulls Sergey Kovalev-Jean Pascal
RING light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson already has lost an opportunity to unify the division with Bernard Hopkins to WBO counterpart Sergey Kovalev, who may yet also usurp Stevenson’s tentative bout with former beltholder Jean Pascal.
This is because preliminary talks have begun between Kovalev’s promoter, Kathy Duva of Main Events, and Pascal’s handler, Jean Bedard of Interbox, toward a potential clash between the two in March, Duva confirmed to RingTV.com on Wednesday.
Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 knockouts) is coming off an HBO-televised unanimous decision that added Hopkins’ IBF and WBA belts to his WBO belt on Nov. 8, and could be in line to fight Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KOs), the mandatory challenger to Stevenson’s WBC belt, if discussions go well between Main Events and Interbox.
That scenario is another in a strange turn of events whose origin was in March, when Stevenson (24-1, 20 KOs) bolted for Showtime from network rival HBO presumably to pursue a shot at Hopkins. At that point, Kovalev, who is aligned with HBO, lamented “a lost opportunity to knock out” Stevenson.
Ironically, in August, Hopkins detoured from Showtime for a unification fight with Kovalev, whose IBF mandatory challenger, Nadjib Mohammedi, is also promoted by Main Events.
“We have been approached but, at this point, we have to fulfill our IBF mandatory and there are still a lot of things that would have to be resolved. But we have not made any decisions yet. There is no deal in place or anything like that. We’re just talking. We’ll probably have more clarity and know more within a week or so, I think. I don’t think that there’s a chance of a unification or anything but we’ve had conversations with Mohammedi since we have him under contract,” said Duva.
“Mohammedi has a new trainer in Abel Sanchez and he appears absolutely fine to wait and to have a little more time to work with Sanchez. We may have a situation where the IBF would let us do it but we would have to ask them formally about that and we would have to go through their process. But before we do any of that, we would have to have a deal and we’re not quite there yet. But we’re talking and if it turns out that we can make a deal with Pascal, then we’ll go to the IBF and see how they feel about it. If they don’t like it, then we will honor the IBF commitment. But hopefully this is one of those cases where if it’s what everybody wants, then, why not?”
As it stands for now, Stevenson is slated for a Dec. 19 date with Russian Dmitry Sukhotsky in Quebec City and Pascal, a fight with Roberto Feliciano Bolonti on Dec. 6 at Bell Centre in Montreal.
The Bell Centre in Montreal has been placed on hold on for a potential April 4 showdown between Stevenson and Pascal, according to Stevenson’s promoter, Yvon Michel.