Sakio Bika: I’ll be the one to knockout Adonis Stevenson
(Photo Credit: Amanda Kwok / PBC on CBS) By Dan Ambrose: Former WBC super middleweight champion Sakio Bika (32-6-3, 21 KOs) isn’t going to let IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev be the one to knockout WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (25-1, 21 KOs) because he plans on doing it this Saturday night when he faces Stevenson on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on CBS at the Pepsi Coliseum, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Bika, 35, acknowledges that Stevenson can really punch, but he feels he’s going to be able to take anything he can dish out. But Bika has doubts whether Stevenson will be able to take his own punching power when the two of them get inside the ring.
Bika plans on hitting Stevenson as hard as he can with head shots so that he duplicate what journeyman Darnell Boone did when he stopped Stevenson in the 2nd round in their fight in 2011.
“I’m looking to take the WBC title back home,” Bika said. “I don’t know if he can handle the pressure. I feel more comfortable at 175 pounds. I want to test the big boy [Stevenson] and I feel like I can do that. On Saturday we’ll see. He’s knocked people out, but I’ve never been knocked out. On Saturday I’ll be the one to knock him out.”
As Bika showed in his two fights against the lightning fast Anthony Dirrell, he’s very good at putting pressure on his opponents. Dirrell has hand speed about as good as Stevenson and very similar punching power, but Bika had no problems taking Dirrell’s shots and backing him up constantly.
Bika gave Dirrell a lot of problems in both fights, especially the first fight. Dirrell didn’t do well when he was backed up against the ropes by Bika, and he had a hard time getting off the ropes, because Bika would continually pressure him back to the ropes. If Stevenson gets pressured in the same way by Bika, then we could very well see an upset in this fight because Bika has excellent punching power.
“I didn’t come here to Canada just to walk and look around,” Bika said. “I came here to take this belt back home and I’m very confident I’m going to do that. We’re here in Canada ready to shock the world,” Bika said.
It would be a shock, because many boxing fans believe that Stevenson is either the No.1 or the No.2 fighter in the 175 pound division. If Bika is able to move up from super middleweight and score a knockout over Stevenson, then it’s going to shake up the boxing world, because fans are really looking forward to the Kovalev-Stevenson fight. Bika would be the spoiler in this case, and he would be the one that got to face Kovalev instead of Stevenson.
Bika might need a knockout on Saturday night for him to make sure he walks out of the ring with Stevenson’s WBC title, because it’s sometimes not so easy for visiting fighters to win decisions win they come into Canada. With Bika’s power, he has a very good chance of knocking Stevenson out if he can force him into a brawl at close range.
Stevenson can punch well from medium to long range, but when he’s forced into fights at close quarters, he doesn’t punch with nearly the same power. His form breaks down and he can’t get the same leverage, speed and power on his punches. That’s definitely his weakness, fighting in close.
Fighting in close is Bika’s strength, and that’s why you have to give him a great chance of beating Stevenson on Saturday. With Bika’s excellent chin, heavy pressure offense, and his superb inside game, he has a good chance of pulling off the upset.