Sergey Kovalev dominated another opponent on Saturday night and immediately afterwards he was interviewed side by side with fellow champion Bernard Hopkins.
Details were released on friday saying that Kovalev would fight Hopkins this fall if he was to win the fight on Saturday. Everything fell perfectly into place for Kovalev and to be honest it’s fallen perfectly into place for the sport of boxing.
Before Saturday the end to the boxing ‘Cold War’ was nothing but lip service. We had heard rumblings of Oscar De La Hoya wining and dining Bob Arum and the resignation of Richard Scheafer seemed like a clear cut sign but until a fight was actually made between the two sides it was all hypothetical.
Now we have a blueprint on how to get fights set between the two boxing super-promotions. On this occasion Hopkins & GBP has agreed to fight on HBO but the venue being considered, The Barclays Center, is a contracted Golden Boy site. Both companies would then make money in this situation and the cross promotional aspects of the deal will also help boost revenue for both sides. Maybe HBO follows Kovalev fight week & Showtime follows Hopkins. That allows both to continue their usual pre-fight lead up series.
One thing is for sure, it took a special boxer to be the first to crossover and there’s no one better than Hopkins.
“I’ve always run to the fire, not away from the fire,” Hopkins told HBO’s Max Kellerman after Kovalev’s victory. “I’m an alien. I come from an era that’s not the era of today, I just happen to be here through hard work and to show at this stage something you’d never imagine I could pull off.”
Hopkins is an anomaly in boxing. A near-50 year old champion boxer that will enter the fight as the equal to the much younger and heavier handed foreign fighter. This is as close to a win-win situation as Top Rank and Golden Boy could have possibly put together.
“It’s an unexpected triumph of business in Atlantic City,” said HBO’s Jim Lampley. “Where B-Hop has turned the sport on its ear.”
Now we must hope that this fight goes off without a hitch and that it propels both sides to make future fights. Let’s face it, Top Rank desperately needs this for it’s promotion to stay a top the boxing world. There’s only so many times we can watch Manny Pacquiao fight JMM.
Circle November 8th on your calendars because it may very well be the date that revitalizes boxing in the 21st century.