Adonis Stevenson vs. Tony Bellew on November 30th
By Scott Gilfoid: WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (22-1, 19 KO’s) isn’t wasting anytime between title defenses. He just finished destroying former IBF 175 lb. champion Tavoris Cloud last month in a 7th round stoppage, and now Stevenson will be back in the ring next month to defend his title against his #1 mandatory challenger Tony Bellew (20-1-1, 12 KO’s) on November 30th at the Colisee de Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
For a champion to be busy like this it’s real old school. Stevenson coming back in the ring only two months to fight since his last bout. That’s kind of motivating. But I can also understand the move because it’s not as if he’s facing a dangerous guy like Sergey Kovalev or super middleweight Andre Ward.
Bellew is the idea fighter for Stevenson to toy with for 4 or 5 rounds and then knockout. The 6’2 1/2″ Bellew is slow, easy to hit, and predictable in how he fights.
When Bellew faces someone with power, he either clinches or stays on the outside pecking away with a jab. He’s not going to want to mix it up with Stevenson at all in this fight, believe me. We’re going to see Bellew doing a lot of running and/or grabbing to keep from getting nailed with Stevenson’s power shots.
Bellew does have some victories over hard punchers such as Ovill McKenzie and Edison Miranda. But those guys don’t have the hand speed or boxing ability that Stevenson has. Bellew is going to be getting hit with a lot of shots that he doesn’t see coming until it’s too late.
In Bellew’s last fight against Isaac Chilemba last May, Bellew was all over him like an octopus in clinching and not giving Chilemba an opportunity to use his vastly superior hand speed. Bellew turned the fight into a bout where the punches were mostly thrown while each of them were about 6 inches apart. I see that as a tactic that Bellew will try to use against Stevenson, if the referee allows him to.
If the referee lets Bellew get away with it, he’ll try and maul Stevenson on the inside to keep him from being able to get leverage on his shots and use his fast hands. But the fight is in Canada, and I don’t see Bellew being able to put his grappling hooks on Stevenson and hold on for 12 rounds without being penalized repeatedly and disqualified for holding. I’m pretty sure that Bellew will hold Stevenson regardless of how many points he loses from deductions, because he’s got to know by now that he stands no chance against Stevenson in a fight on the outside where Stevenson has space to land his lightning fast shots.