By Steve Kim
With Sergey Kovalev getting stopped in seven rounds by Eleider Alvarez in rather stunning fashion this past Saturday night in Atlantic City, New Jersey, it scuttles plans to have Kovalev face Dmitry Bivol in what would've been a light heavyweight unification bout in the winter.
"We were looking at December 8th, somewhere on the East Coast," said Vadim Kornilov, the manager of Dmitry Bivol, who successfully defended his WBA belt right before Kovalez-Alvarez took place for the WBO title.
The HBO televised doubleheader was likely a final showcase for the two Russian fighters before facing each other in the fall.
But Alvarez ended those plans, when he dropped Kovalev three times before the contest was waved off in the seventh.
The outcome may have been a blessing in disguise, as Bivol was not overly excited to fight someone from his own country.
"We still had our issues because Dmitry wasn't so motivated to fight a countryman but at the end of the day it probably had to happen because that's where everything was leading," Kornilov told BoxingScene.com.
As for the possibility of Alvarez, Kornilov says they are very receptive to that idea.
"There's a lot of things that have to be worked out as far as the rematch and stuff,'' noted Kornilov, referring to the rematch clause held by Kovalev's side.
"If Alvarez is available - or any other champion - definitely Dmitry still plans on unifying by the end of the year."
Regardless, look for Bivol, who has successfully defended his title against Sullivan Barrera and now Chilemba in 2018, to fight one more this year.
"That's the plan,"confirmed Kornilov.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.