Stevenson vs. Karpency & Spence vs. Van Heerden this Friday, September 11th
By Dan Ambrose: WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (26-1, 21 KOs) will be defending his title this Friday night on September 11th against #9 WBC Tommy Karpency (25-4-1, 14 KOs) in a voluntary defense on Premier Boxing Champions on Spike TV from the Ricoh Coliseum, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Also on the card is #8 WBA welterweight contender Errol Spence Jr. (17-0, 14 KOs) fighting a tough opponent in #7 IBF Chris Van Heerden (23-1-1, 12 KOs) in a 10 round bout. Also on the card is 51-year-old heavyweight Donovan “Razor” Ruddock (40-5-1, 30 KOs) fighting Dillon Carman (8-2, 7 KOs) in a 10 round bout.
Karpency is pretty much getting the fight against Stevenson due to his 10 round split decision win over Chad Dawson last year in October. Dawson hurt his left hand early in the fight and was forced to fight Karpency with just his right for the last six rounds. But it doesn’t matter the circumstances behind the victory for Kapency, it just matters that he was able to beat Dawson.
Karpency, 29, has only been knocked out once in his nine-year pro career in getting stopped by Andrzej Fonfara in the 7th round three years ago in November 2012. If Fonfara was able to get Karpency out in 7, then it’s highly probable that Stevenson will be able to KO Karpency in three rounds or less.
Stevenson, 37, is playing it safe by taking on Karpency in this fight rather than facing a contender that could give him a run for his money like Jean Pascal, Artur Beterbiev, Andrzej Fonfara, Sullivan Barrera, Yunieski Gonzalez, Eleider Alvarez, and Edwin Rodriguez. Stevenson will need to start fighting those guys sooner or later. He’s had back to back easy title defenses against Sakio Bika and Dmitry Sukhotsky in his last two fights.
Before that, Stevenson defeated Fonfara in a tough bout in May of 2014, and then beaten Tony Bellew and Tavoris Cloud. With the exception of the Fonfara fight, the other four title defenses have been more tune-up level fights rather than actual title defenses. You can’t really blame Stevenson for fighting those guys.
It’s more a fault of the World Boxing Council for making a mistake of ranking those fighters in their top 10 instead of having more quality guys there for Stevenson to be forced to fight. The WBC currently has Isaac Chilemba as their No.1 contender.
While Chilemba is a decent fighter, he’s still the same guy who was beaten by Bellew in May of 2013 and held to a draw against him in February of the same year. Chilemba is going to be another easy fight for Stevenson as well. But the WBC is making it easy for Stevenson by ranking the wrong guys at the top, and having the tougher opponents ranked lower.
There’s no way Beterbiev, Pascal, Yunieski Gonzalez, Fonfara, Edwin Rodriguez and Eleider Alvarez should be ranked below a light puncher like Chilemba.
The Spence vs. Van Heerden fight will be a much more compelling bout because boxing fans will get a chance to see a possible future star in 25-year-old Errol Spence. He’s got the goods to become a tremendous star in the 147lb division, and if he can take Van Heerden’s scalp and add it to his collection, it’ll lead to Spence being pushed up the World Boxing Association’s rankings in the welterweight division to put him closer to getting a world title shot against WBC champ Keith “One Time” Thurman.
It’s likely that Spence will need to become the WBA mandatory challenger before he gets a title shot against Thurman, because Spence is too good to get a title shot off in a voluntary defense for Thurman. Besides that, Thurman has shown no interest in wanting to fight Spence. He obviously realizes the danger involved in fighting a big puncher like Spence.