Adonis Stevenson is a bomber, a true version, with all apologies to foe Tony “The Bomber” Bellew, and he proved it at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec on Saturday night, in a light heavyweight tussle which unfolded after Sergey Kovalev’s demolition job on Ismayl Sillakh.
Stevenson is a patient demolition man, who looked for holes in his British foe, and then dropped the hammers on him, scoring a win at 1:50 of the sixth, via TKO. The straight left hand from the southpaw was something Bellew couldn’t shrug off.
After, Adonis told Max Kellerman that he enjoyed the win, because Bellew had talked a lot of trash. He’d been called a “dwarf” by the Brit but I don’t know of any dwarfs that hit so hard…Next? Adonis said he’d fight Kovalev, if the money is right, but he more so wants Carl Froch or Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins, of course, is a Golden Boy fighter, so that would be hard.
Roy Jones after said that Adonis and Kovalev both have crazy power, and someone would get knocked out. Kovalev, he noted, has more extensive amateur experience. Kellerman, back chatting with Jim Lampley, said that Kovalev is considered the best light heavy in the world and would be favored to beat Adonis, and that if he wants to be the best, he should sign on to meet Kovalev. That’s the one the fans are calling for, not fights against the elder Hopkins and the guy who looked diminished against George Groves.
HBO showed the scraps. Bellew (from Liverpool; age 31; 190 on fight night ) was 175 pounds, while the WBC light heavy champ Stevenson (from Haiti, living in Canada; age 36, 189 on fight night) was 174 1/2.
Stevenson had been trained and managed by Emanuel Steward before he passed away last year. That tutelage is apparent in his boxing smarts.
In the first, Bellew stayed cool and smart and landed the best punch of the round, a right. Adonis assessed him, scouted him, looked for holes to exploit. In the second, we saw more cautiousness from each. Bellew didn’t want to get caught, and he respected the power.
In the third, we saw blood from Adonis’ nose early. He worked to the body as he closed the distance. Straight lefts touched and buzzed Bellew a couple times, just a bit. After the round, Sugar Hill asked Adonis to change the rhythm.
Adonis went down early in the fourth but it was ruled a slip. Did a left hook behind the head do it? Then Adonis righted himself, and got to stalking.
In the fifth, Adonis dropped his hands even lower, and yapped at Bellew. The Brit wasn’t winning rounds so we wondered what his gameplan was.
In the sixth, down went Bellew. The left did it and he was up at 1:29. It landed on the chin and put Bellew on his butt. The ref ended it as Bellew was caught in a corner after that. A left hand had Bellew wobbly-legged and Adonis caught him with another as he was half-turned away from the victor. The ref did a fine job leaping in there to end it on a man who was unable to defend himself.
Sergey Kovalev added another scalp to his resume in HBO’s TV live fight opener, from the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec on Saturday night, in a light heavyweight tussle. Kovalev re-proved that his hands are heavy, stopping Ismayl Sillakh in round two, at 52 seconds elapsed.
“I think he put himself in the conversation for fighter of the year,” said Max Kellerman after the rubout by the WBO champ. Kovalev told Kellerman after that the win was the result of his hard work in the gym. “I won this fight a long time ago,” he said. He was asked about talking to Sillakh during the fight, and he said he told the loser he would be kayoed. And next? He said he’s ready for Adonis Stevenson, or any champ in his division.
The stats: 14-26 for Kovalev, to 9-37 for the loser.
Sillakh (174 1/2 pounds; 21-1 with 17 Kos; living in CA) was 4-0 since being stopped by Denis Grachev (TKO8). The Ukrainian, whose dad is from West Africa, dealt with racism growing up. He had to fight that, literally. Kovalev (174 1/2; 22-0-1 with 17 KOs) grew up in Russia and started working, and going to the boxing gym, at age 11. He said he is aiming to get three or four titles when all is said and done.
In the first, Sillakh wanted to keep moving, not be a stationary target. His hands looked fast and he was light on his feet. Kovalev was the aggressor, patient, looking to grind the man down. He accelerated the grinding, right quick, though.
In the second, a right sent Sillakh down at 2:25. It was right, on the ear, as Sillakh started to throw a left. He got up at three. He was sent down again, for good, with right-left-left, after Kovalev sprinted toward him. There was no point in counting, as Sillakh was on goofy street, face on the mat, woozy as all hell.
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