Duva confirms Hopkins had to sign for Kovalev by 5pm on Friday or be stripped by IBF
Main Events promoter Kathy Duva has revealed to WBN that Bernard Hopkins would have been relieved of his coveted IBF light-heavyweight title belt if ‘The Alien’ had not signed on to face Sergey Kovalev on Friday.
Duva told WBN in the build-up to the Kovalev-Caparello clash on Saturday that a deal was in place for a unification with Hopkins, although has confirmed that indeed the ink was already dry on the big fight contracts.
“The fight was signed on Friday, in anticipation of the IBF’s 5pm deadline. If we had not signed the contracts ahead of time, Hopkins would have been stripped of his title,” Duva explained to World Boxing News.
Hopkins waiting in the wings had put some pressure on Kovalev to come through his defense with the Australian unscathed, although the strong Russian had no problems in taking out Caparello in two painful rounds.
In the immediate aftermath, a mass of predictions swept across the three-belt contest predicting that it may be one-sided in favour of Kovalev, but Duva believes views on the bout have evened out since then or even more towards the near 50 year-old Hopkins.
“To tell you the truth, most of the reaction that I have seen seems to be going in the other direction and for a Hopkins win,” said Duva.
“I have seen some online polls and scanned many of the discussion threads on various websites and It looks as though the fan sentiments are closer to 50/50.
“This is by no means an easy fight for either competitor, but I guess that’s what makes it so interesting,” she added.
It’s now set-up for a massive WBA, WBO and IBF 175lb showdown to be televised on regular HBO, with the agreement also signalling the end of a feud between Main Events and Showtime/Al Haymon over the Adonis Stevenson fight collapse.
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