Before we get to next weekend’s Mediacom.com-sponsored boxing card in Leeds, live on Sky Sports 2 from 02:00 in the early hours of Sunday morning, the hard-hitting Adonis Stevenson defends his WBC world light-heavyweight title against the stylistically-awkward Sakio Bika in Quebec, Canada.
Adonis Stevenson v Sakio Bika Tale of the Tape
Adonis Stevenson: 25-1 (21 KO)
Born in Haiti but a Canadian resident for most of his life, 37-year-old Adonis Stevenson became Quebec’s amateur middleweight champion in 2004, winning several national titles over the next two years, along with a silver medal in the 2006 Commonwealth games.
Turning pro in late 2006, Stevenson racked-up a string of impressive knockout victories, before being knocked out himself in his fourteenth professional bout by Darnell Boone. Rebuilding his career with six straight knockout victories, Stevenson avenged his solitary defeat by stopping Darnell Boone in the sixth round of their March 2013 contest.
Granted a WBC world light-heavyweight title shot against the then champion Chad Dawson in mid-2013, Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson shocking the boxing world by knocking Dawson out in the first round. An easy stoppage of a genuine but not top-rate contender like Tavoris Cloud illustrated that Stevenson had not just landed a lucky punch in becoming a word champion, while Britain’s Tony Bellew was a brave but badly beaten challenger in their bout, and Dmitry Sukhotsky was easily dismissed in the Haitian-born Canadian’s last fight.
The only time Stevenson’s been ‘wobbled’ and troubled on his feet since losing to Boone was in his second last fight, against Andrzej Fonfara, a bout in which ‘Superman’ stumbled to an unimpressive points victory, unable to capitalise and stop his opponent after two early knockdowns.
Sakio Bika: 32-6-3 (21 KO)
Now fighting out of Sydney, Australia, Cameroonian Sakio Bika is 35-years of age and a former WBC super-middleweight champion. Nicknamed ‘The Scorpion,’ Bika represented his birth nation in the 2000 Olympics, but otherwise had an unspectacular amateur career.
After a loss to Sam Soliman and draws with two other opponents, Bika was granted a WBO and IBF world title shot against champion Joe Calzaghe in October 2006. Losing a clear points decision, Bika nonetheless impressed with his toughness, but was also noted for being a dirty fighter who looked to rough opponents up and use his head.
Winning ‘The Contender’ boxing series after a loss to Lucian Bute, Bika was then outboxed by WBA super-middleweight kingpin Andre Ward, before rebuilding his career with a series of wins, one of which was a defeat of Marco Antonio Periban with the then vacant WBC title on the line.
Defeating Periban on points, Bika then drew against Anthony Dirrell, losing the rematch and his belt in the process.
Winner of Stevenson v Bika to Face ‘Krusher’ Kovalev
This weekend’s WBC light-heavyweight bout between Adonis Stevenson and Sakio Bika is effectively a semi-final match that’s eventual aim is to fully unify the four major world titles, with the hard-hitting WBO, WBA and IBF champion Sergey Kovalev waiting in the wings.
Stevenson v Bika Betting
WBC champ Stevenson is offered around 1/10, while challenger Bika is available around 8/1. In terms of method of victory, Stevenson is priced at 4/5 to win by KO/TKO or DQ, or 11/8 to win on points, while Bika is 10/1 to win by KO/TKO or DQ, or 14/1 to win by a scorecard verdict.
The Stevenson v Bika Betting Verdict
Bika is an awkward, dirty fighter who’ll try to use his head and clinch, while Stevenson is a big puncher who’s sure to get irritated by such tactics. Bika is also a slow fighter in terms of ring pace and that should allow Stevenson plenty of time to throw big punches from unusual and hard to predict angles, as he does.
As such, and whilst ‘Superman’ will leave himself open to counter punches, I can see him handing Bika his first ever stoppage loss. Bika after all, is a natural middleweight and moving up to light-heavy. It’s untested water, so to speak, and the bigger, harder hitting man who’s won 21/25 fights by KO or TKO should prevail within twelve rounds.