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Stevenson versus Kovalev may be waged in courtroom

Sergey Kovalev (left) and Adonis Stevenson are pictured together in happier times.
Sergey Kovalev (left) and Adonis Stevenson are pictured together in happier times.

It appears as though the Adonis Stevenson versus Sergey Kovalev battle may be headed for a courtroom instead of a boxing ring.

Despite the name calling among everyone involved with light heavyweight titlists Stevenson and Kovalev, including the fighters themselves, the chances of the two meeting in the ring are unlikely. Kovalev, the WBO 175 pound belt-holder and Stevenson, wearer of the WBC strap were on a collision course until Stevenson jumped the HBO ship and signed a deal with S.S. Showtime.

More than anything, it is the dueling television networks that will prevent this bout from seeing the light of day. First and foremost, boxing is a business and because of that the likelihood the two men will meet in a ring are like Don King used to say; “Slim and none - and slim’s outta’ town.”

Kovalev (24-0-1, 22KOs) fought last night in Atlantic City and scored a seventh round knockout over the very limited Cedric Agnew. It was an unimpressive performance and in no way did Kovalev increase his stock with the victory.

Stevenson (23-1, 20KOs) watching the bout on television, tweeted to Kovalev, “You just a real slow BUM with no defence. Easy work!” Stevenson also indicated that if he ever did meet Kovalev that “he will stay at the hospital” and “He can’t fight for s#*t!! Slow with no defence!”

Stevenson also implored Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events to get in contact with his advisor Al Haymon and promoter Yvon Michel of GYM Inc. in order to put the match together.

While all of that makes for entertaining reading, Duva told The Ring that litigation may be the next step in their journey of resolving differences. “Our position is that we have a deal with Yvon Michel. We are going to protect our rights as we always do. We are reserving all of our rights at this moment and we’ll make a decision next week about how we’re going to proceed.”

Immediately after dispatching the hapless Agnew at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, Kovalev was asked to respond to Stevenson’s inflammatory comments and how he felt now that the Stevenson bout is unlikely to take place.

“I don’t care, I don’t think about Adonis at all,” said Kovalev. “I’ve never said I am the best, but I am willing to fight anyone. We’ll see in the future. The ones who do not choose to fight me are really not fighters – they are businessmen. They are just looking for a way to get money, easy money.”

The other two belt-holders in the light heavyweight division are Bernard Hopkins (IBF) and Beibut Shumenov (WBA) who are slated to square off on April 19. The rumor is that the winner of that bout will likely be matched with Stevenson which would unify 3 of the 4 existing titles. The 49-year-old Hopkins has an interest in meeting Stevenson as he has expressed a desire to unify the light heavyweight championships as he once did in the middleweight division. Both men share the same advisor in Al Haymon and more importantly both men appear on Showtime.

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