Streaking RING/WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson is confident that bad luck is on the horizon for challenger Tony Bellew as he seeks his 10th consecutive KO against the Liverpool native on Saturday on HBO before a hometown crowd at the Pepsi Colesium in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Although Stevenson (22-1, 19 knockouts), a 36-year-old southpaw originally from Haiti, is only fighting at 175-pounds for the third straight time, he is a big favorite against Bellew (20-1-1, 12 KOs).
There may be, however, some questions about the chin of Stevenson, who scored a sixth-round stoppage against Darnell Boone in March, avenging his second-round knockout loss to the journeyman from April of 2010.
If successful against Bellew, there are many who covet a title unification bout with Russian WBO 175-pound beltholder Sergey Kovalev (22-0-1, 20 KOs), who will make his first defense against Ukrainian Ismayl Sillakh (21-1, 17 KOs) on the Stevenson-Bellew undercard.
RingTV.com received the opinions of 13 boxing insiders as to their thoughts on what will transpire in Stevenson-Bellew, the results being below.
Adonis Stevenson KO Tony Bellew:
Adonis Stevenson KO Tony Bellew: With another monstrous KO, Adonis Stevenson can strengthen his case for Fighter of the Year honors. In fact, I’ll vote for him if he stops Tony Bellew in impressive fashion.
Bellew will be game and tough, but Stevenson can not only punch, but also box. I think Stevenson will control the fight until he blasts Bellew out in the middle rounds.
If Stevenson and Kovalev both look good in knockout wins, the collision course will reach a fevered pitch ahead of a 2014 showdown.
Record: 11-6 [Ward UD 12 Rodriguez]
Adonis Stevenson TKO 5 Tony Bellew:
Adonis Stevenson, TKO 5 Tony Bellew: Adonis Stevenson is emerging as a rival to Gennady Golovkin’s unofficial title as the world’s most feared fighter.
Don’t expect that to change in Quebec City against Tony Bellew, who is leaving Britain for his first fight away from home.
Against Stevenson’s wicked power, it doesn’t figure to be a happy trip. But at least it won’t last long.
Record: 25-9 [Pacquiao UD 12 Rios]
Tony Bellew KO 3 Adonis Stevenson:
As much as I appreciate the power and underrated boxing skills of overachiever Adonis Stevenson, I can’t shake the sight of him being wiped out in two rounds by journeyman Darnell Boone in 2010.
At 36 years of age, this type of letdown strikes me as something that will probably happen again sooner rather than later. “Superman” is on a great run and he does look invincible right now but at some point he’ll be brought back to Earth and grounded for good.
Against Liverpool’s “Bomber” Tony Bellew, that time could be now. Bellew is a solid fighter with respectable power, he is aggressive early, and the amount of waiting he had to do for this fight must surely have convinced him that when his time finally comes, he better seize the moment.
The leather will fly early in this one and somebody is getting knocked out. As far as I’m concerned, that somebody will be Stevenson. Bellew wins by third round knockout in a surprising upset.
Record: 22-9 [Pacquiao TKO 10 Rios]
Tony Bellew TKO 7 Adonis Stevenson:
I am well aware that my pick will be in the minority but I have my reasons.
Stevenson has looked spectacular in his last two fights, but Chad Dawson didn’t get a chance to hit him back and Tavoris Cloud lacked the talent, enthusiasm and imagination to compete. Tony Bellew “will” tag Stevenson, and when he does the Canadian will know about it.
The fact that the champion is a southpaw is also significant. Bellew’s best punch is the straight right hand and he throws his power shots with seriously mean intentions. The right followed by the left hook, to head or body, will work against the lefty stance and register significant damage from the start.
Also factor in that Bellew is a far bigger man. He fought as a heavyweight in the amateurs, whereas Stevenson was a super middleweight last year. By fight time the Liverpool man will enjoy a significant weight advantage and Mother Nature has already given him the edge with height and reach.
I don’t believe that Stevenson is coming into this fight knowing the true quality of the fighter he is facing, and if he is looking past Bellew (to Sergey Kovalev) then that is a serious mistake. The desire the challenger has is immeasurable and, all things considered, I’m going for the big upset in Quebec City.
Record: 15-8 [Pacquiao KO 7 Rios]
Adonis Stevenson TKO 6 Tony Bellew:
Tony Bellew isn’t known very well outside of the UK, and his resume isn’t the most powerful one around. But he is the mandatory challenger to Adonis Stevenson’s WBC light heavyweight title. So there’s that.
Bellew lost to Nathan Cleverly, had a controversial draw against Isaac Chilemba that he later corrected with a decision win, and knocked out a way-past-his-prime Edison Miranda. So there’s that as well.
Nothing to say that he’ll derail the train that has been Stevenson, unless Stevenson comes into this fight too high on himself and allows the rangy Bellew to outbox him from a distance. I doubt that will happen though.
Bellew has been dropped by opponents with middling punching power, so I expect Stevenson’s life-altering power to put Bellew out by the eighth round.
Record: 11-1 [Pacquiao TKO 10 Rios]
Adonis Stevenson KO 7 Tony Bellew:
Adonis Stevenson showed against Tavoris Cloud that he’s not just a puncher. The Canadian southpaw can box as well, and expertly executed a plan ‘B’ when he didn’t knock out Cloud early in their fight two months ago.
Stevenson is a better boxer and has more power than Tony Bellew, who lost a majority decision to Nathan Cleverly and struggled in both of his fights against Isaac Chilemba, a draw and a unanimous decision win.
Bellew will try to hold and make their fight ugly, but Stevenson should make a relatively easy defense of his WBC light heavyweight title.
Record: 20-6 [Pacquiao TKO 9 Rios]
Adonis Stevenson KO 7 Tony Bellew:
Adonis Stevenson is on a professional roll right now. In the past 11 months, he destroyed Chad Dawson in less than a round and dominated Tavoris Cloud.
Liverpool native Tony Bellow is making his second attempt at a world title. Two years ago he lost to Nathan Cleverly.
Stevenson has the advantages in power and trength. Bellow is the taller fighter, but It’s doubtful he’ll be able to keep Stevenson at bay. I see Stevenson knocking him out in round seven.
Record: 13-5 [Pacquiao TKO 11 Rios]
Adonis Stevenson W 12 Tony Bellew:
I like Adonis Stevenson to win a decision over Tony Bellew. I expect another solid performance from him.
Record: 18-6 [Ward W 12 Rodriguez]
Adonis Stevenson KO Tony Bellew:
Tony Bellew showed some chops in his fight with Nathan Cleverly, but he’s also shown vulnerability and there are no special effects.
Adonis Stevenson improves in every outing and his speed and power are too much here.
Record: 23-9 [Pacquiao KO Rios]
Adonis Stevenson KO 10 Tony Bellew:
I think Tony Bellew is better than some people realize, but not good enough to slow down Adonis Stevenson, who demonstrated his power against Chad Dawson and surprising skills against Tavoris Cloud in his past two fights. Bellew will provide resistance but fall late in the fight.
Record: 18-7 [Pacquiao KO 9 Rios]
Adonis Stevenson KO Bellew:
I expecting Adonis Stevenson to win by a knockout again. I think he is going to have a very willing opponent in front of him in Tony Bellew, who will see that willingness be his downfall.
Record: 19-6 [Pacquiao UD 12 Rios]
Adonis Stevenson UD 12 Tony Bellew
Adonis Stevenson is currently the RING and WBC light heavyweight champion and is embraced by his adopted hometown Quebec, Canada. The formidable challenger Tony Bellew is a big light heavy, with a three-inch and a half advantage in height.
Bellew is very rugged on the inside and likes to invest a variety of heavy body work against his opponents. “Superman” Stevenson has scored nine straight knockouts and has exhibited some serious power along with some under-appreciated boxing skills.
Although Bellew doesn’t carry Stevenson’s power. the Liverpool native will put forth a demanding effort and will give the champ all he can handle. A southpaw, Stevenson will have to utilize his jab from the outside.
Stevenson will need to create angles, darting in and out in punch-sequence while confusing the less polished Bellew over the course of an ugly affair comprised of lots of clinching amid a disapproving crowd as Stevenson pulls out a close but unanimous decision.
Record: 4-2 [Pacquiao TKO 10 Rios]
Adonis Stevenson KO 9 Tony Bellew:
The WBC and RING champion Adonis Stevenson has really come into his own in the last year or so, he stepped up and carried his punch icing Chad Dawson in a single round then last time showed it was no fluke using his skills to pick apart tough guy Tavoris Cloud before getting the stoppage.
This will be Tony Bellew’s second world title shot, having lost in an attempted a couple of years ago verses Nathan Cleverly. Bellew fought at heavyweight in the amateur’s so should be the naturally bigger man. He’s had 24 rounds with the awkward Isaac Chilemba this year.
I’m really tempted to pick Bellew, I think he’s learned from the Cleverly loss and also the two fights with Chilemba, however Stevenson is in the midst of a purple patch right now and with home advantage I see him prevailing though wouldn’t rule out a shock.
Record: 14-7 [Pacquiao TKO 6 Rios]
By a lopsided 11-2, the insiders have RING and WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson overcoming Tony Bellew on Saturday.
Photo by Richard Wolowicz, Gettyimages
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org