People that have been anticipating a clash between Light-Heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson and WBO Light-Heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev were a bit nervous when Stevenson signed with manager Al Haymon. The big gossip was that because of Haymon’s less than friendly relationship with HBO, Stevenson would jump ship to Showtime and Kovalev would be stuck with HBO.
It was announced this week that Adonis Stevenson’s next fight will be on Showtime and that he signed a contract with them because they were offering him more money.
HBO knew that Stevenson was becoming a big star as they featured three of his four fights from last year on their network and didn’t try to match Showtime’s offer. I don’t know why they wouldn’t try harder to keep him there by offering him more money. He was the 2013 Fighter of the Year and you’re not doing everything you can to keep him on your network?
On one hand it’s a bit of a let-down because now the fight we were looking forward to isn’t going to be happening right away, but on the other hand, you can’t fault him. Stevenson is 36 and probably looking for a life after boxing. I don’t know if he wants to have a career like Bernard Hopkins and fight when he’s close to 50 but even if he did, you’d want to have some financial security. And if one company is offering you a certain amount of money and another company is offering you more than the previous company, which offer would you take?
And think about that carefully. It’s easy for non-participants to say that the money doesn’t matter to them, only the glory but they’re not the ones putting everything on the line.
Stephen Espinosa of Showtime Sports says that a bout with Kovalev is still available if Kovalev signs with them when his contract expires with HBO. It all depends if the money is right. Let’s just hope that this doesn’t turn out to be a super-sized version of Mayweather/Pacquiao.
Perhaps HBO should do some cost cutting so that they can keep what fighters they have on their network. Perhaps if the network took all the money they dumped into that awful show “Girls” and used that instead to keep Stevenson around, we wouldn’t have to be in this position.