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16 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Stevenson Ready, Bika Feels Disrespected

By Marc Livitz: Adonis Stevenson is one to frequently flash an infectious smile and he seems to be at the top of his respective game. The WBC light heavyweight champion has become one of the favorite sons of his adopted hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada and boasts an astonishing record of a single loss against twenty five wins coupled with twenty one knockouts. At present, however he may find himself on the court of pugilistic opinion’s lists of outsiders looking inward in regard to where he stands in a division currently dominated by Sergey Kovalev. He’s been accused, perhaps unfairly of avoiding Kovalev while at the same time failing to match himself with Montreal’s other adopted boxing attraction, Jean Pascal.


Recently, Stevenson let his intentions be known that he fully intends to eventually face Kovalev, who himself just recently scored a knockout win over Pascal less than two weeks ago. The clock may not exactly be ticking against the Haitian born Stevenson, yet at the age of 37 he may soon find himself near the sunset of his impressive career. Nevertheless, Adonis intends to continue his march onward and he’ll soon have the lights upon him on April 4 when he meets Cameroonian born former super middleweight champion Sakio Bika at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City.


As a bonus, the bout will be featured as part of a nationally televised card on the CBS network in the United States as Al Haymon’s "Premier Boxing Champions" continues its initial run across television screens. Someone as amicable as Adonis "Superman" Stevenson as well as someone just as eager to score an upset on national TV like Sakio "The Scorpion" Bika will undoubtedly use the platform of a non-subscription TV telecast to further their respective careers.


"This is a good opportunity for people to see me fight", said Stevenson during an international media call this week. "This is amazing to fight on CBS. I have to thank Al Haymon for that. Free TV is good, just like it was in the days of Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard. This is also a good chance for the young kids to see the fights and a good chance for everybody to get to know me as well."


Stevenson is one of many fighters who at one time called the fabled Kronk Gym in Detroit their home. As he looks to further pad his record a the expense of Bika, the Haitian born champion still knows how to walk the line between knockouts and twelve round decisions. He is often quick to reference the hallowed words of legendary trainer, the late Emanuel Steward. Adonis commented, "Everyone knows that knockouts sell. Emanuel said that. I’ve been sparring and training to go the full twelve rounds. I don’t look to go the full twelve, though and I’ll go for the knockout. I am "Superman" and I think any boxer will go into the ring and look for a knockout."


The WBC light heavyweight champion is currently trained by Sugar Hill, who himself expressed delight at not only his fighter’s efforts in a new gym that he can call his very own, but the comfort he’s felt in Canada. "Training has been fantastic in Montreal," said Hill. "His (Stevenson’s) gym just opened and this is first camp held here. Adonis will be defending his title for the fifth time. Montreal is a great place for training and the city has been so warm and welcoming. I can see why Montreal loves Adonis and why they love him here as well."


Last year, all the correct pieces seemed to have fallen into place after Sergey Kovalev easily defeated Bernard Hopkins. Kovalev would at last meet up with Adonis Stevenson and the light heavyweight division could at last have a bonafide unification bout. For whatever reasons known, unknown or otherwise, it has yet to take place. While much of the media continues to border on incessantly annoying in regards to the constant questions about a Stevenson vs Kovalev matchup, "Superman" Stevenson knows better than to overlook his foe who now calls Australia home.


"I know there’s so much talk about this, but I’m focused on Bika", Adonis said. "He’s (Bika) in my face and I only think about that person. I’ll be ready for him April 4. I know there’s so many people talking about the other fights, but I’m just focused on this guy."


He added, "After Bika, we can fight Kovalev and unify the titles in the division. Bika can be wild and he keeps coming. I love that kind of stuff, though. It should make for a good fight. He’s a good boxer. It’s a good chance for him, too. He is moving up to light heavyweight to fight me."


"I don’t put pressure on myself because "Superman" doesn’t do pressure", said Adonis. "I’ll use my head and my boxing skills in the ring. I’m the guy in there. I’m the Ring Magazine champion and WBC champion. This is Adonis’s area."


Sakio Bika (32-6-3, 21 KO’s) is likely to be counting down the days as his nationally televised meeting with Stevenson beckons. "I’m grateful to be fighting for the world title and I’d like to thank everyone involved", said Bika. "My camp has been great and I’m looking forward to becoming a two division world champion."


He savoring the chance to become a more known commodity in and outside the world of professional fighting. He understands, however likely doesn’t appreciate the tendencies of some to see him as but a stepping stone between Adonis Stevenson and his eventual bout with Sergey Kovalev. "This is what it’s all about" said the "Scorpion". "I’ve been in this business for a long time. I don’t need to say too much. I’ll just ask Adonis to be prepared. Just watch. This is not about a fight with Kovalev. People think I’m coming into this to get knocked out."


Bika continued to echo the opinion that he was being overlooked. Can he handle the pressure? To him, there’s no pressure to be felt if he doesn’t feel any traces of it. He commented, ""Superman" doesn’t put any pressure on me. I’m the one to beat. For me, I feel the need to fight the big boys. It was hard getting people to fight me. It’s now a big challenge to see me punching the big guys and I can’t handle them lightly. I now have the chance and I’ll be ready."


Sugar Hill agreed with Bika’s assessment of himself. "I’m happy with the selection of Sakio Bika because he comes forward and he likes to fight", added Hill.


"This was important for the maturity of Adonis. Bika is a seasoned and tough veteran who can take a punch. He’s never been knocked out. This is a big test and Adonis loves to be tested. This is the only thing that can help him grow as a fighter."


Adonis agreed and indicated that he’s in great spirits as the fight draws closer. "I have lots of motivation to win by knockout in front of a big audience" he said. "I’m very happy to be part of this and I’ll do my best. I’m from the Kronk Gym in Detroit. Emanuel Steward and Sugar Hill have taught me well."


"I have lots of motivation to win by knockout in front of a big audience. I’m very happy to be part of this and I’ll do my best. I’m from the Kronk Gym in Detroit. Emanuel Steward and Sugar Hill have taught me well"


"You guys have done it for me. This is getting my fighter fired up. This call has been about Stevenson fighting Kovalev. I don’t know why he’s on the call because everyone keeps asking about Kovalev versus Stevenson."


"I have lots of motivation to win by knockout in front of a big audience. I’m very happy to be part of this and I’ll do my best. I’m from the Kronk Gym in Detroit. Emanuel Steward and Sugar Hill have taught me well"


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March 25 2015

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