SAN DIEGO, December 1, 2013 – Saturday’s boxing from Quebec City followed the script to the letter, with the letters being HBO. Fans got to see two knockdowns from the two favorites, raising the expectations for a major light heavyweight contest in 2014 betweent the night’s two winners.
Adonis Stevenson (23-1, 20 KOs) is continued his rise in the light heavyweight division, scoring a TKO in the fourth round against Tony Bellew (20-2-1, 12 KOs) of Great Britain. Referee Mike Griffin stopped the fight before Stevenson could do any more damage to Bellew at 1:50 of the round.
Bellew started off strong. It seemed he would be successful forcing Stevenson to box him, and landed successfully in the first few rounds. But Stevenson’s output and power surged starting in the third round, and by the fourth round he was firing on all cylinders.
Stevenson put Bellew down on the canvas with his lethal left hook.
Bellew got up the first time, only to see an instant replay of the same punch seconds later. Bellew was on his feet, but stunned and unable to defend himself. Referee Griffin rushed in to stop the fight, but not before Stevenson did a bit more damage.
CompuBox stats tell the story: Stevenson landed 81 punches total to Bellew’s 36, a 33 percent to 22 percent connect percentage. Stevenson landed an impressive 58 of 107 power shots, for a 54 percent connect rate. Bellew landed 30 of 104 punches, at a 29 percent connect rate.
Referencing Bellew’s trash talk before the bout, Stevenson said to HBO’s Max Kellerman, “He’s said I’m a dwarf. The dwarf knocked him out.”
Stevenson said after round 3, trainer Sugar Hill told him to explode and to move him where he wanted Bellew to be. “After that, I move in. I went to see him … I cut the ring, I take my time, I give it a good shot.”
It’s been a great year for Stevenson. “I fight four times, and I knock everybody out in one year. Now I need a vacation!” he laughed.
In the first televised bout, Sergey Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KO), added to his reputation as a knockout artist with a second round stoppage of Ukrainian Ismayl Sillakh (21-2, 17 KOs). Kovalev, whose nickname is “Krusher,” made it look easy with a thunderous right hand within 20 seconds of the bell. Sillakh got up after the first knockdown, but the second one put him down for good. Sillakh didn’t even seem to know where he was.
Kovalev told HBO’s Max Kellerman after the fight, “This is the result of my hard work in the gym, it’s automatic … I just get in the ring with all my memory, that I work very hard, my family, and everybody supports me, you know. I’ve got everything in my knockouts.”
Kellerman asked Kovalev who he’d like to fight next, and after going through the usual “I’ll fight whoever my promoters offer to me” polite answer, Kovalev admitted he wants to fight Adonis Stevenson.
When Stevenson was asked about his next opponent, he named Carl Froch and Bernard Hopkins as the fighters his hometown fans want to see. As for Kovalev? “I don’t have a problem if HBO puts up the money.”
Stevenson and Kovalev both have a lot of options. Both of these fighters are legitimate Fighter of the Year candidates. There may be one more round of fights before we see these two in the ring together. HBO, put your pennies together and make it happen.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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