Eleider Alvarez to step aside to let Stevenson fight Badou Jack
By Tim Royner: Mandatory challenger Eleider Alvarez reportedly will be signing a step aside deal to let WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson (29-1, 24 Kos) defend his title against Badou Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) next.
Presumably, Alvarez would then face the winner of the Stevenson-Jack fight if he’s not given another step aside deal. This is the second time the 33-year-old Alvarez will have stepped aside so that the 40-year-old Stevenson could fight another voluntary challenger.
Alvarez was supposed to fight Stevenson last summer, but he took a step aside payment so that ‘Superman’ could defend his title against Andrzej Fonfara in a rematch on June 3 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. Stevenson wound up knocking out Fonfara in the 2n round. A second fight between Stevenson and Fonfara wasn’t in demand by the boxing public, as their first fight in 2014 was a decisive enough win for Adonis for there not to be any need for a rematch. Never the less, Alvarez was given a step aside payment, so Stevenson could fight Fonfara in what turned out to be a mismatch.
It’s unclear why Stevenson doesn’t get the Alvarez fight over with. It’s been 4 years since Stevenson last defended his title against a mandatory challenger in Tony Bellew. That’s a long time for a champion to go without defending against a mandatory challenger. For a contender looking for a world title shot, it might be a little intimidating to think of going in the direction of Stevenson. It’s not because he’s such a good fighter. It’s because of the long wait to get a crack at his WBC title.
Alvarez is 33 now. He could age out if he waits forever to get his title shot against Stevenson. You’d hate to see Alvarez waste his prime years waiting in limbo for a crack a Stevenson.
Alvarez recently beat Jean Pascal by a 12 round majority decision on June 3 on the undercard of the Stevenson-Fonfara 2 fight. At the time, the general idea was to have Alvarez and Stevenson on the same card so that they could build up their fight. But now it looks a waste of time, given that Stevenson appears to be on course to face Badou Jack next.
Jack, 34, recently beat WBA World light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly by a 5th round knockout on August 26 to briefly win the WBA belt. Jack then vacated the belt without ever defending it against interim WBA champion Dmitry Bivol. Some boxing fans believe Jack gave up the WBA title, so he could duck the Bivol fight. There’s obviously more money for Jack fighting Stevenson than a dangerous young guy like Bivol, who still hasn’t made a name for himself yet.