As Boxing’s Light-Heavyweight division appears to be nearing a potential showdown between undefeated unified WBO/IBF/WBA Light-Heavyweight world champion Sergey Kovalev and undefeated former Super-Middleweight world champion Andre Ward later this year, much of the focus has naturally been centered on Kovalev and Ward as each must defeat an opponent before a fight between the two can take place. For his part, Sergey Kovalev took care of business with his recent title defense over Isaac Chilemba earlier this month.
As the Boxing world now waits to see if Andre Ward can defeat Alexander Brand on August 6th, with so much of the attention being focused on the potential Kovalev-Ward showdown, what can be overshadowed is what else is taking place in the division. One such event will take place on Friday, July 29th as current WBC Light-Heavyweight world champion Adonis Stevenson, the longest reigning world champion currently in the division will make the seventh defense of his world championship against current WBC number eight rated Light-Heavyweight contender Thomas Williams Jr. at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada in a bout that will headline the latest addition of the Premier Boxing Champions series broadcast by Spike TV in the United States.
Stevenson, who became WBC world champion with a first round knockout of former champion Chad Dawson in June 2013 has been on an on-again, off-again collision course with Sergey Kovalev for over three years since each became world champions in the division months apart from each other. As Stevenson and Kovalev have continued to face and defeat other opposition in the division, anticipation for a showdown between the two, one that this observer has been on record calling it the biggest fight that could be made in the Light-Heavyweight division has naturally increased.
Despite an attempt by Stevenson to get at Kovalev following the undefeated unified world champion’s second knockout victory over former WBC world champion Jean Pascal earlier this year during Kovalev’s post-fight interview where when asked who he wanted to fight next, Kovalev responded by saying quote “I would like to fight Adonis Chickenson”, a fight between the two has not materialized.
Stevenson will instead defend his title against top contender Thomas Williams Jr. Williams, a veteran of twenty-one professional fights will be making his first attempt at a world title. In his last fight, Williams scored a second round knockout over Edwin Rodriguez in April of this year. Williams does have a good mix of hand speed, punching power, and will come into the fight having scored knockouts in fourteen of his twenty career victories registering a career knockout percentage of 67%.
An interesting question that will be asked of Williams however, will be whether he can deal with a fighter who has hand speed, punching power, and likes to execute his offense in short, but sudden bursts as the champion Stevenson. Although Williams will also enter having won three straight fights, it is logical to assume that most will consider him an underdog in this fight. Williams’ lone career loss came in August 2014 when he was stopped in five rounds by former WBA Light-Heavyweight world champion Gabriel Campillo in a fight that was stopped due to a cut over Williams’ left eye.
The champion Stevenson will come into the fight having scored knockouts in twenty-two of his twenty-seven career victories registering a career knockout percentage of nearly 80%. In his last fight in September of last year, Stevenson dropped a “Game”, but over matched Tommy Karpency twice before stopping him in the third round.
Even though Stevenson will likely be the favorite as this fight approaches, one may wonder whether or not a combination of failing to bring a fight against Sergey Kovalev to fruition, as well as being inactive for nearly a year will have some effect on Stevenson. Although Stevenson is regarded as one of the two top fighters in the Light-Heavyweight division, it is important to remember that Stevenson is thirty-eight years old and will turn thirty-nine on September 22nd.
It will be interesting to see how Stevenson approaches this fight against Williams, who although he was able to score an exciting knockout over Edwin Rodriguez, also took some punishment during that fight. Stevenson is the kind of fighter who can take an opponent out quickly or gradually break an opponent down over the course of a fight. What interests me about this fight in addition to wondering how Williams will approach Stevenson as well as how he will respond to Stevenson’s power is which fighter will attempt to dictate the pace.
Both fighters have hand speed, both fighters have shown the ability to get an opponent out of there should the opportunity present itself, and both are solid counter punchers who have also shown the ability to take a punch and it will be interesting to see who will elect to be the aggressor in this fight. As for what will be in store for the winner of this fight, the victor will be slated to meet the winner of the bout between undefeated current WBC number one rated Light-Heavyweight contender Eleider Alvarez and veteran contender Robert Berridge, which will take place on the undercard of Stevenson-Williams.
Although it is logical to assume that the winners of these two fights will meet sometime later this year, the Boxing world continues to wait for a potential collision between Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev. One can only hope not only that the winners of Stevenson-Williams and Alvarez-Berridge meet later this year, but more importantly that the winner of that fight will then be slated to face the winner of the potential Sergey Kovalev-Andre Ward bout to further unify the World Light-Heavyweight championship. We will see who emerges victorious between Stevenson-Williams and Alvarez-Berridge on Friday night.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
PBC: Stevenson-Williams takes place on Friday, July 29th at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The fight will be televised in the United States by Spike TV beginning at 9PM ET/6PM PT. Check your cable/satellite provider for time and channel in your area. In Canada, the fight can be seen on Canal Indigo pay-per-view for $64.99 HD/$59.99 Standard Definition. For ordering information please visit: http://www.canalindigo.com/fr/evenement/fiche-evenement/267/Boxe-Stevenson-c.-Williams-Jr. For more information on the Premier Boxing Champions series please visit: www.premierboxingchampions.com.
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