Following an email from Kovalev’s handler Kathy Duva, Michel believes that undefeated Beterbiev would be better served fighting an eliminator first in order to enhance interest in the fight before tackling the big-punching Russian in the first quarter of 2016.
“Our rational is that more revenue and visibility will be generated on that fight in North America if Beterbiev has one more fight,” Michel told World Boxing News.
“It will be good for Beterbiev to fight for the mandatory position so we can show that we want to fight Kovalev.
“Our priority is Beterbiev, not to please Kathy Duva,” he added.
In a letter handed to WBN on Thursday, Michel opened up on the reply he sent back to Duva’s original enquiry.
The letter reads as follows:
Good evening Kathy,
First I wish to thank you again for your offer regarding Beterbiev and the opportunity to fight against Sergey Kovalev in Moscow on November 28. I believe it was a move in the right direction and you have made an honest offer considering the potential resources.
I am confirming to you again the intention for Beterbiev to box against your champion in the very near future.
After our meeting with Artur Beterbiev and his trainer today we have decided it would be best, for the moment, to go into the direction offered yesterday by the IBF and have Artur to fight for the IBF mandatory position.
So right after I send you this message I will write to the IBF that we have accepted to fight for the title eliminator against Bernard Hopkins.
Once Beterbiev is having one more fight and becomes the mandatory we would be open to do an immediate fight with the champion in early in 2016. At the moment, we are convinced the potential revenues will be much more important then what you can get in November.
In the meantime, we will still try to be creative and find a way, with you, to get Adonis Stevenson and others light heavyweight under our both control into the mix.
I hope this message find you well,
All the best