Adonis Stevenson looks invincible, Kovalev should stay away
(Photo credit: Dave Nadkarni/Premier Boxing Champions) By Eric Baldwin: WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) made a clear statement last Friday night with his emphatic 4th round knockout win over #8 WBC Thomas Williams Jr. (20-2, 14 KOs) by showing that he arguably is the best fighter in the 175lb division and the guy to beat right now.
With the way that Stevenson looked last night, IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev and Andre Ward had better stay far away from him because the Canadian fighter looks to be the top dog in the 175lb division by far.
The 38-year-old Stevenson fought like a man 10 years younger in taking Williams apart with left hands to the head and devastating body punches in their fight last night at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Canada. To Williams’ credit, he was able to make it to round four of the contest despite taking a boatload of brutal head and body shots. The punches that Williams absorbed would have knocked out most light heavyweights last night. The fact that Williams was able to take them shows what kind of heart and chin the man possesses.
Stevenson was humble after the fight, choosing not to gloat about his victory like some fighters would. Stevenson comes across as a really grounded individual who doesn’t make more of his wins than need be. He doesn’t brag after his wins and say that he’s the best. He shows respect for his opponents and takes the high road.
“It was a firefight. He put pressure on me so I decided to put pressure on him too,” said Stevenson. “It was a fight with two guys who could punch and it was spectacular. It was my daughter’s birthday and I gave her a great gift.”
The victory by Stevenson sent a clear message to the Russian Kovalev and to Ward. Whether they get that message or not is up to them. If they choose to tangle with the hard hitting southpaw Stevenson in the future, they may live to regret it, because right now he looks far too good for either of them.
It might be better for Ward and Kovalev to wait until Stevenson ages out and loses his skills. He’s fighting at too high of a level right now. Ward doesn’t look like he really belongs in the light heavyweight division right now. He seems too small and not powerful enough to trade shots with a guy like Stevenson. Even if Ward gets past Kovalev in their fight on November 19, it would be a bad idea for him to face Stevenson, because he doesn’t have the power required to keep him off of him. If all Ward is going to do is try and not get hit by Stevenson’s tremendous shots all night long, he’s not going to have any chance of winning. For his part, Kovalev is too slow and easy to hit to beat Stevenson. We saw how Isaac Chilemba was able to hit Kovalev cleanly in their recent fight. If that were Stevenson landing those shots, Kovalev would likely have been knocked out fairly early in that fight.
The winner of the Kovalev-Ward fight will have the perfect excuse not to fight Stevenson ever by saying that he fights on a different network and that he’s in a different lane as them with him holding down the WBC belt. No one would ever blame Ward or Kovalev if they never fight Stevenson because they’ll always have the network excuse to say why they never took the fight. I think it would be better for Kovalev and Ward to stick to defending – or trying to defend – the IBF/WBA/WBO belts against all comers rather than going after Stevenson. Based on how Stevenson looked last night, I rate him as No.1 in the division with Ward and Kovalev fighting for the No.2 spot. However, I think there’s a huge gulf between where Stevenson is at and Ward and Kovalev. Stevenson is at the top perch and those fighters are far below him.
Stevenson would likely destroy Ward and Kovalev’s last opponents with ease. Ward had to go the full 12 rounds in beating Sullivan Barrera last March. Kovalev struggled to beat Isaac Chilemba by a 12 round decision recently in Russia. Stevenson would have too much fire power for Chilemba and Barrera in my opinion, and I think he would KO both within six rounds.
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