Sergey Kovalev has yet again dispatched another opponent via knockout, extending his perfect record. Kovalev has developed a reputation for brutal early-round knockouts, and depending on who you talk to, he may be the most feared fighter at 175 pounds.
The prime candidate for Kovalev is Adonis Stevenson. He is the recognized unified champion at light heavyweight and just this past week took his talents to the Showtime Network. This is significant for several reasons. First, the Cold War of boxing is in a stage of absolute polar vortex, and Stevenson moving to Showtime will make it near impossible for Kovalev, an HBO-loyal fighter, to have a unification bout.
There was a deal in place to have Stevenson and Kovalev meet in a unification bout later this year, but with Stevenson’s unexpected move, it will not happen. With Stevenson out of the picture, Kovalev will need to look at other options moving forward, and the pickings are slim.
The next biggest fight to be made would likely be against Jean Pascal of Montreal. It would be a lateral step in the career of Kovalev, but it would be big money and exposure. If he could do away with Pascal in impressive fashion, it would attract other big names, the most significant of those being Andre Ward. It still remains to be seen if Andre Ward will make it in the ring this year as he immerses himself in legal issues, but even a fight at 175 would not unify any titles.
Without Stevenson, Kovalev has a solid option in Pascal, but it could look bleak for the undefeated Russian afterwards. I think it is about time for this Cold War nonsense to begin its thawing process.