Exclusive: Duva responds to ‘free falling’ Stevenson, says fight solely on HBO or no Kovalev deal
Main Events promoter Kathy Duva has hit back at Adonis Stevenson following the WBC light-heavyweight title holder’s exclusive interview with WBN this week.
Stevenson, alongside his business manager Rudy Louis, gave in-depth thoughts on the possibility of a unification fight with Duva’s star fighter in three-belt 175 pound champion Sergey Kovalev.
During the discussion, Stevenson and Louis outlined that a 50/50 deal, plus an agreement between both networks, is all that is required to make the fight a reality.
Duva, on the other hand, moved to dismiss these claims completely as it’s common knowledge that Kovalev’s hands are tied to his current network.
“We have graciously offered Adonis a 50/50 split because Sergey wants to fight for the WBC belt. However, Sergey is exclusive to HBO, so when Adonis says that he wants both networks on board, that is the same thing as saying that he doesn’t want the fight,” Duva exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Adonis, his management and his promoter are all very well aware of that fact because I told his promoter back in October that if they could not agree to this term, there would be no point to any further negotiations. I also reiterated this fact to Adonis, himself, in November, on camera and in front of a group of reporters.
“As Adonis and his promoter have been told time and time again. Sergey is the “A” side now. He is ‘The Man’ and Adonis has turned down the fight just as surely as he would if he demanded a bigger split.
“If Adonis wants the fight, it must be distributed solely by HBO, but he doesn’t want the fight. And that is why after we agreed to all of his manager’s demands, Adonis came out and started demanding something that he knew he would not get.
“Times have changed and Sergey is universally recognized as the best light heavyweight in the world now and listed among the top three on every ‘Pound for Pound’ list. Meanwhile, Adonis’ career is in freefall and it’s a shame as It would have been a great event.”
Asked whether they could pick up the fight again next year once Kovalev fulfils his scheduled dates in June and November, Duva added: “The guy will be 39 in September and the ship has already sailed for the June promotion, Plus, if all goes according to plan, Sergey and (Andre) Ward will fight in the fourth quarter. So a year from now, we could be talking about doing this fight to celebrate Stevenson’s 40th birthday. That is, of course, in the unlikely event that Stevenson is still the WBC title holder a year from now.
“Al Haymon will make sure that when Adonis does lose his title, it will be to another fighter that Haymon controls.”
Duva then switched to the point made by Stevenson that Amir Khan fights freely on both Showtime and HBO, by stating: “The last time Amir Khan fought on Showtime was exactly one day after Stevenson’s last appearance on the network. Yet, Khan will fight Canelo in May on an HBO distributed PPV.
“So why is it that Showtime doesn’t have to be involved in the much bigger Canelo-Khan promotion, but they do have to be involved with Kovalev-Stevenson? It makes no logical sense. But I guess Adonis will believe anything, as long as it conveniently prevents him from having to actually fight Sergey.
“Adonis hasn’t fought on Showtime since 2014. And, in fact, he has only fought on Showtime twice during his career. Plus, Adonis has no exclusive contract there. So why is it that Khan can fight on an HBO PPV and Adonis cannot? Stevenson’s protests on this so-called issue ring hollow and the making of the Canelo-Khan fight should put this to rest.
“I wish him well in his future endeavors, but he should stop talking about Sergey because it is quite clear that Adonis doesn’t want to fight him. I can certainly understand why Adonis doesn’t want to get ‘Krushed’ though.
“As has been the case from day one, his mouth moves, but all I hear is “quack, quack, quack,” she added.