Duva: WBC #1 Chilemba free to fight Stevenson on any network
Main Events promoter Kathy Duva has confirmed to WBN that nothing would stop Isaac Chilemba fighting on Showtime as the mandatory challenger to WBC light heavyweight title holder Adonis Stevenson.
Duva recently pulled Sergey Kovalev from purse bids to face Stevenson due to the fact that the Russian three-belt world champion’s network HBO would like broadcast rights to what would be a much sought-after and massive unification clash.
That fight has now be put to one side as Kovalev meets his number one challenger, Nadjib Mohammedi on July 18 in Las Vegas, leaving Stevenson on the lookout for his next foe. As Kovalev’s stablemate Chilemba is first in line to Stevenson’s green belt, Duva is open to allowing the Malawian-born boxer to open discussions about a meeting without any TV restrictions.
As Kovalev’s stablemate Chilemba is first in line for Stevenson’s green belt, Duva is open to allowing the Malawian-born boxer to begin discussions about a meeting between the pair without any TV restrictions or stipulations.
“We would love to make a fight between Isaac Chilemba and Adonis Stevenson as it seems unlikely that the bout that the WBC ordered fight with Kovalev will take place due to Stevenson’s reluctance to fight on HBO,” Duva exclusively told World Boxing News on Wednesday.
“Isaac, who is rated #1 in the WBC, is available. So if the World Boxing Council wishes to mandate that fight, I can confirm that Isaac Chilemba is free to fight on any network against Stevenson.”
Chilemba has battled his way to the top of the WBC ratings with some impressive performances of late and has informed WBN on a number of occasions his desire to meet Stevenson in the ring. Victories over Denis Grachev, and more recently against Vasily Lepikhin, have catapulted the 27 year-old to the cusp of a first world title shot – and it seems that the ball is now firmly in the Stevenson and the WBC’s court as to whether the contest happens next.