(Photo credit: Dave Nadkarni/Premier Boxing Champions) WBC light-heavyweight king Adonis Stevenson last night retained his belt, the one he won in crushing fashion against Chad Dawson back in June of 2013, for the seventh time and what a thrilling fight he and his challenger Thomas Williams Junior put on in Quebec City. A sizzling slugfest the type fans love, Stevenson’s 4th-round KO over Williams Jr gave us plenty of terrific exchanges, switches in momentum and then, courtesy of “Superman’s” explosive left hand, a KO of The Year candidate.
Stevenson, now 28-1(23) proved in the all-southpaw battle that he is the most exciting light-heavyweight out there today. The 38-year-old (39 in September) might not be the best – and if he does face the winner of November’s Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward showdown, Stevenson will likely enter the ring as an underdog – but his blend of raw power, speed and willingness to rumble, combined with his often leaky defence and decent but not great chin, make Stevenson so compelling to watch.
Last night, in a fight that was wild at times, Stevenson took some chances, and some punches, but he landed enough of his own hurt to beat his very game challenger, finally leaving him flat on his face in the 4th-round of a barnburner. What kind of terrific action would we be able to look forward to if Stevenson wound up heading into a massive fight with Kovalev? Would Stevenson trade bombs with “Krusher” the way he did Williams? Can Stevenson possibly tighten up his defence? Would this particular dream fight that could actually take place next year possibly go more than half a dozen rounds at most?
Stevenson has a puncher’s chance against anyone, and Kovalev’s chin, though solid, is not impenetrable. And if Stevenson has never before faced a puncher like Kovalev, the same argument could be made the other way. Based on last night’s performance, Ward the boxing master would be able to outclass, outland and outbox Stevenson, but it wouldn’t be a spectacular fight the kind Stevenson often features in.
Love a great slugfest? Then hope Kovalev can defeat Ward in November and that Stevenson gets it on with him in a big unification clash after that. No way would a Stevenson-Kovalev collision result in anything other than an explosion.