The concretization of the The Ring, WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO light heavyweight unification fight between Adonis “Superman” Stevenson and Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev has taken another important step. The World Boxing Council (WBC) has ordered a purse bid to take place April 17 in order to determine the promoter of this major event.
Initially requested by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) to ensure the required time to prepare for a major event like this super fight, the WBC agreed to host the purse bid on Apr. 17 in Mexico.
The winner of this purse bid will have an advantage over the other promoter in terms of determining the date, place and television network for the light heavyweight showdown. Each group will split the bid equally on a 50-50 basis.
Before the Stevenson (25-1, 21 KOs) vs. Kovalev (27-0-1, 24 KOs) rumble can happen, though, both fighters must win their next bout. Stevenson, the Haitian-born Quebecer, has to successfully defend his WBC and The Ring crowns April 4 in Quebec City against Cameroon native Sakio Bika (32-6-3, 21 KOs), while Kovalev has 90 days to execute a mandatory defense of his IBF belt against Frenchman Nadjib Mohammedi (37-3, 23 KOs) at a place to be determined.
Stevenson’s promoter, GYM president Yvon Michel, is excited by the possibility of promoting what could be the biggest light heavyweight brawl of all-time. “We went ahead because Adonis and his team (adviser Al Haymon and head trainer Jevan Sugar Hill) wanted this awesome fight to happen,” Michel explained. “My boxer (Stevenson) wants to give his fans, not only from Quebec but from around the entire world, the fight they really want.
“Adonis was unfairly accused of ducking Kovalev last summer but his ultimate goal has always been to prove he is the King of the Light Heavyweights.”
“Everybody talks to me about Sergey Kovalev,” WBC, The Ring and lineal world light heavyweight champion Stevenson added. “I am fully focussed on Sakio Bika right now, but I really want to unify the titles. I am the king of my division and ready to prove it.”
The 37-year-old southpaw, fully confident of winning all the major world title belts, also noted, “In fact, the two titles (WBA and IBF) that Bernard Hopkins lost to Kovalev were supposed to be mine, but Hopkins ran away to HBO rather than fight me.”
With the help of the WBC
Sanctioning bodies rarely allow champions of other organizations to be part in its rankings. In this case, however, the WBC made an exception and stated that, at its 52th annual convention last December in Las Vegas, the Kovalev vs. Jean Pascal bout winner would be the mandatory challenger for Stevenson’s title.
The importance and magnitude of a fight with all the titles of a single division at stake influenced the WBC Board of Governors to make that decision.
“That was an excellent strategy by Kathy Duva (president of Main Events and Kovalev’s promoter),” Michel commented. “Adonis is now obligated to face Kovalev in a unification bout, guaranteeing a simple process without long, unnecessary bargaining. Our champion won’t back down, the countdown has just started.”