Former IBF light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud (24-1, 19 KO’s) is going to test whether WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (21-, 18 KO’s) is for real or not this Saturday in their fight in their fight at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. Stevenson, 36, has proven to be a devastating puncher in last 9 fights in which he’s scored 9 consecutive knockouts.
Stevenson hasn’t had to face any real punchers in any of his fights, unless you want to count Darnell Boone in that category. Stevenson was knocked out in the 2nd round by Boone in April of 2010.
Cloud is easily the biggest puncher that Stevenson will have faced during his career, and we could see an upset if Stevenson is unable to get Cloud out of there.
For Cloud, he’s going to need to get on the inside against Stevenson if he’s go have any real chance to win the fight. Cloud can’t let Stevenson keep the fight on the outside the way that Bernard Hopkins did in his 12 round unanimous decision win over Cloud in March of this year.
Cloud isn’t a great fighter on the outside, but he’s a lot more difficult to tangle with if he can get close enough to his opponents to wear them down with his high volume punching. If there’s a weakness in Stevenson’s game, it’s on the inside where he’s unable to use his speed. Stevenson’s punching form breaks down completely when his opponents have him trapped in close, and becomes a more beatable fighter.
If Cloud can’t beat Stevenson then it could be a while before Stevenson is beaten by someone in the division. The only fighters that would seem to have a good shot at beating Stevenson are Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev.
It’s not likely that Stevenson’s Canadian-based promoters will allow him to fight Kovalev, because the Russian is too powerful for him, and we already saw what Boone was able to do to Stevenson three years ago. But we could see a possible Stevenson vs. Hopkins fight in the future if Stevenson is able to generate some excitement on Saturday night with a big win over Cloud.