The 38 year-old has been linked to a massive unification with three-belt title holder Kovalev for almost three years now, although both camps have continually passed the buck regarding the acceptance of either sides terms.
Firstly, Stevenson moved from HBO to Showtime as the fight was due to take place in 2014, whilst a year on, Kovalev pulled out of a stipulated WBC purse bid leaving respective negotiators Yvon Michel and Kathy Duva at a stalemate.
The latest proposal to be made public was Duva’s promotional outfit Main Events laying down a contract for the fight to happen on HBO this coming June, prior to Kovalev then moving on to a fight against former super middleweight king Andre Ward if successful.
This offer was flatly refused by Stevenson’s team as ‘Superman’ eyes a spring return to action, meaning the fight is still nowhere nearer a happy conclusion and both champions are currently looking at alternative options.
“Probably in April I will be back in the ring. I am negotiating with a couple of guys so I’m very excited,” Stevenson exclusively told World Boxing News in an interview on Monday.
“The Kovalev offer is still there, but he won’t take it. I’ve got my TV deal (Showtime) and he’s got his TV (with HBO) and Showtime is ready to negotiate with HBO to make the fight happen. Ever since I left for Showtime, Al Haymon and my team know that I want the Kovalev fight.
“But Kovalev’s team are trying to find a reason not to fight. Like, ‘we can only fight on HBO’ and other things like that. I know my position on the fight. I’m the boxer, so I have my manager and Showtime supporting me on the Kovalev fight.”
As the formidable TV problem once again raises its head to block a fan-friendly bout, Stevenson admitted that negotiations are not as cut and dried as people may think, but still hopes to one day share the ring with his arch-nemesis.
“People say, look at Amir Khan fighting on Showtime and HBO, so ‘why don’t you fight on HBO’ but I’m the lineal champion, I’m the WBC champion and it’s not that simple a situation,” he pointed out.
“My TV approve my fights and Kovalev’s TV approve his fights, so I’m not going to go to my network like I’m the opponent. I’m not the opponent, I’m the champion and Showtime approve my fights good.
“Nobody can dictate to us, but regarding my next fight I’ll let Al Haymon take care of that. Al will negotiate the fight and the contracts, so I don’t have a problem fighting anybody. Whoever Al puts in front of me I’m fine – I don’t have a problem.
“If Kovalev fights me though I will knock him out, for sure. I like Kovalev’s style for the fight as he has a good style for me to knock him out,” added Stevenson.