Adonis Stevenson just threw a monkey wrench in the boxing world. Via His Instagram, Adonis Stevenson announced that he has signed with super advisor Al Haymon.
Quick History Lesson. HBO banned Golden Boy last year after Mayweather had announced he was signing a 6 fight deal with Showtime. With Golden Boy, many of the Al Haymon fighters also jumped ship and appeared exclusively on Showtime. Now while HBO is no longer in the Golden Boy business, on rare occassions there have been Haymon fighters who have appeared on the network last year. Chris Arreola took on Bermane Stiverne and Edwin Rodriguez took on Andre Ward.
So is Stevenson, who is promoted by Yvon Michel and has been built on the HBO Network no longer an HBO fighter? Does this mean the big fight at 175 between Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev is dead? Does this mean we got Stevenson-Hopkins?
The news via twitter created a lot of buzz and uncertainty. According to the parties involved via a Steve Kim tweet is that the plan from Michel and Kathy Duva, Kovalev’s promoter is to stage the Stevenson-Kovalev fight in September after Kovalev takes on Cedric Agnew and Stevenson takes on Fonfora which is expected to be announced Monday.
Stevenson has on numerous occasions called out Bernard Hopkins even when asked about a possible Kovalev fight in his in ring interview with Max Kellerman last November. Hopkins, who is on the other side of the cold war was regulated to facing an unknown Karo Murat and is likely to face another unknown titleholder in Beibut Shumenov. Hopkins has been to Montreal twice when he drew then beat Jean Pascal in front of a large crowd on both occasions. So a Stevenson-Hopkins fight will do big business if it happens but would it be on HBO or Showtime?
All this could mean is the price of Stevenson-Kovalev just went up. After Stevenson beat Dawson and Kovalev became a viable opponent when he beat Nathan Cleverly, the two were put on the same bill in November to sort of build up the fight. The built up was made when both men took care of business. Why another interim fight was needed to build up the most attractive fight at 175 is a question for all parties involved, especially HBO.
I don’t normally put stock in fighters attending fights but on two occasions when Stevenson came to the United States for fights, they were both in Brooklyn and both showtime fights. Here’s Stevenson in June after leaving the HBO offices at the Broner-Malignaggi weigh in with Sam Watson.
Then in December while Kovalev attended the Rigondeaux-Agbeko fight in Atlantic City, an HBO fight, Stevenson again was in Brooklyn at Malignaggi-Judah.
The writing seemed to be on the wall that a Stevenson-Haymon pack was inevitable. Now HBO will have to pay. Whether its losing a Stevenson-Kovalev fight or paying a larger number now, they will have to pay. But hey, they did give Edwin Rodriguez, another Al Haymon fighter a high 6 figure purse to fight Andre Ward and in total paid 3 million dollars for a fight that was a mismatch They also paid close to a 3 million dollar fee when Miguel Cotto faced Delvin Rodriguez, another mismatch. So HBO will pay, hopefully its just more cash for a Stevenson-Kovalev fight.