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Kovalev: If Stevenson's A Real Fighter, He'll Fight Me - Boxing News
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 Last update:  12/31/2013       Read more by Keith Idec         
Kovalev: If Stevenson's A Real Fighter, He'll Fight Me
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By Keith Idec

Sergey Kovalev wants to fight Adonis Stevenson next, but the unbeaten Russian realizes Stevenson doesn’t share his desire to make a unification fight between the hard-hitting light heavyweight champions.

If Canada’s Stevenson changes his mind, Kovalev wouldn’t waste any time signing a contract.

“We can fight, but it’s up to him,” Kovalev told “That question has to be posed to Stevenson, not to me. He probably doesn’t want to fight me, but if we fought it would be a great fight.”

HBO Sports executives showcased Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) and Stevenson (23-1, 20 KOs) in separate bouts Nov. 30 in Quebec City to build momentum toward an eventual Kovalev-Stevenson showdown. Both boxers scored impressive knockouts that night, but Stevenson scoffed at the suggestion of a looming Kovalev clash.

Before the powerful southpaw stopped England’s Tony Bellew (20-2-1, 12 KOs) in the sixth round and Kovalev knocked out Ukraine’s Ismayll Sillakh (21-2, 17 KOs) in the second round last month, Stevenson told that Kovalev needs to beat better boxers before he’d consider Kovalev a worthy adversary. The Haitian-born Stevenson noted that he is a much bigger draw than Kovalev as well.

Kovalev, who dismissed Stevenson’s criticism of his resume, considers Stevenson’s supposed disinterest as a negotiating ploy.

“He just wants to get more money,” Kovalev said. “But if he’s a real fighter, he’ll fight me. I’m not going to say, ‘Give me more money, more money, more money.’ I want good money, too, but I’m ready to fight him right now.”

Even if Stevenson’s interest intensifies, the 30-year-old Kovalev won’t wait around for the WBC light heavyweight champion. His handlers plan to schedule at least four fights for Kovalev in 2014 and want the WBO 175-pound champion’s first fight of the year to take place as soon as possible.

“We’re not going to chase Stevenson,” said Egis Klimas, Kovalev’s manager. “Other opportunities are going to come up for us to fight other guys, just like what happened with Bernard Hopkins and [Nathan] Cleverly. We had a mandatory [against Hopkins], but Hopkins was going back and forth, trying to put unification fights together, and he never answered us.

“Then the opportunity came up to fight Cleverly and we fought Cleverly. We didn’t care. This is the same thing with Stevenson. If he doesn’t want to fight, we’re not going to wait. If another opportunity comes up for us to fight, we’re not going to wait.”

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

Tags: Sergey Kovalev , Adonis Stevenson


 User Comments and Feedback (must register to comment)

comment by MDPopescu, on 01-01-2014
[QUOTE=Box-Office]Same reason why he lured Dawson down at 168 lol. But GGG wont be drained as hes moving "up" and only by one. But GGG wants to wait for Martinez-Cotto winner so Ward should move up already and forget about this one. I think Ward shouldve moved up after Super Six. So to answer ...

comment by Box-Office, on 01-01-2014
[QUOTE=MDPopescu]I like the "bolded" words above... They fit perfectly to Andre Ward (who has nobody to fight with at 168) and must go north at 175 -- where the big fights are, to date! Don't you think? :D (Why "lure" GGG at 168 when he has so many 'challenges" at 160?) :D[/QUOTE] Same reaso...

comment by PunchyPotorff, on 12-31-2013
Didn't Boone torch Stevenson early? Like 2 rounds? So what will Kovalev do to him? HA! Hey, let Stevenson have ONE fight, THEN Kovalev. That's fair.

comment by MDPopescu, on 12-31-2013
[QUOTE=Box-Office]Bradley moved up for Pacquiao and Ortiz for Berto title shot. Fiters do take on the best in their first fite without any tune ups after moving a weight class. Its a personal choice. GGG has no one to fite at 160 lbs theyre all cowards Murray, Geale, Sturm and Quillin etc period ...

comment by Box-Office, on 12-31-2013
[QUOTE=Rockyx2]Kovalev & Stevenson are in the same weight division. They will eventually have to meet, and sooner then later. In regards to GGG, he would be moving up in weight to fight Ward. He is too smart, he is not going to move up a weight class and take on the #2 Pound for Pound fighter in ...

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