Kovalev Disapointed Barrera Turned Down Fight
Sergey Kovalev was hopeful that Sullivan Barrera would be his next opponent, following his knockout of Vyacheslav Shabranskyy.
Barrera opted to not fight Kovalev on November 25th because it wasn’t a title fight at the time it was offered. With Andre Ward’s retirement, Kovalev’s victory over Shabranskyy changed to a WBO light heavyweight title fight.
Kovalev was surprised when Barrera turned down a fight with him, instead Barrera chose to challenge WBA light heavyweight champ Dmitry Bivol on Kovalev’s undercard March 3rd in The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Kathy Duva, who represents both Kovalev and Barrera, sensed Kovalev was displeased because Barrera went in a different direction again.
“Sergey really wanted to fight Barrera,” Duva, Main Events’ CEO, told BoxingScene.com. “He was very anxious to fight him. I think he was disappointed.”
Barrera and his handlers are confident that by beating Bivol, a fight against Kovalev will become worth more money for the Cuban contender.
Kovalev, meanwhile, is left to defend his WBO 175-pound title against IBO champion Igor Mikhalkin in the main event on March 3rd.
“He’s a boxer and a southpaw who can present problems,” Duva said. “Sergey is willing to fight anybody who will fight him. It’s been tough to find people to take the fight. [Main Events matchmaker] Jolene [Mizzone] pretty much went through everybody. We went back to all of the same guys we went to last time and they all turned it down.
“A lot of them said, ‘Maybe next time.’ They all have an excuse. And to be fair, a lot of light heavyweights are busy right now. They have fights lined up. It seems like they’re all fighting at the same time again. It makes it more challenging, of course, because there are fewer people you can approach.”