Adonis Stevenson is a class above the other 175 pound fighters, says Michel
By Jim Dower: Yvon Michel, the promoter for WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (25-1, 21 KOs), believes that the 37-year-old Stevenson has proven that he’s better than the other top fighters in the 175 pound division after his recent victories over a string of challengers.
Stevenson is coming off of a 5th round knockout win over Russian Dmitry Sukhotsky. The fight was entirely one-sided from start to finish, and it wasn’t particularly competitive due in part to Sukhotsky’s timid style of fighting.
Michel feels that Stevenson accomplished something in knocking out a fight who hadn’t been stopped before. He notes that Sukhotsky gave Jurgen Braehmer a great deal of trouble in their fight five years ago in 2009. Sukhotsky lost the fight by 12 round decision, but it was a fairly close fight.
“Adonis showed that he’s a pure puncher and that with one single punch, he can knock out anybody. So it’s not just that Sukhotsky is not in Adonis Stevenson’s category but it is more that Adonis Stevenson is a class above everybody,” Michel said via RingTV.com.
Boxing fans haven’t been too impressed with Stevenson’s last four fights against Sukhotsky, Andrzej Fonfara, Tony Bellew, and Tavoris Cloud. None of those fighters have a huge fan base in Canada or the United States. The fighters that fans wanted to see Stevenson face were Sergey Kovalev, Bernard Hopkins and Jean Pascal.
Instead of facing them though, Stevenson arguably took four much easier opponents. It’s obviously hard to get excited about seeing Stevenson fight the likes of Sukhotsky and Cloud when these guys have already been beaten by other fighters. Cloud was recently annihilated by Artur Beterbiev, who did a much better job of stopping Cloud than Stevenson did.
Stevenson will get a chance to prove that he’s the best fighter in the light heavyweight division in 2015, because the winner of the March 14th fight between IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and Jean Pascal will be Stevenson’s WBC mandatory challenger.
If Stevenson fails to take that fight with the winner of that fight then he’ll likely be stripped of his title by the World Boxing Council. Getting stripped of his title would be seen as a case of Stevenson not wanting to take the challenge of defending his WBC belt against Kovalev or Pascal. It’s unlikely that Stevenson will give up his title without putting up a fight because he’ll lose too many fans if he vacates or gets stripped.