The knock on knockout artist and long-reigning WBC light-heavyweight king Adonis Stevenson is the quality of challengers he has faced since winning the title by shocking Chad Dawson in a round back in the summer of 2013. “Superman” has retained his belt eight times – an impressive number on paper – but none of these challengers were what you could call elite-level operators.
The critics have lambasted Stevenson, 29-1(24) for not facing the best available fighters, such as rival 175 pound champ Sergey Kovalev. But now, at the age of 40, the southpaw banger is set to take a real challenge, arguably the most dangerous challenger of his entire world title run. As per a news piece on RingTV.com, a deal has been reached for Stevenson to defend his green belt against Badou Jack in early 2018.
Stevenson’s two-year old mandatory commitment to defend against WBC NO.1 contender Eleider Alvarez has been sorted out, with a deal in place for Alvarez to fight Oleksandr Gvozdyk next, and the winner will then face the Stevenson-Jack winner. “A source” told Ring about the Stevenson-Jack fight and though no site or exact date has yet been announced, the fight seems to be on for either February or March.
Jack, 22-1-2(13) and a former WBC super-middleweight ruler, moved up to 175 in the summer of this year and in August he stopped Nathan Cleverly in impressive fashion (the Welshman announcing his retirement from the sport soon after the defeat) to take the WBA light-heavyweight belt. Jack outgrew the 168 pound division and he looked in the Cleverly fight to have had a good deal of power, speed and strength.
In light of Stevenson’s age (six years the older man), his recent lack of tough fights (easily beating Andrzej Fonfara in a June 2017 rematch for his last fight) and his relative inactivity (just two fights since September of 2015), Jack has to be looked at as a very dangerous challenger – perhaps as the man to end Stevenson’s long reign as WBC champion.
Then again, Stevenson’s power is withering and it has got the southpaw out of jail on a number of occasions. This one could prove to be a real firefight. And then the winner will face either Alvarez or Gvozdyk. What’s not to like?