Advertisement
Advertisement

HBO Passes on Stevenson-Fonfara; Open to Kovalev Bout

By Jake Donovan

Just as HBO began to fill up its spring boxing schedule, yet another vacancy surfaces.

The network is no longer committed to securing the rights for a May 24 fight between lineal light heavyweight king Adonis Stevenson and challenger Andrzej Fonfara. Whispers swirled the moment Stevenson signed with adviser Al Haymon earlier this year, competing the shift on Tuesday when a proposed increase in the already agreed upon license fee was rejected by HBO.

Stevenson had appeared three straight times on HBO amidst a Fighter of the Year campaign in 2013. The run began with a sensational one-punch 1st round knockout of Chad Dawson to claim the light heavyweight championship last June.

Two defenses followed, scoring stoppage wins over Tavoris Cloud and Tony Bellew on HBO’s airwaves. The win over Bellew was packaged with a showcase fight for unbeaten light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev, who knocked out Ismayl Sillakh in two rounds in the opening bout of their HBO doubleheader last November.

The show was designed as the first step to build towards a desired unification bout in the fall. HBO agreed to air Kovalev’s optional defense versus Cedric Agnew—which takes place this weekend in Atlantic City—and Stevenson’s bout with Fonfara two months later.

Kovalev will remain on the network, through this weekend and the foreseeable future. Stevenson, on the other hand, will now need to shop for a new home for his next defense, although the industry-wide believe if that it will head to Showtime, which has housed nearly all of the major fights involving fighters currently advised by Haymon.

HBO’s concern over securing rights to the May 24 bout stemmed from a reversal in its previous negotiations. All parties agreed to the license fee that was assigned to the fight. However, Stevenson’s camp approached the network to ask for a rumored significant increase, without the assurance that his next fight would in fact be against Kovalev, should both fighters win their upcoming bouts.

That said, the decision to pass on this fight has nothing to do with the network’s desire to still pursue the most attractive matchup the light heavyweight division presently has to offer. According to a network spokesman, HBO is “still happy to discuss Stevenson-Kovalev for the fall. If someone wants to call us on May 25 (the day after Stevenson’s fight with Fonfara), we will gladly engage in reasonable conversation to discuss a fight we absolutely want.”

There have been past concerns about this fight never happening, even before Al Haymon entered the picture. Following his stoppage win over Bellew, the question was posed to Stevenson of whether or not he wanted Kovalev in the future.

The defending lineal light heavyweight king avoided a direct answer to the question, instead insisting upon pursuing potential fights with Bernard Hopkins and super middleweight titlist Carl Froch. The declaration was made in an attempt to honor Canada, as both fighters claimed wins over Jean Pascal and Froch also scored a viciously one-sided 5th round stoppage of Lucian Bute.

With Stevenson potentially heading to Showtime, there exists the possibility of securing one of those desired fights. Hopkins is set to face Beibut Shumenov in a light heavyweight alphabet unification bout next month in Washington D.C., which will air on Showtime.

Froch is set to face George Groves on May 31, in a rematch to their controversial first fight last November in which Froch rallied to score a 9th round stoppage widely viewed as premature. HBO picked up the rights to the rematch, having also aired Froch’s revenge-fueled rematch win over Mikkel Kessler last May.

Kovalev’s bout with Agnew will mark the unbeaten knockout artist’s third straight appearance on HBO.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America.
Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Mr Randy Watson on 03-26-2014

stevensons KO over dawson > kovalev's entire career and future.

Comment by superchamp on 03-26-2014

[QUOTE=Renal Colic;14365554]If I understand correctly, HBO were willing to pay up as long as he agree to fight Kovalev next. He refused, so he doesn't get what he's asking for. The fact that, out of the blue, Stevenson asked for…

Comment by White_Knight on 03-26-2014

[QUOTE=joseph5620;14363313]There is nothing pathetic about running to whatever pays you more money. It's common sense, really.[/QUOTE] If I understand correctly, HBO were willing to pay up as long as he agree to fight Kovalev next. He refused, so he doesn't…

Comment by Nay_Sayer on 03-26-2014

[QUOTE=rckdees;14365302]I said it before I'll say it again the guy from hbo is going to get fired[/QUOTE] This right here. Looks to me like HBO has shot themselves in the foot - AGAIN. They have essentially setup the circumstances where…

Comment by rckdees on 03-26-2014

I said it before I'll say it again the guy from hbo is going to get fired

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (148)
Top Headlines Jarrell Miller Rips Joshua, Fury, Luis Ortiz, Parker, Andy Ruiz Too Joel Diaz: Bradley Had No Game Plan, Looked Lost and Confused Eubank Jr: Golovkin is Slow, Easy To Hit - His Power Can't Beat Me! Makabu Confident: Tony Bellew Has NOTHING Special For Me Frank Warren Slams David Haye's Recent Win, Briggs Fight Fury's Coach: Parker is a Very Serious Test For Anthony Joshua Steven Lewis Aims To Make Statement on Echo Arena Card Radmir Akhmediyev, Pablo Cruz Get Big Wins in Houston Povetkin Not Backing Down: We'll Do Everything To Get Wilder! Anthony Ogogo - Sauerland, De La Hoya Expect Big Things Tyrone Nurse Says Willie Limond Will Never Make it To Ricky Burns Arum Praises Pacquiao For Rejecting Offer To Fight in Olympics Roach Backs Canelo: Golovkin The Best, But Brings NO Money! Donnie Nietes, Raul Garcia Make Weight - Melindo is Way Over Photos: Shane Mosley, David Avanesyan Putting in Work For Battle Demetrius Andrade Focused: My Time's Gonna Come Photos/Weights: Jarrell Miller vs. Nick Guivas, Dela Torre, More Roach Feels Chavez Jr. - If in Shape - Could Test Gennady Golovkin Errol Spence: Vargas Will Need KO or Beat Brook's Ass To Win in UK Daniel Jacobs-Sergio Mora Rematch on The Horizon? Lucian Bute Reacts To Failed Drug Test, Will Open His B-Sample Bob Arum Offers To Stage Trump vs. Sanders Debate on PPV Cohen Feels Jarrell Miller is The Best Young American Heavyweight Deontay Wilder-Chris Arreola in Play For Summer Showdown Video: Joseph Diaz Discusses His Career, The Future, More Et Tu, Bute? Former Champ in Hot Water After Failing Drug Test Video: Sergio Mora Discusses Golovkin, Canelo, Jacobs, More Frank Warren: Not in a Million Years Does Eubank Jr. Beat Golovkin Phil Lo Greco-Joseph Elegele Tops PBC on Bounce, June 12th Lucian Bute Fails Drug Test, Positive For Ostarine in Jack Draw Gerald Washington: Deontay Wilder Title Fight is 'Very Possible' Abril, Foreman Broadway Boxing Double: Full Card Details Provodnikov's Promoter Not Surprised His Fighter Went To SHO Hedi Taouab, Legendary Matchmaker Passes Away at 68 Manny Pacquiao Declines Opportunity To Fight in Rio Olympics Photos: Wladimir Klitschko Putting in Work for Tyson Fury Rematch Photos: Tony Bellew, Ilunga Makabu Go Face To Face at Presser Roy Jones Jr. Backs Countryman Povetkin, Says He's Not To Blame Willie Limond Hopes To Land Ricky Burns Showdown Tony Bellew: I'll Show Makabu That I'm The Real Cruiserweight
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement