By Luke Furman
Is Adonis Stevenson vs. Badou Jack on the horizon?
It's now being reported that Eleider Alvarez, who is the mandatory challenger to WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, is going to sign a step-side deal - which is going to open the door for a potential fight between Stevenson and Jack.
Alvarez has been the mandatory challenger, for two years, to Stevenson's title. Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) and Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs) are both advised by Al Haymon and promoted by Yvon Michel of GYM.
Alvarez has been the mandatory challenger to Stevenson since his victory over Isaac Chilemba in November 2015 in Quebec City. The champion has not faced a mandatory challenger since he knocked out Tony Bellew in November 2013 in Quebec City. He has made six defenses of his title since.
Stevenson vs. Alvarez was originally planned for December 16th, but it was put off after a conflict with the finalized fight featuring popular middleweight David Lemieux - who was scheduled to return on the same date, in Canada, against WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in the main event of an HBO televised card.
Stevenson has often stated in interviews that Alvarez brought little to the table, but he's very motivated to fight someone like Jack - who vacated the WBA "regular" title at 175-pounds to target a Stevenson showdown.
For stepping aside, Alvarez has been offered a deal from GYM, that gives him a multi-fight agreement with six-figure guarantee per fight and Stevenson is also part of that package.
"Eleider could have forced Adonis to fight him, but the amount of money he was being offered for this fight was minimal," said Alvarez's manager Stephane Lepine, to 98.5 Sports.
"We're always getting the excuse that Showtime is not interested in Alvarez. What was important for us was that Elder can make enough money to feed his family. And I have confirmation from the WBC that if he does not get his chance at the belt, it could automatically be taken away from the champion.
"In return we are given the luxury of being able to choose our own opponent. It's important for us that it's a well-known opponent, otherwise Showtime will not show it on TV. And we do not want to be told that Showtime is not interested.
"What I find unfortunate is that currently Eleider is not focused on his career, he is more stressed and anxious by everything that happens with him. With this contract in his pocket, I hope he will have his peace of mind and can invest 100% in what he has to do in boxing."
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.