Adonis Stevenson targets fights with Bernard Hopkins and Andre Ward

USA TODAY Sports

New light heavyweight champ Adonis Stevenson says he wants to face Bernard Hopkins and Andre Ward, and he's willing to hit the road to fight Ward at 168 pounds.

Adonis Stevenson shook up the boxing world with a 76-second stoppage of Chad Dawson on June 8, and now the WBC light heavyweight champ is hoping to land a marquee fight against a top star, namely Bernard Hopkins or Andre Ward.

"The fight I really want is Bernard Hopkins. The people here in Montreal know him. We could have two fights. I want to unify the titles and defend the WBC and IBF titles. ... I have no problem going to the United States. It isn't far for me. I said I would go to Oakland and fight Andre Ward at 168 and then we have the rematch at 175 in Montreal. I still haven't got a response from Andre Ward."

Landing a fight with Hopkins could prove tricky, since Bernard and the entire Golden Boy stable are now with Showtime. Stevenson doesn't have an HBO deal, but surely they'd be excited to bring him back to their airwaves after the way he starched Dawson in half a round. Stevenson-Hopkins could happen, I suppose, but there are wrinkles to be ironed out there.

Ward may be a safer bet, especially if Stevenson is willing to drop back down to 168 for a fight, and go to Oakland. The 35-year-old Stevenson didn't leave 168 because of weight problems, but because he was presented with a major opportunity against Dawson. Ward, who is reportedly looking to join the Top Rank stable, desperately needs an interesting opponent whenever he gets back into the ring. He's taken down the field at 168, more or less, and he's said he's got no real desire to move up yet. Stevenson could definitely fit the bill for Ward, but if he does land with Top Rank, they might like to pair him up with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in the not too distance future (next Sunday, A.D.), and Stevenson may be seen as too big a risk before a money fight like that.

It's kind of a jumbled up mess at 168/175 right now, with a lot of guys seemingly in position, but maybe not really as close as they think they are. Hopkins has a mandatory due against Sergey Kovalev, though it sounds like Showtime isn't interested in that (they have their stated reasons, but who knows?), and Stevenson isn't really a "star" despite the big win, though he is a strong draw in Montreal and should be even bigger now, in a position to become the top fighter in the great boxing city.

We'll see how it shakes out, but Stevenson has aspirations, at least, which is nice.

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