Main Events promoter Kathy Duva has told WBN that she was hoping to at least be made a counter-offer in her bid to pit Sergey Kovalev against Artur Beterbiev.
Duva made an offer to Beterbiev’s representative Yvon Michel this week that she says was turned down flat despite the deal being highly acceptable.
Kovalev, who holds the WBO, WBA and IBF versions of the light heavyweight title, was looking to face 100% KO artist Beterbiev in the coming months, although fight fans were left disappointed as Duva explained in her statement directed to Michel himself.
“You told the media that Beterbiev would take this fight if our offer was fair, which it clearly was. Sergey and I are quite disappointed that you have turned it down without even making a counter-offer.
“Sergey was in a similar position in 2013: After he won an eliminator to face Bernard Hopkins for the IBF title, he was offered a fight against Nathan Cleverly for the WBO championship immediately.
“Though a Hopkins fight would have been more lucrative, Sergey would have had to wait for months during which anything could happen. Without a moment’s hesitation Sergey chose to take the immediate, guaranteed title shot in his opponent’s backyard.
“Of course, Sergey went on to fight Hopkins and unify three light heavyweight belts in a major promotion. As you, yourself, said to a reporter last week when you get your first title shot, you take it.
“You say that you want to bury the hatchet, but actions speak louder than words. It seems that you would rather posture and look for purse bids rather than actually make a fight.
“I hope that I am wrong and you will prove it by at least attempting to negotiate a fight, whether it be for Kovalev to fight Stevenson or Beterbiev. After all, Sergey is the only one contractually bound to a TV network and you have never once made an offer to me to make either of these fights that the fans so want to see.
“In the meantime, we will continue to make fights for Sergey against the best fighters who are actually willing to face him. As his star continues to rise, the terms I have offered to you for Beterbiev and Stevenson will not be open for long.” – Kathy Duva.