By Jake Donovan
The news of Bernard Hopkins facing Sergey Kovalev
initially left lineal light heavyweight king Adonis Stevenson without a dance
partner for a planned September 27 ring return. Unable to close in on a
suitable opponent in time, it has now left him without a fight at all on the
A joint decision was made by Stevenson’s team and
American cable giant Showtime to push back the reigning champion’s next fight
to an unspecified date in October or November. October 18 has been tentatively
tossed around as a possibility, though when he returns is dependent on the
level of opposition and if all parties can broker a deal in time.
“It was a proposition by Showtime and we will go with
that decision,” promoter Yvon Michel told
on Thursday afternoon. “They want to have time to promote Adonis’ next fight.
They told us to find a date in October or November.”
Stevenson last fought in May, scoring an early knockdown
but also having to climb off the canvas to escape with a decision win over
Andrzej Fonfara. The stay-busy fight was originally scheduled to appear on HBO
as means to build momentum towards a mouthwatering showdown with fellow light
heavyweight knockout artist Kovalev.
However, Stevenson opted to cross the street to Showtime,
joining the rest of the major fighters in the vast stable of adviser Al Haymon,
with whom the southpaw signed in March.
The move was intended to trigger a three-belt unification
bout with Hopkins, who did his part by beating Beibut Shumenov to walk away
with two belts in the aftermath of their April clash. A deal was thought to be
in place, only for Hopkins to call an audible and instead decided to return to
HBO to fight Kovalev later this fall.
With the legendary future Hall of Famer out of the mix,
the next logical choice for an opponent to face Stevenson was countryman Jean
Pascal. Such a fight would be huge in Canada—huge enough to where those with a financial stake aren’t quite ready to make it happen in the 4th
quarter of 2014.
“The next opponent won’t be Jean Pascal,” Michel
confirmed. “[E]venutally they will fight each other.”
The leading candidates to emerge as Stevenson’s next
opponent are Umberto Savigne and Gabriel Campillo. Both are coming off of
recent wins that aired on regional cable.
Savigne scored a one-sided 2
of badly faded former super middleweight titlist Jeff Lacy in July. Already
highly ranked among the alphabets, Savigne called out Stevenson and Kovalev
before the fight; the claims fell on deaf ears although the Cuban boxer may now
get his wish.
Campillo racked up a career-resurrecting 5
round knockout of previously unbeaten Thomas Williams Jr. The former light
heavyweight titlist was in a career free fall, having suffered three losses in
the span of four fights, including knockout defeats against Kovalev and Fonfara
just seven months apart.
Two wins have followed, including the stunner over
Williams Jr. to once again surface to light heavyweight contention level.
Who lands the assignment is entirely dependent on one
“We will talk to Stevenson’s agent, Al Haymon,” Michel
noted of the pending opponent selection.
Jake Donovan is the
Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the
Transnational Boxing Ratings Board
and a member
Boxing Writers Association of America