TV scuppers Kovalev v Stevenson purse bid: What this means for 175 super-fight

Rich Graessle / Amanda Kwok

It was obvious in 2014 when Adonis Stevenson decided to switch from HBO to Showtime that a fight with Sergey Kovalev would be made all the more difficult to put together. On Tuesday, so it proved to be the case.

A mandated purse bid led by the World Boxing Council on behalf of their champion Stevenson was rejected by WBO and WBA title holder Kovalev’s team due to the fact that Main Events and Kathy Duva only see the fight happening on HBO.

Duva pulled the plug on bidding for the contest due to the fact that Kovalev has a mandatory obligation with Nadjib Mohammadi to fulfil and setting up the clash with Stevenson is simply not workable until after the summer contest.

It is then hoped that both sides will be able to thrash out a deal without the need for a purse bid, although this will come down to a TV agreement that is acceptable to all parties and might prove to be more difficult than originally feared.

Will Stevenson fight on HBO again? – Probably not. Will Kovalev’s team be willing to bend and allow Showtime full rights to the encounter? – Again probably not, so right now we are at a stalemate on making the biggest fight out there in the light heavyweight division.

Kovalev will plough on with his Mohammedi defense, whilst Stevenson could ironically be pitted against the Russian’s stablemate Isaac Chilemba whom Main Events may well allow to box on Showtime in order for the Malawian to have a chance of achieving his world title dream.

Right now though, Kovalev v Stevenson is as far away as it has been for some time.