Sunday, May 28, 2023  |


Adonis Stevenson and a top opponent – will the twain ever meet?

Fighters Network

Adonis Stevenson conjured up solid buzz with his outing last weekend, a stoppage of willing warrior Thomas Williams in Canada.

That division, 175, is one of the better ones in the sport, in term of compelling names. Stevenson is third on a short list, behind Sergey Kovalev, and, until proven otherwise, Andre Ward. Throw in Artur Beterbiev as one of the aces in that region, and you have the makings of a fun mix ‘n match scramble. Oh, but politics …

WBC champ Stevenson is Team Haymon, and fights on PBC platforms. Kovalev – holder of the WBA, IBF and WBO brand belts – and Ward are not.

Many fans are nearing a point where they are demanding all powers that be get over the quibbling and squabbling, and do what’s right in the longer-term interest of the sport. That would mean that all parties would cease cold warring, and make peace well enough to make A-side vs. A-side fights.

I asked Stevenson promoter Yvon Michel, who staged the Stevenson-Williams rumble, which saw Adonis use his fairly fearsome left to discombobulate the loser in Round 4, of what comes next.

“Adonis is THE purest puncher in boxing and no doubt the best light heavyweight,” Michel said. “His best competition for now would come from Ward. Kovalev is no match!”

I don’t get the sense that it’s in the works to have the 39-in-September Adonis fight the winner of the fall brawl between Ward and Kovalev, sadly. So next might be what for Stevenson, now 28-1?

“If no unification, Adonis has to do his mandatory next,” said Michel.

That means Eleider Alvarez. He fought on the Stevenson-Williams card, and won a snoozerama against Robert Berridge. That boredom level came about because Berridge held, Michel told me. Would WBC No. 2 Joe Smith be a more compelling style matchup, with zero chance of a bore-fest? I say yes, but that’s opinion.

Now, opinion bordering on fact is that this Cold War is keeping Stevenson from learning how good he is and could be. That’s a shame. I do think he’d rue that if his career finished and that construct had held. I think he has to hope that sooner rather than later, the XL players smile on their brother long enough to end this logjam.

Follow Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069 and check out his podcast, “TALKBOX,” where podcasts are found.