Sullivan Barrera is ready for the fight. The Cuban boxer was confident of a deal being reached for a potential showdown against former world champion Sergey Kovalev, but there is serious doubt about the contest coming off in the coming months.
Barrera had already signed the contract to face Kovalev on a DAZN card between April and May, that would mark the Cuban's return to the ring after a long period of rehabilitation from shoulder surgery and only waited for confirmation from the other camp.
"I signed and accepted [the fight]," Barrera stated, according to George Ebro. "Sergey Kovalev doesn't want to sign. He says he needs more time and to gain more weight, blah, blah, blah. Kovalev, man, we're going to fight for honor. Come on, buddy. No more vodka time. Train."
Although several press reports indicated that Barrera was in position to fight Marcus Browne, his camp was working to secure this meeting with Kovalev, who is trying to bounce back after losing in November 2019 at the hands of Mexican superstar Saul "Canelo 'Alvarez.
The bout with Kovalev would have taken place above the light heavyweight limit of 175-pounds, as Kovalev is looking to work his way up to the cruiserweight division.
But Kovalev, one of the most feared men of the last decade, faces other problems outside the ring such as the February 25th arrest in Los Angeles for driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as contemplating the possibility of several years in prison if found guilty of an alleged assault on a woman in an incident which took place in June 2018.
Barrera had an operation on his right shoulder last September to repair a damaged ligament, which prevented him from deploying his skills in the ring and annoyed him for quite some time.
After the fight against Dmitry Bivol, Barrera (22-3, 14 KO) began experiencing shoulder discomfort, but tried to return to normal with exercises and therapies to avoid an operation that would keep him out of the ring for at least eight months.
In his two bouts against Sean Monagham and Jesse Hart - he won the first and lost the second - but the Cuban was limited in his sparring and camp in general for fear of aggravating the problems that existed in the ligaments of the shoulder.