Adonis Stevenson: My power shots will hurt Sakio Bika
By Dan Ambrose: WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (25-1, 21 KOs) feels very confident that he’ll be able to hurt challenger Sakio Bika (32-6-3, 21 KOs) this Saturday night and possibly score a stoppage when the two of them face each other on Premier Boxing Champions on CBS at the Pepsi Coliseum, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Stevenson, 37, is one of the older top fighters in the light heavyweight division, but he still has a lot of hand speed to go along with his impressive punching power. Whether he can score a knockout over a fighter with a tough chin like Stevenson is something we’re going to find out on Saturday.
If Stevenson can’t score a knockout, he’s going to be in for a really tough fight. Bika is a lot better than the weak opposition that Stevenson has been feasting on his entire boxing career. There’s no one that Stevenson has faced that can compare to Bika. Chad Dawson has arguably better skills than Bika, but he obviously didn’t possess the same punch resistance and punching power.
“I am fully prepared for everything, even if he hits me with his elbows. My power shots will hurt him,” Stevenson said via RingTV.com. “I am going for a knockout but, if the fight lasts long, it does not matter at all. I can go 12 rounds and he will tire faster than me.”
Stevenson will be looking to pot shot his way to a knockout like he always does. It’s worked against guys like Tony Bellew, Tavoris Cloud, Dawson, Dmitry Sukhotsky, Darnell Boone, Don George, Noe Gonzalez Alcoba and Jesus Gonzalez in the last three years. Those aren’t great fighters. All of them were flawed. It’s been a situation where Stevenson has been able to get to his soft opponents before they could get to him. Most of them fought passively, and didn’t really go after Stevenson in a major way like Bika will be doing on Saturday night. If Bika is able to put a lot of pressure on Stevenson, we may see an upset, because Stevenson clearly doesn’t have a good chin. He can dish out the punishment, but his own punch resistance doesn’t match his own power.
“He is really dangerous,” Stevenson said about Bika. “You cannot underestimate this guy. He has a lot of experience, he’s travelled everywhere and he is not stressed at all. He is a dirty fighter, too. He rushes with his head, he hits low and uses elbows. His head is made of brick! His principle weakness is that (he punches too wide). I will capitalize on that fact.”
I don’t know if Stevenson will be able to take advantage of Bika’s wide shots or not. He may be able to do it some of the time, but Bika is definitely going to catch Stevenson with shots. Stevenson isn’t that hard to hit. He’s there to be hit, and unless he runs from Bika, he’s going to take some hard shots to the head and to the body in this fight.
The winner of the Stevenson-Bika fight will have to face WBC mandatory challenger Sergey Kovalev next unless they decide to vacate the WBC title. I don’t think Bika would vacate if he picks up the WBC. With Stevenson, it’s really hard to tell whether he’d give up his WBC title. I’d like to say he wouldn’t give it up, but I think he might.
In the co-feature, undefeated #11 WBA light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev (7-0, 7 KOs) will be taking a step up in class in facing former WBA light heavyweight champion Gabriel Campillo (25-6-1, 12 KOs) in 10 rounds of action. Beterbiev had the chance of fighting Isaac Chilemba, but he opted not to take that fight. Chilemba would be a tougher fight than Campillo, even though Campillo is the better puncher of the two.
The Beterbiev vs. Campillo fight will give a pretty good indication of where Beterbiev is at in terms of his progress as a pro. If he can blast out Campillo early in a one-sided fight, then we could see Beterbiev pushed up against better light heavyweights like Chilemba. Beterbiev’s goal is to defeat IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev for his titles. Beterbiev previously defeated Kovalev while the two of them were amateur fighters in Russia.