By Luke Furman
Former two division world champion and Golden Boy Promotions executive Bernard Hopkins is shaking his head at the lack of activity and lack of top defenses by WBC light heavyweight beltholder Adonis Stevenson of Canada.
Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) has not made a mandatory defense of his title since 2013, when he knocked out Tony Bellew. Eleider Alvarez has been Stevenson's mandatory challenger for the last two years.
Hopkins was actually in negotiations to fight Stevenson back in 2014 in a Showtime headliner. The negotiations were dragging on a bit too long for Hopkins' liking, so he broke them off to finalize a unification deal with Sergey Kovalev on HBO.
In the opinion of Hopkins, Stevenson must take responsibility for his inactivity and lack of top fights.
Hopkins wishes there some type of higher order that would force boxers to make their mandatory defenses.
"I think it's something we see often and it's tiresome to me. You have to fight against the best in your division. And if it's not at this moment, it has to be the second thing to do on your list," Hopkins told The Montreal Journal.
"The one who is refusing to take the challenge in any weight class, and regardless of their promoter, must accept responsibility for what he can't offer to the public. I've always said that if we had a union like football and basketball, there would be someone who could force the fighters to fulfill their mandates."
Stevenson only fought once in 2016 and once in 2017. His return continued to be pushed back for most of the year.
There now talk that Stevenson is going to fight former champion Badou Jack in the first quarter of the year, with Alvarez instead facing Oleksandr Gvozdyk in some type of final eliminator for a WBC interim-belt - and then the winners of both fights will have to face each other. Although Alvarez has been through at least three final eliminators.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org