by David P. Greisman
Boxing manager Egis Klimas can’t say for certain whether Bernard Hopkins truly wants to face his fighter, light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev, or if Hopkins is just putting Kovalev’s name out there as a way of pressuring 175-pound champion Adonis Stevenson to make a deal with the 49-year-old future Hall of Famer.
But, Klimas says, “If Hopkins really means he wants to fight Sergey, we’re here.”
“I can’t say what he thinks,” Klimas said. “It’s hard to say. Bernard is very smart in the ring. He’s very smart outside of the ring. He always knows what to say to the media. He always knows what to say to the opponent. He’s controlling. As soon as a fight is announced, from that moment Bernard starts to control his opponent by media, by words, by sayings, by gesturings.”
Klimas doesn’t rule out a fight with Stevenson earlier, given that Kovalev and Stevenson had once been expected to meet later in 2014. They were each to have tune-up fights on HBO first. Kovalev beat Cedric Agnew, yet Stevenson-Andrzej Fonfara was purchased instead by Showtime, and it seemed as if Stevenson was instead moving toward a bout with Hopkins.
“Either of them would be good,” Klimas said. “One thing: Adonis put his self in the place where he’s not interesting no more to fight Sergey. He’s interesting right now to fight for one reason: He has a title. As a fighter, he is not interesting no more. Fonfara showed where Adonis belongs.”
Where does Stevenson belong?
“On canvas,” Klimas said.
In the meantime:
“We can’t chase them,” Klimas said. “If they’re going to come up, in the long run they’re going to come up. But we cannot just sleep on them and then think about, ‘Is Adonis going to fight us? Is Hopkins going to fight us? What are we going to do?’ We have our own plan. We’re going our own direction. And if any of them are going to come into our way, we’ll take it.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide . Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]