Duva awaits Stevenson decision for 50/50 June unification, warns of split change if Kovalev beats Ward

Amanda Kwok / Rich Graessle

Sergey Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva is hoping to secure a mammoth 2016 for the light heavyweight ruler with bouts against Adonis Stevenson and Andre Ward in the second half of the year.

Duva had already informed WBN of talks to pit Kovalev against Ward in the next twelve months but now hopes to seal a long-awaited unification with Stevenson beforehand. A 50/50 offer is on the table for Stevenson to put his WBC belt on the line against the WBO, WBA and IBF champion in June, although Duva also had a warning for ‘Superman’ should he fail to accept the terms of the deal.

“We are targeting Ward for the fourth quarter of 2016, but we also have a contract out to Yvon Michel for Kovalev to fight Stevenson at a 50/50 split of all net proceeds in June.” Duva exclusively told World Boxing News.

“It is now up to Adonis and his management to decide if they want the fight, but if I get my way both fights will happen.

“Obviously, if Sergey wins the Ward fight (after Stevenson declines the June bout), the 50/50 split for Stevenson will be off the table. And if Sergey is not successful, the interest in Kovalev-Stevenson just won’t be there anymore.

“So it’s now or most likely never and I hope we can get it done,” she added.

Fans have been clamouring for Kovalev to battle Stevenson since both burst onto the pound for pound scene with world title victories in the summer of 2013. Even the WBC attempted to stipulate a purse bid earlier this year to no avail.

Kovalev up against Ward goes some way to easing the pain of the Stevenson fight delay, although to get a pair of encounters of that magnitude in the same year would be some accomplishment for Duva.

Should the big-hitting Russian get his wish to face Stevenson and Ward by the end of 2016, Kovalev could well be crowned the number one fighter in the world if his undefeated record remains intact.