RING and WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson said "it's about business" regarding his move to Showtime after HBO opted not to renegotiate its deal with the 36-year-old southpaw. The fighter known as "Superman" also took shots at the drawing power of HBO-affiliated WBO counterpart Sergey Kovalev.
In his first interview since news broke about the development on Tuesday, Stevenson shared his thoughts about his May 24 defense against Andrzej Fonfara being on Showtime at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Stevenson also said he plans to be ringside on April 19 at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C. for a Showtime-televised 175-pound title unification clash between IBF counterpart Bernard Hopkins and the WBA's Beibut Shumenov.
"The situation is that I'm going to Showtime and it's about business. They gave me a better offer, so I took the offer," said Stevenson, during a Thursday telephone conversation with RingTV.com from Montreal.
"They're paying me for my value. I get more money and I want to thank [advisor] Al Haymon and Showtime and Yvon Michel, my promoter. I'm thankful for them."
In February, Stevenson (23-1, 20 knockouts) signed with powerful advisor Haymon, most of whom's fighters are promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and fight on the Showtime network.
Given HBO has severed ties with Golden Boy, the Hopkins vs. Shumenov winner is likely next for Stevenson.
"I will be there ringside for the Hopkins and Shumenov fight," said Stevenson. "I will watch that fight live. I don't care who wins."
Beyond that, however, Stevenson would not discusss Hopkins-Shumenov
"I'm not looking past nobody. I train hard for every fight, so I'm always going to look good," said Stevenson. "I'm going for the beat-down. [The late trainer] Emanuel [Steward] always told me that you should go for the knockout because knockouts sell. So, for sure, I'm going for the knockout."
However, Stevenson did address the notion that he made the Showtime deal in order to avoid facing the hard-punching Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs).
"It doesn't make sense to say that I'm running from Kovalev. I'm not running from nobody," said Stevenson. "This is about business. I just want to get paid when I fight and it's simple. I'm not running from Kovalev. I just want to get paid."
Kovalev will defend his WBO title against unbeaten Cedric Agnew on HBO on Saturday and his promoter, Kathy Duva of Main Events said her boxer has a multi-fight deal with HBO.
"Kovalev is just using my name to build himself up because he is not going to sell without me," said Stevenson. "You tell me how many people are going to be there in the building when he fights on Saturday. They want to use my name to build him up."
What about Hopkins?
"We're not worried about Bernard Hopkins right now. We're worried about one person and that's Fonfara on May 24," said Sam Watson, Haymon's right-hand man.
"After May 24, you can name anybody you want and he'll fight all of those guys. Right now, we're worried about one fight at a time. Everybody at 175 can get their chance."