By: William Holmes
The Light Heavyweight Division was given some clarity today as two world titles were on the line in Quebec City, Canada.
A replay of last week’s pay per view fight between Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios opened up HBO’s broadcast. The dream matchup between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. is on life support, but it is still alive.
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (22-0) and Ismayl Sillakh (21-1) met first for Kovalev’s WBO Light Heavyweight Title. Many experts believed Sillakh had the best chance of an upset on tonight’s card but Kovalev quickly crushed those hopes.
Sillakh did have a decent first round and he was able to use his reach to keep Kovalev at bay, but he had to move constantly to avoid the power Kovalev. Kovalev was able to make an adjustment midway through the first round by focusing his attack on the body of Sillakh and his body work paid off in the second round.
Sillakh began the second round by circling away from Kovalev, but Kovalev was able to land a hard straight right hand to the temple of Sillakh and knock him down. Sillakh beat the count and he had blood streaming out of his nose, but he was clearly still hurt. Kovalev rushed forward to land a straight right straight left hand combination that sent Sillakh down violently and the referee waived off the fight.
Sergey Kovalev continues his meteoric rise with a knockout at 0:52 of the second round.
Afterwards, Kovalev stated inside the ring that he would like to face Adonis Stevenson next, but Stevenson would have to win against Bellew first.
Tony Bellew (20-1-1) and Adonis Stevenson (20-1-1) met next for the WBC Light Heavyweight Title. The Haitian born but Canadian native Adonis “Superman” Stevenson had a majority of the support in the arena and the crowd could be heard chanting his name before the opening bell.
Bellew’s strategy was clear from the start, stay on the outside with his jab and only exchange with Stevenson when necessary. Bellew took Stevenson’s punches well in the first two rounds, but likely lost those rounds because of inactivity. Stevenson was pressing the pace and out throwing and out landing Bellew.
Bellew somehow busted up the nose of Stevenson in the third round, but it was Stevenson who was landing the harder and crisper punches. His straight left hand was landing with increasing ferocity in the third round and forced Bellew to go on his horse and circle away.
Bellew came out aggressive in the fourth round and landed a clipping right hook to the back of Stevenson’s head and simultaneously tripped him. The referee correctly ruled it was a slip. Stevenson continued to pop shot Bellew in the third round and was taunting his opponent from the middle of the ring.
Stevenson finally knocked Bellew down in the sixth round with a rising left cross. Bellew was still glossy
eyed when he got back to his feet and Stevenson ended the fight with two more head snapping straight left hands.
Adonis Stevenson retains his title with a knockout at 1:50 of the sixth round
In the post fight interview Stevenson indicated that he would rather fight Carl Froch or Bernard Hopkins than Kovalev, even though the boxing world would rather see Stevenson vs. Kovalev.