Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Does "Superman" Keep Flying from Kovalev?

By Stephen Donatelli

Speaking for myself and others, I think the Boxing World knows that it is about time that 'Lineal WBC & The Ring Light-Heavyweight' Strap holder, Adonis 'Superman Stevenson (27-1, 22 KOs), start backing up his talk and get in the ring with the active (Top #5) Pound-4-Pound, undefeated, Sergey 'The Krusher' Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs.)

It was just a few Years ago that 'Superman' Stevenson was named 'Fighter-of-the-Year’ by Ring Magazine, until a very strange thing happened. Enter matchmaker extraordinaire, Kathy Duva, and a string of vicious stoppage victories (Jean Pascal [twice], Gabriel Campillo, Nathan Cleverly, & Cedric Agnew) by Sergey Kovalev. In between those fights, Kathy took it up a notch, and stuck 'The Krusher' in with master craftsman & future first ballot Hall-of-Famer, Bernard 'The Alien' Hopkins.

Kovalev defeated Bernard Hopkins by unanimous decision on November 8, 2014, in a unification bout in Atlantic City to retain the WBO Light Heavyweight title and win the IBF, and WBA (Super) Light Heavyweight titles. In a one-sided encounter, Kovalev surprisingly knocked Bernard Hopkins down in the first round. After that, Hopkins fought very cautiously, as Kovalev won every single round on all of the three judge’s scorecards. The aged, but formidable, Hopkins, tried his best & made no excuses. The score totals of the fight were correctly scored: (120-107, 120-107, and 120-106) in favor of Sergey 'The Krusher' Kovalev.

On the other hand, the Canadian Champion, Stevenson, has been feasting on a lower level of opposition than Kovalev. In his last two matches, Adonis fought & defeated an overwhelmed and blown-up super middleweight, Tommy Karpency, and Sakio Bika, who's tough & rugged, but has seen his better days. With Stevenson's inactivity issues (in spurts) does he really want to fight Sergey Kovalev or continue milking money from his pretty wide Haitian / Canadian fan base? Stevenson's only blemish was a stoppage defeat all the way back in '2010' against Darnell Boone that 'Superman' comfortably avenged by KO in round 6 in '2013.

While Kovalev has an upcoming bout with the sturdy 'NABF' Light-Heavyweight Champion, Isaac Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KOs), the decision is clearly upon Adonis to start shifting gears to give us fans a crystal clear Light-Heavyweight World Champion! If this fight comes off, look for the jab to the body from 'The Krusher' to not only keep Adonis at bay, but start grinding him down.

I've noticed a lot of boxing fans think Sergey will roll over Stevenson quick & early. Well, I beg to differ. Adonis was one of the last fighters who were trained by the Legendary Trainer Emmanuel Steward (R.I.P.) before he passed away. I think any fighter with the type of one-punch power like Adonis has to be given a decent chance to be the victor. However, Sergey Kovalev seems to have some sort of psychological edge over Stevenson. In a sense, Kovalev feels that Adonis needs him based on the fan’s perception. While on the other hand, 'Superman' feels that, because he's "The Ring" & "Lineal" Champion, the scrap should be on his terms. Kovalev showed against Hopkins, and Pascal (twice), that he's so much more than a 'One Trick Pony.'

I'm NOT so sure we've seen Adonis in some of the situations the crafty Kovalev has been in. If, or when, this fight ever takes place, watch for the first (2-3) rounds to be fun, then 'The Krusher' Kovalev takes over and starts really picking apart a very gutsy, but out-gunned, Stevenson.

My Final Prediction, as of right now, would be: Sergey 'The Krusher' Kovalev to get his chin tested, but pass that test, and starch 'Superman' Stevenson in the 8th round, respectively!

Stephen  Donatelli is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and contributes to www.theboxingglove.com. If you would like to contact him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steved2012?fref=nf

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  1. Thanks for the support! - Stephen Donatelli.

  2. Great article. Enjoyed it!