Adonis Stevenson ready to battle Sakio Bika in toe-to-toe war
(Photo credit: Amanda Kwok / PBC on CBS) By Dan Ambrose: WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (25-1, 21 KOs) faces arguably the toughest opponent of his career when he faces Sakio Bika (25-1, 21 KOs) this Saturday night at the Pepsi Coliseum, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Stevenson, 37, says he wants the fight to be a toe-to-toe war with Bika.
With the way that Bika fights, I don’t think Stevenson will have any other choice but to make the fight a war. Even if he wants to play it safe by standing on the outside to pot shot all night long, Bika is going to crowd him a lot in this fight and nail him with big looping bombs.
Bika will be looking to take his head off with each shot he throws in the fight.
Stevenson needs a win over Bika to get to a unification match against IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. Stevenson says he wants to take that fight, but if he doesn’t then he’s going to get stripped of his title by the World Boxing Council. They’ve made Kovalev the WBC mandatory challenger.
This means that Stevenson is going to need to make his mind up about how much he likes being the WBC champion, because it’s going to be a lot tougher facing Kovalev compared to the easy opposition that Stevenson has faced since winning the WBC belt in 2013.
Bika could wind up being a bigger puncher in moving up to 175. He’s been at 168 for a long time, and he probably should have made the move up to light heavyweight years ago.
“I’m ready to go toe-to-toe. Adonis Stevenson vs. Sakio Bika on CBS, baby,” Stevenson said. “Bika is still going to have the same power moving up in weight. He should actually be stronger. I’m very focused because I know Bika is very dangerous. I know he’s going to come into the ring and try to give me trouble.”
This is definitely a much different fight for Stevenson than his last four fights against Dmitry Sukhotsky, Andrzej Fonfara, Tony Bellew and Tavoris Cloud. Those guys really do much in terms of applying a lot of pressure on Stevenson.
Fonfara pressured Stevenson a lot, but he did it while marching forward in a straight up position. That made it really easy for Stevenson to nail with shots. Bika is going to be completely easy to hit like Fonfara, and he’s going to be working Stevenson’s body a lot more than Fonfara.
“My trainer has given me a great plan,” Stevenson said. “He knows Sakio Bika very well and we’ll see what happens in the ring. I’m a knockout artist. I can do a lot in the ring, but first and foremost I’m a knockout artist. I’d love to unify the belts eventually, but I’ll let my manager Al Haymon take care of that.”
I wonder what great plan his trainer has for Stevenson? It’s likely something along the lines of Stevenson staying on the outside, moving a lot, and jabbing constantly. I’m not sure that Stevenson is going to be able to keep out of range of Bika, because he cuts off the ring really well and he’s good at forcing his opponents into brawling with him.
“I’ll definitely be going for the knockout this Saturday on CBS,” Stevenson said.