Adonis Stevenson: ‘I will fight Jean Pascal or Sergey Kovalev next’
Jean Pascal has been going after fellow Canadian resident Adonis Stevenson lately, calling THE RING/WBC light heavyweight champ “Aducknis Chickenson,” and recently dismissing Stevenson’s fifth-round stoppage of Dmitry Sukhotsky as a “mismatch on paper and in the ring.”
Stevenson responded to Pascal on Monday.
“After Jean Pascal gets his ass whipped by Sergey Kovalev,” said Stevenson of Pascal’s HBO-televised March 14 clash for Kovalev’s IBF/WBA/WBO belts, “I will show Jean Pascal how to whip Sergey Kovalev’s ass.”
A former former RING and WBC light heavyweight champion himself, Pascal (29-2-1, 17 knockouts) passed up a mandatory shot at Stevenson’s WBC title to face Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KOs). Stevenson (25-1, 21 KOs), meanwhile, said that he has “no problem” satisfying the WBC’s mandate that he face the winner of Kovalev-Pascal.
“I will fight Jean Pascal or Sergey Kovalev next. I have no problem with that,” said 37-year-old southpaw who is aligned with Showtime. “We will fight the winner, no problem. I really have no problem fighting anybody, anywhere, any time. I don’t care.”
Pascal, 32, has accused Stevenson of “destroying his image” in 2014, asserting that he still has yet to “save face” after having gone 4-0 with all knockouts in 2013.
Stevenson signed with adviser Al Haymon in February and left HBO for rival network Showtime in March, presumably to pursue a shot at Bernard Hopkins. Stevenson’s exodus led then-WBO beltholder Kovalev to lament “a lost opportunity to knock out” Stevenson.
Ironically, Hopkins left Showtime for last month’s HBO-televised unification bout with Kovalev, whose unanimous decision added Hopkins’ IBF and WBA belts to his WBO title.
Nicknamed “Superman,” Stevenson had been projected to face Pascal on April 4 at The Bell Centre in Montreal, which had been placed on hold for their potential showdown by Stevenson’s promoter, Yvon Michel.
A potential replacement for Pascal on that date could be Andrzej Fonfara (26-3, 15 KOs). Fonfara lost a unanimous decision in May to Stevenson, who rose from a ninth round knockdown after having floored Fonfara once each in the first and fifth.
“I have been asked who are the potential opponents, and Fonfara was just a name that has been mentioned. We have to sit down and talk about it. There has been no decision made, but we are targeting the April 4 date. We have not had any discussion with Adonis or with Al Haymon,” said Michel.
“So anybody who is highly ranked is a potential opponent. We have mentioned Fonfara because he lasted 12 rounds with Stevenson, and that could be a good rematch down the road. He has requested one, so Fonfara was just a name among others, and that includes everybody who is ranked within the top 15 by the WBC.”
Fonfara rebounded from the loss to Stevenson with last month’s unanimous decision over Doudou Ngumbu, and, like Stevenson, is advised by Haymon.
“We have not been contacted and there have been no conversation. Now that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to fight him, because we do, and that doesn’t mean that Yvon’s not considering it, because he might be. But I haven’t spoken to Yvon about it nor has anybody reached out to me about it,” said Leon Margules, Fonfara’s promoter with Warriors Boxing.
“Andrzej Fonfara is still very young. He just turned 27, so of course he’s getting better, and he has not reached his prime yet. All of the other guys in this division have reached their prime already, and they’re not getting any better. So a rematch with Stevenson, yeah, that’s a fight that we wanted, but who knows if it will happen?”
In the meantime, Stevenson favors Kovalev to defeat Pascal, after which he would like to fight Kovalev.
“I think that Jean Pascal is going to get his ass whipped by Sergey Kovalev,” said Stevenson. “Then, after Jean Pascal gets his ass whipped by Sergey Kovalev like I think that he will, then I will show Jean Pascal how to whip Sergey Kovalev’s ass.”
Note: Quotes from Stevenson provided by camp representative Rudy Pierre-Luis.