Michael Rosenthal

Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson don’t disappoint: Weekend Review


Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson: It’s difficult to separate these thrilling light heavyweight sluggers, who followed similar – upward – paths in 2013. On Saturday in Quebec City, Canada, Kovalev needed only 3:52 to destroy the talented Ismayl Sillakh. Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 knockouts) put Sillakh (21-2, 17 KOs) down with a right to the head in the second round, hurting him badly. Sillakh got up on shaky legs but went down again from a right-left combination, which left him unable to continue. Stevenson, the RING champ, did the same to reluctant Tony Bellew at 1:50 of the sixth round. Stevenson (23-1, 20 KOs) knocked Bellew (20-2-1, 12 KOs) down with a straight left to the jaw in the sixth. Bellew got up but seconds later had his brain rattled by another left, followed by a short barrage with his back to the ropes, and the fight was stopped. Both demolition projects were entertaining, which is par for the course for these two. They were a combined 8-0 – with eight knockouts – in 2013. No one survived beyond the seventh round against either of them this year. What more can we ask for? Kovalev and Stevenson must win more big fights – including against one another (see below) – before we can consider them full-fledged stars. They are well on the way, though.



Kovalev-Stevenson: This fight probably won’t happen soon. Stevenson has other lucrative and less-risky immediate options, including the winner of the fight between fellow Canadians Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute. Bernard Hopkins and Carl Froch also are possibilities, although Hopkins fights for a rival network and Froch remains at 168 pounds. If Kovalev and Stevenson keep winning, though, it most likely will happen. That’s an exciting thought for fans who crave good boxers who knock out almost all their opponents. More numbers: Kovalev and Stevenson are a combined 46-1-1, with 42 knockouts, in their careers. Thus, it’s no surprise the matchup has quickly become one of the more anticipated light heavyweight matchups in recent years. Who would win? That’s a tough one. They have comparable boxing skills, although they have different styles. Kovalev is an aggressive, but methodical stalker who overwhelms opponents. Stevenson sticks and moves, waiting for the opportunity to hurt his foes. They both have crushing power. I believe it might come down to who has a better chin. If I have to make a choice? I’d go with Kovalev. I think Stevenson is an efficient knockout artist. Kovalev seems to be something beyond that. Stevenson is imposing. Kovalev is scary.



Paul Spadafora, who turned pro in 1995, hadn’t lost a fight since his amateur days. So he hadn’t seen his opponent’s hand raised in at least 18 years. On Saturday, he finally experienced defeat as a pro. Venezuelan Johan Perez (18-1-1, 12 KOs) defeated Spadafora (48-1-1, 19 KOs) by a majority decision in Chester, W. Va. Spadafora, 38, never realized his vast potential because of two stints in prison. That’s a shame. … Shane Mosley (47-9-1, 39 KOs) lost a junior middleweight fight to Anthony Mundine (45-5, 27 KOs) in Australia when he quit after five rounds, claiming back pain. Mosley, 42, is 1-4-1 in his last six fights. I won’t suggest that he retire because he has the right to make a living as he sees fit. At the same time, it’s painful to watch one of the best boxers of his era fight on. … Dereck Chisora is annoying as hell but he might be the best British heavyweight now that David Haye appears to have retired. That includes Tyson Fury, who beat an overweight Chisora in 2011. Chisora (19-4, 13 KOs) stopped Ondrej Pala (32-4, 22 KOs) in three rounds on Saturday in London.

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