3am) Adonis Stevenson Vs Saiko Bika

As was seen just under a month ago, this weekend, the remainder of the World light heavyweight championship make-up will be on the line in the same venue, the Pepsi Coliseum in Montreal, Canada this Saturday evening. The WBC belt is at stake as defending champ, Adonis Stevenson, fends off a challenge from the tough Sakio Bika as a unification super-fight looms in the horizon with Sergey Kovalev.

We think Stevenson has got what it takes to win this one on points at 6/4. Treble those odds when you sign up with 888 by clicking here or the banner below.

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If there’s one thing you can’t criticize Sakio Bika about, it’s that you can’t say he’s ever ducked a fight. Bika is stepping up from middleweight for this bout after recently surrendering the WBC World middleweight championship to Anthony Dirrell back in August. But as aforementioned, Bika will take on whoever he’s faced with which is a huge advantage as he has the imposing task of battling Adonis Stevenson ahead. Bika has shared the squared circle with the likes of Joe Calzaghe, Lucian Bute, Sam Soliman and Andre Ward, and he has been, as quoted by Calzaghe, one of his toughest opponents today. He stays very competitive. More recently, he had quite a solid return to form after getting beat by Andre Ward in 2010. He picked up four quality wins over the likes of Dyah Davis, Nikola Sjekloca and eventually Marco Periban where he won his World Championship, but then he got a draw against Anthony Dirrell (which many thought he won), but eventually lost to Dirrell in the rematch in a competitive bout.

Bika is praised for being incredibly tough and durable. He welcomes a hands-on challenge against anyone and thrives in tiresome exchanges. He experiences most of his success on the inside in scrappy yet satisfying phonebox brawls. He can slyly drag anyone into a brawl which they probably don’t want to get involved in as Bika will make it frustrating for them because of the slow pace His Boxing isn’t polished which shows by his reliance on his brawling and durability, and this also leaves him open for big hooks or uppercuts which will technically lose him points on the cards. He will lose this bout whatever happens if he allows Stevenson to evade the brawl. Bika needs to drag Stevenson into a place he hasn’t really experienced before and to close off any offence that Stevenson may like. He can’t allow Stevenson to get off the shots he likes at length otherwise he won’t see any convincing offence and will ultimately get outclassed all fight.

Adonis Stevenson has been one of the post-2010 prodigies who has bust on the scene from a group of spectacular performances. He shot to the forefront of Boxing after a Fight of the Year contender against Don George in 2012, stopping George in the 12th round. He only became more feared after shocking the world, stopping the then formidable Chad Dawson in the first round to earn his first World championship, the same belt he owns to this day. What followed was a string of dominating performances against Tavoris Cloud, Andrzej Fonfara and more recently, stopping the previously unstopped Dmitry Sukhotsky. Fonfara was one of the four decision wins on his resume, with the other 21 coming by stoppage. He has been largely criticized for his unwillingness to fight the other world-beater in the middleweights, Sergey Kovalev, however it looks as if the fight is going to go ahead later this year with purse bidding due on April 17th.

Like many Boxers who have come through this side of 2010 (Kovalev, Golovkin, Thurman), Stevenson has adopted a damaging hybrid style of combining refined Boxing ability with destructive power. Again, this has been demonstrated by his 21 stoppages in 25 wins. His Haitian roots can attribute to him being a good Boxer after coming through the reputable Haitian amatuer Boxing system. His power speaks for itself. Like Kovalev, it’s hard to speak weaknesses about a Boxer who has accomplished what Stevenson has, but his chin is questionable after being knocked out in his only loss to Darnell Boone (which he later avenged), and almost getting exposed against Fonfara, getting a little bit out of sorts. Bika has the style which could trouble Stevenson and possibly throw him off his stride. Stevenson needs to be the dictator of this fight by cutting off the ring and keeping Bika at bay by Boxing at length and setting up his power punching by utilising his proven jab. He can’t get dragged into a dogfight as this will be the only Bika will win and possibly, albeit unlikely, expose Stevenson.

This is an interesting fight for both fighters as it generally offers a style to each of them that they’ve never really seen or dealt with before. It’s debatable that Bika hasn’t really seen a Boxer of Stevenson’s ability to put a hurt on an opponent with disgustingly strong punching. To see how Bika will deal with that after moving up in weight will be interesting. Stevenson also hasn’t become accustomed to brawlers like Bika is. Bika has the unique ability of slowing down the tempo of a fight and being one of the most durable in the sport. Stevenson will have to adjust and not show frustration when seeing punches aren’t hurting Bika as much as he would like. Stevenson is heavily favoured to take the win, and I think he does that, but I don’t think he does it by exerting his power onto Bika and rather by Boxing with a matured head, making use of his strong jab at length and just being slick all fight long. Bika is durable, and Stevenson’s finishing is getting worse. At a higher weight, I think Bika deals well with the punching and will be competitive for Stevenson, but I think Stevenson earns a stylish and pure Boxing victory by unanimous decision.


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