Exclusive: Sullivan Barrera Opens Up On Failed Negotiations To Fight Sergey Kovalev

Normally, when it seemed like two fighters promoted by the same company appear headed for a potential fight, fight negotiations don't have many complications. In the case of a potential Sergey Kovalev vs. Sullivan Barrera fight, negotiations failed almost from the start and Barrera talks about those negotiations to Fightful.

In an exclusive interview, Barrera opened up about the fight with Kovalev that fell through. Both Kovalev and Barrera are promoted by Main Events and with Kovalev holding the WBO light heavyweight title, Barrera had a chance to fight Kovalev for the title. The two sides negotiated but Barrera walked away from the fight when, according to Barrera, Kovalev's side offered a low purse to fight Kovalev and ponders whether or not it was a way to get Barrera to not do the fight.

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"For me, the money offered to me was too low for my liking, but that might be an intentional strategy (getting that low offer) just so that I back off from the deal and not take the fight. The money just wasn’t there for me," Barrera said.

Although Barrera missed out on fighting for the WBO title, he still had mandatory challenger status for another world title: the WBA light heavyweight title. Barrera will challenge Dmitry Bivol for his belt on March 3 at Madison Square Garden in Barrera's first world title challenge. 

If Barrera were to win the WBA title, Barrera said he would be open to engage in fight negotiations with Kovalev again. Barrera did also say that he would take any fight as champion against anyone if the right offer is made.

"At that point, we’re just looking to keep fighting at the highest level and we’re ready for anyone, be it Sergey or anyone else really? We’re ready and this is a business, we understand that. Every now and then, if the right deal is there, if the purse amounts are good, everything is mutually agreed upon, I’ll fight anyone so long as we get the business side of it all worked out," Barrera said. 

Bivol vs. Barrera will be the co-main event to the HBO card at Madison Square Garden Kovalev defending his WBO title against Igor Mikhalkin in the main event. 

If you are going to use any of the quotes above, please credit Carlos Toro and Fightful.

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