Boxing recap: Joyeux noël for Stevenson in KO win Friday

Adonis Stevenson celebrates his fifth round knockout win over Dmitry Sukhotskiy Friday. Photo: Showtime
Adonis Stevenson celebrates his fifth round knockout win over Dmitry Sukhotskiy Friday. Photo: Showtime

SAN DIEGO, December 19, 2014 – Canadian light heavyweight Adonis “Superman” Stevenson scored the knockout win his Québécois fans expected to see, but it took him five rounds to get to it.

Stevenson (25-1, 21 KOs) showed Dmitry Sukhotskiy (22-3, 16 KOs) a lot more respect than he merited, perhaps still feeling the still of hitting the canvas against Andrej Fonfara earlier this year. At the end of round two, even trainer Jovan “Sugar” Hill was getting impatient along with the restless fans, telling Stevenson “Let him know you’re boss around here.”

Why Stevenson let Sukhotskiy hang around three more rounds perplexes me. But finally, Sukhotskiy went down midway through round five. He beat the count, but went down a second time 20 seconds later. He beat the count again, and Stevenson finally began to fire at will.

Stevenson sealed the deal with a powerhouse straight left to the chin at 2:42 of the round, set up by a right hook feint. He made his trademark victory dance around the ring when the referee officially stopped the fight.

“I just use my speed movement, I know I got the power, the knockout’s gonna come, so I didn’t force the knockout,” Stevenson told Showtime’s Jim Gray. “My trainer told me that too. It’s boxing… I just wait on him and bang, I catch him.”

Then the real battle got underway: the war of words between Stevenson and his mandatory opponent Sergey Kovalev’s camp. Stevenson said after the fight, “He (Kovalev) has to come to me, I’m the big champion, I’m the man.”

It’s hard to make a deal with someone running away. Stevenson immediately got called out for his comments after ducking Kovalev and also Bernard Hopkins, fights his fans would have loved to see. Much of the blame gets put on his new manager Al Haymon. Stevenson says Haymon is protecting his monetary interests, that other fights want too much money in negotiations, so the bouts aren’t happening. He claims Haymon can make the Kovalev fight happen if promoter Kathy Duva will call and play fair.

No more excuses: Kovalev will fight Jean Pascal in March; the WBC has mandated that the winner fight Stevenson with a 50-50 purse split. So someone will be handed to him on a silver platter.

Duva and her team at Main Events let Stevenson have it via Twitter, posting pointed comments throughout the fight, including this photo.

Sergey Kovalev's management team at Main Events send a pointed message to Adonis Stevenson after his win tonight. Photo: Main Events via Twitter
Sergey Kovalev’s management team at Main Events send a pointed message to Adonis Stevenson after his win tonight. Photo: Main Events via Twitter

Fans, if Sweet Science Santa thinks we’ve all been good boxing head boys and girls this year, perhaps 2015 will be the year of our dream bouts including Stevenson vs. Kovalev, Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin vs. someone worthy, and perhaps even Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.

It was a repeat in the IBF welterweight eliminator fight, the rematch between Canadians Jo Jo Dan (34-2, 18 KOs), who is originally from Romania, and Kevin Bizier (23-2, 16 KOs) of Quebec. Dan again won a close split decision just as he did in their first meeting in 2013. Judges Kevin Morgan (115-1129 and Benoit Roussel (114-1130 scored it for Dan;

Robert Paolino (114-113) for Bizier.The partisan crowd for the French Canadian didn’t like the outcome and let Dan know it.

“Bizier is a warrior… I controlled the action most of the fight. I think I won the fight,” said Dan. “I think he was more desperate than me, you see he spent all his energy to put me down again. I kept my cool.”

Bizier dropped Dan at the beginning of the seventh round, but Dan rallied and took charge with a mix of body shots and combinations. Dan now becomes the mandatory challenger for world titleholder Kell Brook of Great Britain, who beat Shawn Porter as an underdog in August in California.

Andre Dirrell (24-1, 16 KOs) made his IBF super middleweight eliminator bout with Derek Edwards (27-4-1, 14 KOs), look like a sparring session, winning a lopsided unanimous decision. Dirrell saw very little offense from Edwards until the very last round, despite his trainer Charles “Dew Drop” Young loudly berating him to “wake up” between rounds. It didn’t help. It was a painful fight to watch, but at least Dirrell got in some needed rounds in the ring.

Chechen light heavyweight Artur Beterviev made quick work of American Jeff Page, Jr. with a TKO at 2:21 in round two to maintain his perfect record. Page got a flash knockdown of Beterbiev early and made it seem briefly it might be more of a contest. Beterbiev said it made him angry, and he put Page down three times in the second round before the referee stopped the fight. Beterbiev admitted after the fight he’s still got a lot to learn in professional boxing. Nevertheless, he now gets into the mix as an eventual contender in this division with Stevenson, Kovalev, and the rest.

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 +

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