Adonis Stevenson faces Sakio Bika on 4/4 in Quebec, Canada
By Dan Ambrose: WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (25-1, 21 KOs) will be defending his title against former WBC super middleweight champion Sakio Bika (32-6-3, 21 KOs) on April 4th on CBS on Al Haymon’s “Premier Boxing Champions” series in Quebec, Canada.
Also on the Stevenson-Bika card will be undefeated #11 WBA light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev facing former WBA champion Gabriel Campillo.
This is a slightly controversial move of Stevenson fighting Bika, because Bika, 35, fights in the 168 pound division, not the 175lb division, and he’s coming off of a fairly one-sided 12 round unanimous decision loss in his last fight against Anthony Dirrell back in August of 2014. However, compared to the mediocre opposition that Stevenson has fought since capturing the WBC title from Chad Dawson in 2013, this is a great match-up.
Since winning the WBC title, Stevenson has fought the following opposition: Tavoris Cloud, Tony Bellew, Andrzej Fonfara and Dmitry Sukhotsky. Those are not good fights, and Stevenson easily beat most of them. By facing Bika, Stevenson could add another easy victory as long as he doesn’t get caught up in an inside war.
One area where Stevenson is weak is on the inside, and if Bika can take the fight in close and keep it there, he could batter Stevenson into submission. It’ll be important for Bika not to give Stevenson any space like he did recently with Dirrell in their rematch, because Stevenson will dominate Bika from the outside.
The fight that boxing fans want to see Stevenson in is against WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. However, that bout doesn’t look like it’ll ever happen now that Stevenson’s manager Al Haymon has moved him from HBO to Showtime. By the time the two fighters could face each other when their contracts expires with their respective networks, Stevenson will likely be too old for the bout to be an attractive one.
Stevenson is 37 now, and it won’t be as interesting to see him fighting Kovalev when he’s 40. Boxing fans also want to see Stevenson fight Jean Pascal, a former WBC title holder. That fight has a good chance of happening in the future, but it needs to take place sooner rather than later.
Stevenson has the power and speed to make for some good fights against the top 168 pound and 175 pound fighters, but the question is will his adviser Haymon let those fights happen.
It would be nice to see Stevenson face Andre Ward, Carl Froch, Anthony Dirrell, Andre Dirrell, Gilberto Ramirez, James DeGale, Jurgen Braehmer, Beterbiev, Pascal and Kovalev.
At this point, I think many boxing fans would like to see how Stevenson deals with Beterbiev’s smothering inside game. That would be a fight that could easily be made if Haymon allowed it to happen. I’m not sure that it will happen though. Beterbiev is a tough fighter with excellent power, and he could make it rough on the aging Stevenson.
Bika has a chance of winning this fight if he can take it to the inside like he did against Dirrell in their first fight, as well as in his fights against Ward and Joe Calzaghe. Those guys struggled with Bika on the inside and they turned out to be really tough fights for them.
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