The weekends big fight sees The Ring and WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson defend his world titles against number one ranked contender Tony Bellew in Quebec, Canada. Coverage will be shown in the UK live on Sky Sports 2 HD from 1am in a fight where I and many others believe Tony Bellew is in deep water.
Adonis Stevenson’s last 12 wins have all come by knock out or stoppage including wins against some of the best fighters in the world. Stevenson justified his ‘Superman’ nickname by sensationally stopping then WBC light-heavyweight champion Chad Dawson with frightening power just 75 seconds into their title match. Perhaps most worryingly for Bellew, many (including Floyd Mayweather Jnr) considered Dawson to be one of the best orthodox boxers in the world with sound punching technique. Also of particular note for Bellew is the fact Dawson held a large height and reach advantage. Although you could argue Dawson was caught cold so early in the fight, the reality is he was shocked by the speed and power he was faced with. Stevenson then followed up this win with a savage seven round beating of teak tough Tavoris Cloud who again possesses world-class boxing technique and exceptional levels of fitness.
So does Bellew bring anything new to the table to challenge Stevenson? In a word, no. Although Bellew comes across as a likeable and hardworking boxer I believe there are many fundamental flaws in his boxing technique. Bellew carries both hands fairly low (especially his right) and also stands very upright and stiff legged. He is tailor made for the athletic style of Stevenson. In a seven year career as a professional Bellew has had 21 fights, winning 12 by knockout, 8 with decision and losing his only fight at world title level to Nathan Cleverly. I would describe Bellew’s record as padded at best, in my opinion Bellew lost his fight to Isaac Chilemba (in their first encounter) where he was comfortably outboxed and unable to cope with Chilemba’s speed, fast hands and superior movement. Bellew was hit by Chilemba seemingly at will, what would’ve happened if Chilemba possessed serious power? Bellew has also been floored by journeyman British boxers Ovil McKenzie and Bob Ajisafe. I think Bellew is too easy to hit.
Importantly this is a fight which leads onto some serious big money fights for Adonis Stevenson and his backers. Also fighting on the bill is Nathan Cleverley’s conqueror Sergey Kovalev. The future plans are to match Kovalev and Stevenson in a big-money HBO television PPV special. So you have to ask yourself would the promoters risk either fighter losing ahead of such a lucrative match up? You can bet the judges and referees have been staying in some nice hotels and eating at high end restaurants ahead of this weekend’s actions thats for sure. I give Bellew very little chance of winning on the scorecards therefore so can he knock Stevenson out?
Stevenson has been put down and stopped by journeyman Darnell Boone just three years ago, so he can be rocked. But I really don’t think Bellew has much punch power, Tony was unable to stop Nathan Cleverly or even rock him and Kovalev steamrolled the Welshman. Most of Bellew’s stoppage wins have come courtesy of massively overmatched opponents such as Danny McIntosh and an old Edison Miranda. Bellew has never stopped an opponent fighting in their natural weight division with any pedigree.
I also believe Tony Bellew does not make the weight comfortably. He always has an unhealthy look at the weigh in and I’m sure in a fight of this magnitude big fight nerves will weaken him further. Bellew started his career at light heavyweight before moving up to cruiserweight and then back down again.
I wish Tony Bellew all the luck as he is a willing and passionate boxing professional but this is very much a fight about levels. Many British fighters build padded records and when they do step up to fight world class opposition the fights are often extremely one sided. I cannot see any other result than an Adonis Stevenson stoppage victory. Stevenson will be able to land body punches and left hooks at will. Bellew’s best hope is that Stevenson has not trained for this fight and he catches him with a perfect shot, but in my opinion Stevenson at 60 or 70% would still stop Bellew.
Boxing Dig Prediction: Adonis Stevenson to win by KO, TKO or disqualification @ 1.5 with Ladbrokes