Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Light Heavyweight Explosion

By Peter Silkov

Last night, the Colisee de Quebec, Qubec City, Canada, played host to two explosive performances by the two premier light-heavyweights in the world, Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson and Sergey ‘The Krusher’ Kovalev. Both men held on to their respective portions of the world light-heavyweight championship with spectacularly explosive performances. ‘The Krusher’ lived up to his name against Ismayl Sillakh, in what was the first defence of his WBO world light-heavyweight title. After Sillakh had made a good start in the first round by using his movement, ‘The Krusher’ found his range in the second round, and tagged his challenger with a right hand that sent him sprawling to the canvas. Sillakh beat the count, but was dazed, and bleeding from the nose. Kovalev didn’t waste any time catching up with his wounded prey, rushing across the ring with an almost indecent haste. Swift and accurate, left and right hands to the head sent Sillakh down again, this time falling into the ropes, and ending up tangled up and hanging half way out of the ring. There was no point in the referee counting him out, but he did anyway. It was a chilling exhibition of power punching once more from Kovalev, who may well be the hardest puncher pound-for-pound in the world today. In fact ‘The Krusher’ could be the hardest puncher seen at any weight for some years.

Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson had to wait a little longer before he caught up with England’s Tony Bellew, but along the way he displayed speed and boxing skills, which would make a possible showdown with Kovalev all the more fascinating. Bellew tried to frustrate Stevenson with movement, and looked to counter with shots of his own, but Stevenson showed good stalking skills and good reflexes, to keep the pressure on, and slip Bellews occasional counters. By the 3rd round, Stevenson was landing with some good shots, and the writing was on the wall despite a gritty show by the challenger. In the 6th round, Stevenson finally cornered Bellew, and sent him down with a terrific left hand. Bellew stubbornly got up, but was groggy, and Stevenson drove him into a corner with a vicious assault; a big left hand snapping Bellew’s head back on his neck, at which point the referee jumped in with a well timed stoppage.

For Stevenson it was the second defence of his WBC world light-heavyweight championship and further evidence that he can back up his punching power with an impressive mix of speed, and boxing skills.

Everything now seems to be set for a light-heavyweight explosion, if and when, Kovalev and Stevenson meet in the ring sometime next year. Kovalev seems all for a showdown with his WBC counterpart, while Stevenson was a little more circumspect, mentioning Carl Froch and IBF light-heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins, as possible future opponents, before he takes on ‘The Krusher’. However, it is unlikely that either Froch or Hopkins would be too eager to tackle Stevenson or Kovalev. IBF champion Hopkins, at 48 years of age, is a ring marvel and still a great boxer, but he also has enough self awareness to know that a fight with either ‘Superman’ or ‘The Krusher’ would not be the wisest of moves at this point in his career. As for Carl Froch, he has enough problems at home, without having to venture to Canada, and take on Adonis Stevenson. In fact the biggest problem facing both Kovalev and Stevenson at the moment is that the big name opponents will be looking elsewhere for opponents, such is the notoriety of their respective punching-power already. The good news is that this joint problem may end up being the crucial decider in bringing both champions together in an explosive unification battle. In the end, Kovalev and Stevenson may find that they are left with each other in their joint search for a big money ‘super-fight’.

How such a clash would go is fascinating. Both men have terrific power, and good all round boxing skills. Stevenson looks to have the edge in speed and boxing technique, despite Kovalev being underrated in this area. However, Kovalev has the edge in punching power. Although Stevenson is a fearsome hitter himself, ‘The Krusher’s punch seems to be on a level of its own. It may well come down to which man can take the better punch. What is for certain is that ‘Superman‘vs. ‘The Krusher’ could be one of the most anticipated fights of 2014, and perhaps one of the most exciting too, while it lasts. It would also see a genuine ‘super fight’ taking place in the often maligned light-heavyweight division.

Copyright © 2013 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to and

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