Boxing News and Views


Stevenson vs Bellew – Can Bomber be Superman’s Kryptonite Saturday?

by Niall Doran


Stevenson vs Bellew – Can Bomber be Superman’s Kryptonite Saturday?

bellew stevenson

By Niall Doran

Moving to Quebec Canada, this weekend sees an intriguing contest between two hard hitting light-heavyweights for the world title. Adonis “Superman” Stevenson puts his WBC title on the line against Liverpool native Tony “Bomber” Bellew”. The Haitian/Canadian Stevenson won the coveted strap initially in dramatic fashion against Chad Dawson, blitzing him in brutal fashion inside of a single round and then went on to defend the belt in good form against Tavoris Cloud to add further wait to the claims of many that Stevenson is indeed the real deal. The question will be – what can Bellew do here to upset the apple cart if at all?

The thing I have been most impressed about Bellew coming into this fight is his cooler than usual attitude that he has exhibited. I like Tony, he has at times a very exciting fighting style with massive heart and outside of the ring seems like a real character and a genuine down to Earth guy. But for me I think the biggest thing that has stood in his way sometimes in big fights that he’s had, is that at times he puts a bit too much pressure on himself.

Sometimes he really psychs himself up emotionally to the extreme I feel and wastes a bit of energy in the pre-fight talk before a bout. Obviously there is nothing wrong with being passionate about your career and what you love, actually I think I’m the same way as him in that regard. But maybe sometimes saving all that energy, passion and enthusiasm for when you need to deliver it is best practice (in his case fight night). He seems to be in a great place mentally for this one as his promoter Eddie Hearn agreed with me on Twitter when he tweeted me back yesterday.

His opponent however, as my fellow writer at DBB Peter succinctly described him to me, is a bull inside that ring and isn’t a half bad boxer either. Adonis Stevenson really struck terror into the light heavyweight division with his 1st round annihilation beating of a very good Chad Dawson. I almost think this has given him a bit of a fear factor since that time and opponents across the globe no doubt are very wary of his power. I don’t think Bellew will be scared of him though to be perfectly honest, he’ll have put everything into his training camp for this one.

As I always like to say on here, styles make fights and this one poses a few interesting questions for sure. Straight off the bat Stevenson being a southpaw makes him a little bit awkward before having to even worry about that concussive power. At 5″11 he is built as his record of (22-1, 19KOs) suggests – for power. Looking through his record he has only ever done 12 rounds once and perhaps if there is a chink in this beast’s armour, maybe stamina could be something to be exploited late on as the fight progresses, maybe. His one blemish came through an early stoppage defeat back in 2010 to a guy by the name of Darnell Boone who wouldn’t be exactly a world class operator to be fair. Perhaps Tony will use this as motivation coming into this and will look to exploit any potential chin questions that may still surround Stevenson.

Bellew of course can dig himself with some notable KO’s coming against the likes of Danny McIntosh and Ovil McKenzie. At almost 6’3 he may have a very slight advantage in terms of reach on Stevenson and I just wonder from a tactical perspective might he look to employ a more boxing-type game plan and not engage or slug it out with such a ferocious puncher. After all Bellew has stuck to strict game plans in the past and even though he lost to Nathan Cleverly I thought he boxed quite well on that occasion. He also showed he can stick to a game plan in the 2nd Ovil Mckenzie fight and against Bolonti and Chilemba at times in their first fight too. When you really look at how his career has progressed, he’s almost steadily developed from a brute puncher with massive heart to a boxer now with much more ring savy, footwork and thought about in his work in general. He’ll need to go up to a new level here though and box at his very best.

If last week proved anything it’s that the favourite status and bookmakers odds mean nothing sometimes. Especially in a sport like boxing where maths and past records can go out the window once that first humdinger lands on the ol proverbial chops.

I’m going to go out on a limb and put it out there this weekend with an upset here – Bellew by decision on away soil to mark a memorable underdog triumph.

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