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Kovalev's manager: Adonis Stevenson is talking himself out of the fight

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Is Adonis Stevenson trying to talk his way out of a fight with Sergey Kovalev? That's what Kovalev's manager believes.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Sergey Kovalev's manager Egis Klimas believes that Adonis Stevenson's big trash talk outburst this past weekend is the result of the fighter trying to avoid his man and the much-desired light heavyweight showdown that HBO wants as much as fight fans do.

"Talking is cheap. Let him come in and prove whatever he talks. First of all, we're not calling anybody bad names like he does. He rips [Kovalev's] trainer [John David Jackson]. It's disrespect for the sport I think. Again, talking is cheap. Sillah was also talking some stuff to Sergey and look what happened. Why does he say for example that Sergey has a weak chin? He has a long chin? We're not talking about Stevenson being a bald guy. He's starting to get personal. I think he's talking himself out of having to fight Sergey. That's what I think is happening."

Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KO) is scheduled to face Cedric Agnew on March 29, while Stevenson (23-1, 20 KO) is scheduled to face Andrzej Fonfara on May 24. Stevenson recently signed with Al Haymon, adviser to the stars, which may (or may not) be impacting the possibility of a Stevenson-Kovalev fight. If Haymon would prefer to save Stevenson for a potential fight with Bernard Hopkins, for instance, then that might mean the Kovalev fight is not in their plans.