Adonis Stevenson goes into his first defense of the WBC light heavyweight title with a reputation as a ferocious puncher following his destructive display against Chad Dawson. Stevenson aged 35 holds a record of 21-1 and announced himself on the world stage by annihilating Dawson in a fight in which he was the big underdog. He blew Dawson away with one punch that left Dawson in no state to continue.
It was the shot of a man who really can punch and who was determined to seize his opportunity to become world champion. Stevenson is a fighter from the Kronk Gym which was famously run by the late, great Emanuel Steward. You have to be a proper fighter to even keep-up in a gym like that and such competitive action is surely part of the reason for Stevenson’s success.
Stevenson will however be in for a real test on the 28th when he takes on 31 year old former IBF light Heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud. Cloud himself is a big puncher with 19 KO’s from his 24 wins. Cloud has a slight height disadvantage in being 5ft10 compared to Stevenson’s 5ft11 but does possess a 2 inch reach advantage. Cloud is an orthodox style fighter and will face all the normal issues that an orthodox fighter does when facing a southpaw.
Stevenson will be determined to hang on to his world title and prove that he is a legitimate world champion and that he didn’t just land a lucky punch on a man who didn’t seem the same in moving back up from his schooling from Andre Ward at super-middleweight.
Cloud will also be determined to prove the doubters wrong following his loss to the ever-green Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins gained a comprehensive points victory and really showed that age is just a number if you live the life of a boxer properly.
Stevenson will be aiming to show that his boxing skills are underrated as he generally does a good job of setting up his big shots by utilizing the jab and using faints to lure his opponents in. Cloud in contrast is a real pressure fighter who has an excellent work rate and is often successful against less mobile fighters. For me Cloud’s main chance of success is to try and make the fight a scrap with both fighters going toe to toe. This is an extremely risky strategy though as Stevenson is a real threat.
Stevenson should look to use his boxing skill and movement to keep Cloud away and frustrated and then throw his big shots when the time is right. At some point he will look to engage and this will make it a really entertaining fight. I am excited about this fight as both men have a lot to prove and both have the mentality of men who like to put on a show. It really should be top action and I look forward to the winner facing Britain’s Tony Bellew in the near future.