By Luke Furman
As previously reported on BoxingScene.com, Eleider Alvarez will finally get his world title fight, but it will not be against Adonis Stevenson.
The promoters for both fighters confirmed that Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs) will go up against Sergey Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KOs) for the light heavyweight title of the World Boxing Organization (WBO).
Stephane Lepine, who manages Alvarez, said his entire team was tired of wasting their time by chasing Stevenson around.
Alvarez was the WBC's mandatory challenger to Stevenson's world title since the fall of 2015, but he was never able to get him in the ring.
Stevenson is scheduled to defend his belt against Badou Jack on May 19 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
The fight between Kovalev and Alvarez will take place in late July or early August, at Madison Square Garden in New York or at Place Bell in Laval. Yvon Michel, who promotes Alvarez, has also reserved the Amphitheater Laval for July 28. Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut is also considered.
"It's a team effort," Lepine said to RDS. "I want to say that [promoter] Yvon [Michel] has been very supportive of me. The decisions we made in the past, to fight with Lucian (Bute), to fight with Jean (Pascal), and for a year the pressure that has been placed, it has circulated our name. Finally, we can enjoy it.
And for his part, Michel believes contest would be big in Canada.
"In the agreement, Quebec will be considered, but it will be a question of money. We will calculate how much (money) we can do here," explained Michel.
"I am convinced that this fight is a local world championship encounter, because Kovalev is just as well known as any boxer here and Alvarez has a significant amount of sympathy in the capital. We will do surveys, talk to our employees to be able to make a solid presentation. July 28, for now, this is the only date that corresponds with the availability of HBO."
The Colombian-born Montrealer twice agreed to step aside as Stevenson was free to make optional defenses against Thomas Williams and Andrezj Fonfara.
"At the end of the day, we carry the burden of our decisions," said Lépine.
"Stevenson does not get along with any good boxer, he only gets along with those who are easy prey for him. One thing that is very clear is that Stevenson does not want to box against a Quebec fighter in Quebec. He did not get along with Jean Pascal. He did the same thing to us.
"We negotiated, negotiated and negotiated. We waited and when we agreed - he never signed. So what am I doing? I had an offer to fight for the world championship against a name that, in the United States, is even better known than Stevenson and will have more impact on Eleider's career. He's lucky to be back on HBO.
"The other option was to continue with pride, to ask the WBC to force Stevenson to fight us. They would then have come up with TV dates and a pack of conditions and would have pushed us back until Christmas again. I did everything to get along with Stevenson, but he does not want to do anything. We have other champions who are ready to fight against us. These are the real champions who agree to fight against other champions. Stevenson will be a champion who never fought against anyone. He will have to live with that."
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.