By Elisinio Castillo
Sullivan Barrera was confident that Artur Beterbiev would be his next opponent, but the negotiations did not play out as expected and now the IBF light heavyweight champion is heading in another direction.
According to Barrera, he signed a contract to face Beterviev in early May, but it appears that undefeated Russian puncher will instead defend his International Boxing Federation against Swedish contender Sven Fornling,
And now, the Cuban boxer has turned his sights on an old acquaintance: WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev.
Barrera was not happy with Beterbiev's decision.
"He went from confronting me to facing a stranger from Sweden," Barrera wrote on his Twitter account. "That is Beterbiev being Beterbiev. Now I want to try to measure myself against Sergey Kovalev. ''
For a long time, Barrera and Kovalev were under the same promoter, Main Events, and there was always the idea of matching the two of them against each other. Barrera's contract with Main Events expired and he is currently a free agent.
However, they both took separate paths and that fight never occurred. While the Russian lost - and then recovered - his world title in last month's rematch with Eleider Alvarez, the Cuban boxer failed in his starting chance against WBA champion Dmitry Bivol.
"My eyesight is now on Sergey Kovalev, the only champion available to fight," said Barrera to George Ebro. "Why not fight with me? When I was with my former promoter, that was the plan. They signed me as a potential opponent for him. Things did not work out then, but now they could.''
The only other world champion out there, World Boxing Council beltholder Oleksandr Gvozdyk, is already scheduled to make a defense against Congolese contender Doudou Ngumbu.