Is Superman Stevenson Afraid of Kovalev?
WBC and Ring Light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson will defend his belts against Polish IBO Light heavyweight champion Andrzej Fonfara at the Belle Center in Monteal Canada this Saturday in a match that seems to lack the appeal of a world title bout.
Stanley Cup Bigger Than Superman?
Instead of a huge homecoming for Canada’s best boxer today, Adonis “Superman” Stevenson will be fighting in what promoter Yvon Michel is calling a “reduced configuration” of the Belle Center. The Belle Center seats a capacity crowd of 22,000 people. But for the Stevenson fight, it has been reduced to 40% capacity.
Michel said that they expect only around 7,000-8,000 fans to troop the venue for the Light heavyweight title match because the NHL is in the middle of their playoffs and Canada has such a huge hockey fever. Michel added that the 7,000-8,000 number is already a good sale considering the circumstances surrounding the match. But is the Stanley Cup really bigger than the world’s best light heavyweight? Hockey is bigger than boxing in Canada. But Adonis Stevenson is boxing’s superman.
Fighting a Lesser Known Foe
Stevenson is fighting IBO Light heavyweight champion Andrez Fonfara of Poland who is ranked #10 by the Ring. But the boxing pubic were clamoring for him to fight unbeaten WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev.
HBO tried its best to forge the match, but in the end Team Stevenson took the chance of fighting the lesser known Fonfara because his adviser Al Haymon “wasn’t happy with the deal he was offered” to them for the Kovalev bout. For his part, Stevenson rejected the notion that he was ducking Kovalev, because “he’s not afraid of Kovalev” and that “He (kovalev) is overrated.” Stevenson went on to say that Kovalev “has fought B-fighters while he has fought A-fighters.”
Is Fonfara an A-fighter?
Although Fonfara is a world champion, he holds a lesser known alphabet belt compared to Kovalev’s. If Kovalev has fought B-fighters, then Fonfara’s resume should be a much lower class. His biggest win so far has been a 10-round unanimous decision win over former champion Glen Johnson in 2012. But Johnson has been far from being the former champion, he has lost half of his last eight bouts and was 43 when they fought.
Fonfara held the WBC Youth Light Heavyweight title in 2010. The WBO NABO Light Heavyweight title in 2011 and the USBO Light Heavyweight crown in 2012. But the Stevenson fight is his first crack at a major world title. And apart from the promoters and his team, nobody was excited about the coming match. Fonfara has a record of 25-2-0-1 with 15 KO’s.
Ducking the Russian Krusher
Although Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza says that Fonfara is” not someone to look past”, Kovalev was a can’t miss. The Russian champion has a sensational record of 24-0 with 22 knockouts. After his Technical Decision win over Grover Young in 2011, Kovalev has knocked out eight straight opponents including former world champions Gabriel Campillo and Nathan Cleverly. The fourth round TKO of Cleverly in August 2013 won the WBO title for Kovalev. He has since defended the belt twice, but fans were hoping for a unification match with Stevenson. But that didn’t happen.
At the backstage of Saturday’s fight is a lawsuit filed by Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. The case stems from the alleged “interference” with a tentative fight between Stevenson and Kovalev. In the lawsuit, Duva accuses Stevenson, Haymon, Showtime, Golden Boy and Michel of conniving to renege on the Kovalev deal in order to pave the way for a Bernard Hopkins-Adonis Stevenson bout late this year.
Stevenson said that he isn’t concerned about the lawsuit and that his job is “to go in the ring and knock everybody out.” He added that Michel and Haymon are going to take care of the case. For his part, Espinoza said that the lawsuit did nothing to affect the preparations of the fight and the ticket sales as well. He added that it has even made Stevenson more known to the public which is a good thing for them.
Bernard Hopkins has been very noisy about being undisputed light heavyweight champion before the year ends. He has been calling out Adonis Stevenson for some time now. And while Adonis Stevenson has knocked out Chad Dawson, Tavoris Cloud and Tony Bellew in succession, Bernard Hopkins owns the WBA and IBF belts. Bernard Hopkins is the biggest name in Light Heavyweight boxing right now. Bernard Hopkins has been breaking boxing records with every bout he fights. He is the cash cow of the light heavyweight division.
Fighting Hopkins would be a chance for Stevenson to be a household name in the US market. When Stevenson knocked out Chad Dawson in Round 1, his name was known. If and when he fights Hopkins, he will have the opportunity to be a true boxing superstar and earn bigger paydays.
Stevenson is not afraid of Kovalev as Kovalev is not this Superman’s kryptonite. But fighting a 10-1 underdog is surely a better path to be a legend killer against Hopkins.
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