By Luis Sandoval
Reigning WBC Light Heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson recently made headlines when it was announced he had signed with boxing’s most influential advisor Al Haymon. Over the weekend however, he also made another headline as he lashed out at WBO champion Sergey Kovalev as he responded to an earlier BoxingScene article where Kovalev said Stevenson would be a coward if he didn’t fight him next.
Stevenson stated he was not scared of his rival and went on to say Kovalev had terrible defense and it would not be difficult to find his chin.
BoxingScene caught up with Kovalev’s manager Egis Klimas who read what Steveson had to say about his fighter.
“Talking is cheap. Let him come in and prove whatever he talks. First of all, we’re not calling anybody bad names like he does. He rips [Kovalev’s] trainer [John David Jackson]. Its disrespect for the sport I think. Again, talking is cheap. [Ismayl] Sillah was also talking some stuff to Sergey and look what happened. Why does he say for example that Sergey has a weak chin? [That] he has a long chin. We’re not talking about Stevenson being a bald guy. He’s starting to get personal. I think he’s talking himself out of having to fight Sergey. That’s what I think is happening” Klimas would tell BoxingScene and ESNEWS.
There appeared to be plans in place for Kovalev and Stevenson to have a fight later this year as both knockout artists have been on a collision course. With Stevenson now signing to Haymon, it’s now a question if that fight is still possible as Haymon has all his fighters fighting on Showtime and not HBO. Klimas was asked if he still felt the fight could happen despite the network complications.
“I don’t’ know what is behind that. I don’t know what the status is between Al Haymon and HBO. That’s a fight we were talking [about] and should be happening but whatever is going to happen is going to happen” said Klimas.
Klimas says if Kovalev and Stevenson win their upcoming assignments in March and May, making the Stevenson fight will still be their top priority but they also won’t sit around and wait for Stevenson if he’s not willing to fight.
“Yeah, that’s what we are going to try to do because again, Beibut is fighting Hopkins so who else do we have? Not too many names in the light heavyweight division today. But if Stevenson is going to be running and talking nonsense, we’re not going to chase him. We’ll find somebody else to fight. We’re not just going to be waiting for Stevenson to come. Him talking about who is broke and who’s not broke, he just probably got his first million in his life and thinks it’s the end of the world. That he’s the top king with a million dollars. He talks just money, nothing else. No glory, just money, money, money. Let him chase his money” fired Klimas.
Klimas feels the best scenario for the division is to have the winner of Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov fight the winner of Kovalev-Stevenson. The best fighting the best and the fans also get the fight they really want to see in Kovalev vs. Stevenson.
Klimas hopes they can make the Stevenson fight for later this year and believes his fighter will come out victorious if it happens.
“I believe in Sergey. I think Sergey can win that fight even if it goes rounds or if it’s an earlier knockout. They fought the same guy, Darnell Boone. One time Sergey and Boone went the distance for eight rounds and the second time he destroyed [Boone]. Darnell Boone knocked Stevenson out. So who has a weak chin?”
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter & Instagram @Truewest007