Light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera has come out firing after reading a recent article on BoxingScene.com.
Promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events had discussed how WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev was disappointed because Barrera was his preferred opponent for March 3 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
She says Barrera turned down the opportunity to face Kovalev, so now the Russian puncher is taking on IBO champion Igor Mikhalkin in the main event of an HBO doubleheader - and Barrera will be featured in the televised co-feature when he challenges WBA champion Dmitry Bivol.
“Sergey really wanted to fight Barrera,” Duva, Main Events’ CEO, told BoxingScene.com. “He was very anxious to fight him. I think he was disappointed.”
According to the Cuban boxer, not all of the facts are being presented by Duva, who promotes both Kovalev and Barrera.
He claims Duva's offer was $100,000 less than the previous number that she put on the table to fight Kovalev back in November. Instead of facing Barrera, the Russian puncher would blast out Vyacheslav Shabranskyy for the vacant WBO title.
Barrera admitted afterwards that he would taken the fight had he known the WBO would sanction it for their world title.
He also claims that in order to fight Kovalev he would have been required to sign a new promotional agreement with Duva.
"It would be nice if my promoter would be honest and tell the truth and stop telling media that her main event sucks because I turned down Kovalev. She offered me 100k less money to fight Sergey than last time and wanted a new contract with her for the rest my career," Barrera stated on social media in response to the BoxingScene story.
HBO is very interested in matching the winners of the upcoming doubleheader. If Kovalev and Barrera win their respective fights, there will be pressure from the network to see the two of them lock up in the fall.