By Keith Idec
Adonis Stevenson and his handlers haven’t been distracted by Main Events’ lawsuit against them as they’ve prepared for the WBC light heavyweight champion’s fight Saturday night against Andrzej Fonfara.
Main Events sued Stevenson, adviser Al Haymon, promoter Yvon Michel, Golden Boy Promotions, Showtime and eight unnamed others in a civil suit filed last month in a New York federal court. The suit stems from the well-documented belief of Main Events chief executive officer that she and Michel had reached an agreement on a deal four months ago that would’ve matched Quebec’s Stevenson (23-1, 20 KOs) against Russian knockout artist Sergey Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KOs), the WBO 175-pound champion promoted by Main Events, by sometime in the fall.
The 36-year-old Stevenson instead appears headed toward a light heavyweight title unification fight against IBF champion Bernard Hopkins, assuming the heavily favored southpaw can defeat Fonfara (25-2-1, 15 KOs, 1 NC) in their scheduled 12-rounder at Bell Centre in Montreal (Showtime; 9 p.m. ET).
“They’re making a lot of noise,” Michel said of Main Events on a conference call this week, “but we’re very happy, if they want us to go in court, it’s no problem. Then we’re going to be able to show that they misled everybody, that they lied publicly. So we will be able to expose them. Meantime, here it didn’t affect at all the preparation of the show. It didn’t affect the ticket sales, the TV. On the contrary, I believe that that brought more publicity on Adonis worldwide. The name of Adonis Stevenson was more in the media since the [lawsuit] before it was before that, so I think that’s going to bring more publicity and more viewers [to] Showtime to watch that fight.”
Stevenson said during the same conference call that he expects to eventually fight Kovalev, though he didn’t specify when he thinks that fight might occur. He declined comment regarding Main Events’ lawsuit.
“I’ll let Al Haymon take care of that,” Stevenson said. “I’m not concerned with that. My promoter will take care of that. I’m concerned with my fight. I’m focused on my fight. Fonfara, I’m not overlooking him. I’m very focused. I’m training very hard for this fight. So that’s what my focus is – Fonfara.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.