By Ryan Burton
Adonis Stevenson had a brilliant 2013 campaign, going 4-0 with 4 knockouts and captured the WBC light heavyweight title and the lineal light heavyweight title in the process. Earlier this week, the Haitian fighter sent shock waves throughout the industry when he announced that he had signed a contract with powerful boxing adviser Al Haymon, who is regarded by many as the most powerful man in the sport.
Stevenson said that one of the many reasons that he joined Haymon's deep stable of fighters is because he wants to make sure that he gets paid fairly for everything that he has accomplished over the past year. Stevenson won numerous awards for his 2013 campaign and wants to be compensated accordingly.
"I had Knockout of the Year and I was named Fighter of the Year so I just want to make sure I get paid what I am worth. That is why I signed with Al," explained Stevenson.
The 36-year-old Montreal resident had appeared to be on a collision course with fellow knockout artist Sergey Kovalev prior to signing with Haymon. The plan was for Stevenson to face Andrzej Fonfara in May, and then face Kovalev, who takes on Cedric Agnew in March, in the fall provided they both win their upcoming bouts.
Stevenson said that he has absolutely no problems with either fight but insists that now he will solely concentrate on training in the gym and leave the business aspects of his career to Haymon and his promoter Yvon Michel, President of Gym Promotions.
"Whatever my manager and promoter say is what I will do. My job is to keep training and knock my opponents out. The rest is up to Al Haymon and Yvon Michel," Stevenson stated.
A Stevenson-Kovalev showdown is one of the most highly anticipated fights that can be made. Stevenson reiterated that facing the Russian isn't an issue and also said that he believed the fight would do big numbers on Canadian pay-per-view.
"If the deal makes sense I will fight him. That is why I have Al Haymon. As long as it is a good deal and it makes sense I will fight him, no problem. That fight is a good fight. It would bring in a lot of money in Canada. The business side is Al Haymon's part to take care of. Focusing on training is my job and he takes care of the business situation," Stevenson told BoxingScene.com.
The majority of Haymon's stable fight on Showtime while Stevenson is one of rival network HBO's top stars. Haymon is closely aligned with Golden Boy Promotions and it is no secret that Stevenson has long coveted a fight against IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins, who also is a stakeholder in Golden Boy Promotions. Stevenson was coy in responding to my question of whether a showdown against the 49-year-old future Hall of Famer was a possibility in the near future.
"Of course the opportunity is there but I am with HBO. I am an HBO fighter. So wherever my fight is or takes place, it is up to my manager to take care of that," Stevenson stated.
Hopkins will likely face WBA light heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov in April so he would have to win that fight for a unification fight against Stevenson to be possible.
Stevenson has fought the majority of his career in his adopted hometown of Montreal. While he loves fighting in front of his hometown fans, he has said on numerous occasions that he would love to fight in the Fight Capital of the World or in the Big Apple and he feels that his new alliance with Haymon can make his dream possible.
"Al Haymon is my manager so that is an option. I can fight in Vegas or New York. I am probably going to fight at either or both places. Whatever Al Haymon says is where I am going to fight. It can be in New York or Vegas or even in Africa (laughing)," Stevenson quipped.
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