Adonis Stevenson looking past Gvozdyk, wants Beterbiev, Bivol & Alvarez

By Boxing News - 11/28/2018 - Comments

Image: Adonis Stevenson looking past Gvozdyk, wants Beterbiev, Bivol & Alvarez

By Allan Fox: Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson isn’t worried about his title defense of his WBC light heavyweight strap this Saturday night against interim WBC 175 lb champion Oleksander Gvozdyk at the Centre Videotron, Quebec City, Canada. Stevenson wants to show that he’s the best fighter in the light heavyweight division by beating the other world champions in 2019.

Stevenson (29-1-1, 24 KOs) is paying the 2012 Olympian Gvozdyk (15-0, 12 KOs) no mind in looking past him for unification fights against Artur Beterbiev, Dmitry Bivol and Eleider Alvarez. It’s only now at thi point in Stevenson’s 12-year career that he’s finally showing interest in fighting the other champions at 175. Former unified light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev was interested in fighting Stevenson in a unification fight for a number of years, but with no luck. That’s a fight that the boxing public wanted to see, and it was one that Stevenson would have had a very good chance of winning to unify the division. Now it’s too late. Kovalev has been beaten twice by Andre Ward and Eleider Alvarez. Stevenson missed his chance.

“I am the king. I am open to fight any of the champions, Beterbiev, Alvarez or Bivol, any of them. It’s not a problem for me,” Stevenson said to

Stevenson came close to losing his last fight against Badou Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs) last May in Toronto, Canada. The judges scored the fight a 12 round draw, but a lot of fans thought Jack deserved the win. Boxing News 24 scored it for Stevenson by a 116-112 score, but it looked bad the way that he took a lot of punishment in the second half of the fight against the younger 35-year-old Jack. In the first six rounds, Jack wanted no part of mixing it up with Stevenson. Those should have been rounds in the bank for Stevenson, but the judges gave Jack a huge break with the way they scored the fight. The close call that Stevenson had in beating Badou might have served as a wake-up call to make him recognize the importance of him going after the biggest fights available in the light heavyweight division while he still can. Stevenson has defended his title nine times over the last five years, but only his last fight against Jack was a nice payday match. If Stevenson returns to defending his WBC title repeatedly against fringe level opposition like he’s mostly been doing in the last five years, he’s not going to make the big money he could get by fighting the other champions at 175. It’s better for Stevenson to take some risks in fighting the best than it would be for him to make continual soft defenses against the obscure opposition in the WBC’s top 15 ranking.

Stevenson vs. Gvozdyk will be streamed on Showtime Boxing this Saturday, December 1 at 7:45 p.m. PT/4:45 p.m. PT. Stevenson, 41, will be making his 10th defense of his World Boxing Council light heavyweight title against an inexperienced Gvozdyk, who is still finding his way in the division after turning pro in 2014. It’s going to be a big jump up in levels in going from Mehdi Amar to Stevenson.

Of the current world champions in the sport of boxing today, Stevenson is the longest-reigning world champion with him having held the WBC title for five years through nine title defenses. Stevenson will be making his 10th defense against his mandatory Gvozdyk, and this could be a special one if he’s able to knock him out.

Al Haymon is the adviser for Stevenson, and he says he’s going to leave it up to him to setup the unification fights against the other champions at light heavyweight. Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev are both interested in fighting the other belt holders at 175. WBO champion Eleider Alvarez is a question mark. He never seemed excited about fighting Stevenson when he was his mandatory challenger. It’ unlikely that he’ll want to fight him now that he’s holding down the World Boxing Organization title following his recent win over Sergey Kovalev.

Stevenson is so accustomed to beating his opposition in impressive fashion, he naturally is looking past his opponent Gvozdyk for this Saturday. This could be a mistake if Gvozdyk is able to handle Stevenson’s punching power in the first six rounds of the fight. Gvozdyk isn’t known for having a great chin. His ability to take a good shot has to be called in question after he was hurt by Tommy Karpency in the 1st round of their fight in 2016, and last March by Mehdi Amar. Gvozdyk got through those tough fights, and he’s still unbeaten and ready to challenge Stevenson on Saturday night at the Centre Videotron. Gvozdyk is going to need to have a good plan for him to win this fight. He’s not going to be able to go at Stevenson the way he did in his other fights as a pro. Although Stevenson is 10 years older than the 31-year-old Gvozdyk, he’s faster and a lot more powerful with either hand. By the time Gvozdyk steps foot inside the ring this Saturday, he’ll have had a great deal of sparring with southpaws to get him prepared for Stevenson. Nevertheless, even the best sparring with good southpaws isn’t going to prepare Gvozdyk adequately for what he’s going to be dealing with when he gets inside the ring with Stevenson.

Dmitry Bivol: WBA World light heavyweight champion Bivol (15-0, 11 KOs) put in a workman-like performance last Saturday night in beating former WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It wasn’t the type of effort from Bivol that made boxing fans jump on board his train believing him to be the best in the light heavyweight division. Bivol looked beatable against the 36-year-old Pascal. What was lacking from Pascal was the combination punching that he needed for him to win the fight. Bivol’s two previous fights against Isaac Chilemba and Sullivan Barrera were similar disappointing performances by the Russian fighter. He won both fights going away, but he lacked the power, explosiveness and talent that would say that he’s the best in the light heavyweight division.

Artur Beterbiev: Last month, IBF champion Beterbiev (13-0, 13 KOs) had to get off the deck to defeat Callum Johnson (17-1, 12 KOs) by a 4th round knockout on October 6 on DAZN. The fight showed that Beterbiev, 33, is someone that could have problems in the future if he mixes it up with someone a little too good. Stevenson might be the guy that could take the Russian Beterbiev’s title. Beterbiev is a 2-time Olympian, but he’s not looked unbeatable since turning pro. He’s also been knocked down more than once in his career.

Eleider Alvarez: WBO 175 lb champion Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs) is coming off of a 7th round knockout win over Sergey Kovalev last August. The two of them will be fighting a rematch in January 2019. After that, the winner of the Alvarez vs. Kovalev 2 fight will be available to face Stevenson if there’s interest on their part. It would be a good fight between Stevenson and either of those two fighters, The question is does Kovalev and Alvarez like the idea of fighting Stevenson. We know that Kovalev was eager to fight Stevenson in the past when he held the IBF, WBA and WBO titles, but after losing twice to Andre Ward and once to Alvarez, does he still feel the same way?