Ending With a Bang

2014 has been a year worth forgetting for WBC and lineal Light Heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson and will be remembered not because of his wins but because of who he didn’t fight. But at least he got to close it out with a bang after scoring a one punch fifth round knockout of Russian challenger Dmitry Sukhotsky on Friday night at the Pepsi Center in Quebec City. Stevenson decked Sukhotsky four times, thrice in the fifth round including the fight ending one. The victory over Sukhotsky was his fourth successful title defense, but the last two defenses have been been widely criticized.

Stevenson built his reputation as the Light Heavyweight division’s top fighter with successive knockout wins over Darnell Boone, Chad Dawson, Tavoris Cloud and Tony Bellew in 2013. Those conquests led to him being named as the Ring’s 2013 Fighter of the Year. But just when everyone thought that he would next unify the belts against the other champions of the division in Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev, Stevenson wasted away his 2014 and ended up fighting Andrzej Fonfara in May and then Dmitry Sukhotsky on Friday.

Back to Square One

The win over Sukhotsky brings us back to square one and where we ended up at the end of 2013: wondering who the best light heavyweight in the planet is. The answer to that question is either Stevenson or Kovalev, and that’s why it was logical to make the two fighters answer that question inside the ring. But after initial negotiations for a Kovalev fight started in early 2014, Stevenson backed out and instead changed networks to Showtime, hoping to land a fight with Bernard Hopkins. That fight too, didn’t materialize and Hopkins ended up fighting Kovalev last month. Stevenson blamed money for the failed negotiations, saying that the two were asking too much during their talks.

In the days leading to Friday’s bout, Stevenson was once again hinting that he wants to fight Kovalev next. But Sergey  Kovalev is scheduled to face Stevenson’s fellow Canadian and former champion Jean Pascal on March 13. But after Kovalev beat Hopkins badly last month and considering that an aging Hopkins beat Pascal, Superman is expected to steamroll Pascal who may be past his prime already. That would brings us back to the Stevenson-Kovalev match-up once again.

Is Superman Kovalev’s Kryptonite?

There are no other marquee boxers in Stevenson’s division except Kovalev and perhaps Hopkins if the Alien doesn’t retire yet. Neither are there any super middleweights who might be willing to move up and fight a heavy handed champion like Stevenson. With no other big fights to make for Adonis Stevenson, he has nowhere to go now. That is perhaps the reason why Superman’s calling out Kovalev once again by saying that he is the only man who can beat the Krusher. With his speed, agility and one-punch knockout power, Stevenson may be correct.  But unless the 37 year old Stevenson signs a Kovalev contract soon, we may never know the answer.