PBC brings boxing back to CBS Saturday with Stevenson vs. Bika

0
2504
Sakio Bika (left) and Adonis Stevenson pose at their weigh-in in Quebec City Friday. Photo: Amanda Kwok for PBC
Sakio Bika (left) and Adonis Stevenson pose at their weigh-in in Quebec City Friday. Photo: Amanda Kwok for PBC

SAN DIEGO, April 4, 2015 – The CBS network has a long, rich history televising boxing. It aired “Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts” starting in 1948, not long after the network was established. CBS brought boxing back to its airwaves after it lost its NFL contact to Fox in 1994, and it continued to air boxing through 1998. But it hasn’t covered boxing regularly since then.

Premier Boxing Champions and its impresario Al Haymon hope to change this, starting on Saturday with the first PBC event on CBS, featuring light heavyweight Adonis “Superman” Stevenson of Canada (25-1, 21 KO) versus Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika of Australia (32-6-3, 21 KO) from Quebec City at 3 p.m. ET. Stevenson puts his WBC title on the line.

Sakio Bika (left) and Adonis Stevenson enjoy a rare light hearted moment earlier this week in Quebec City. Photo: Amanda Kwok for PBC
Sakio Bika (left) and Adonis Stevenson enjoy a rare light-hearted moment earlier this week in Quebec City. Photo: Amanda Kwok for PBC

Fans hoped to see Stevenson fighting the man who holds the remaining three title belts in this weight division, Sergey Kovalev. Stevenson, the 2013 Fighter of the Year, says he’s willing. His actions have said otherwise, and it’s earned him criticism for ducking Kovalev. With a big win Saturday, perhaps Stevenson will have the courage to suck it up and face the formidable Russian.

In the meantime, what looks like a lopsided fight on paper may be more challenging than expected. Sakio Bike has six losses, but all were competitive decisions against tough opponents, including Joe Calzaghe, Lucien Bute, Andre Ward and Anthony Dirrell. Bika has boxed more than double the number of professional rounds of Stevenson (250 to 110) despite being the younger man by five years. It’s the sort of wear and tear that builds up.


Bika’s last fight against Dirrell in August at the StubHub Center in Carson on the Kell Brook vs. Shawn Porter undercard was a messy, frustrating affair. Bika isn’t afraid to fight dirty if he can get away with it. He had a point deducted for a low blow to Dirrell, as he had in his previous fight, also against Dirrell. Look for him to try and manhandle Stevenson to prevent him from throwing a knockout punch and to erase Stevenson’s five-inch reach advantage.

Stevenson will need to keep Bika off him and prevent him from landing anything substantial. Stevenson was knocked down for only the second time in his career in his last fight against Polish-born Andrej Fonfara. Fonfara caught Stevenson in the middle of the ninth round after Stevenson had him down twice earlier in the fight. If Bika can show as much heart as Fonfara did, he’ll give himself a chance.

Artur Beterbiev (left) and Gabriel Campillo face off at Friday's weigh-in. Photo: Amanda Kwok for PBC
Artur Beterbiev (left) and Gabriel Campillo face off at Friday’s weigh-in. Photo: Amanda Kwok for PBC

CBS will air only the main event, but keep an eye on the undercard. Unbeaten light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev (7-0, 6 KOs) will face former cruiserweight champion Gabriel Campillo (25-6-1, 12 KOs). The ambitious Russian would like to get in line ahead of Stevenson to face his countryman Kovalev. Campillo is in the “professional opponent” category but not anyone to be overlooked. First things first, Artur. You need to look at guys like Isaac Chilemba or Juergen Braehmer first.

Paulie Malignaggi (left) and Adonis Stevenson pose earlier this week at a news conference leading to Saturday's fight in Quebec City. Photo: Courtesy Premiere Boxing
Paulie Malignaggi (left) and Adonis Stevenson pose earlier this week at a news conference leading to Saturday’s fight in Quebec City. Photo: Courtesy Premiere Boxing

It’s a shame boxing won’t get more airtime in its CBS debut. The network has assembled a first-rate announcing team. Thirty-year NFL and longtime NBA and college basketball veteran Kevin Harlan will handle the play-by-play. Harlan worked the Mike Tyson vs. Buster Mathis Jr. bout for Fox in 1995 and has also called several championship events on radio. Showtime color analyst Paulie Malignaggi will join him along with respected trainer Virgil Hunter, making his broadcast analyst debut. Give PBC credit for putting together exceptional talent for its broadcasts.

PBC on CBS, Stevenson vs. Bika live from the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City airs Saturday at 3 p.m. ET/12 noon. PT.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Copyright © 2015 by Falcon Valley Group

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Communities Digital News

• The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or management of Communities Digital News.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities Digital News, LLC. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

Correspondingly, Communities Digital News, LLC uses its best efforts to operate in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine under US Copyright Law and always tries to provide proper attribution. If you have reason to believe that any written material or image has been innocently infringed, please bring it to the immediate attention of CDN via the e-mail address or phone number listed on the Contact page so that it can be resolved expeditiously.