Prizefight Preview: Stevenson vs. Bika
- Updated: April 3, 2015
Welcome back to the Prizefight Preview!
This Saturday, the CBS Network officially returns to the boxing biz, as they bring us a special afternoon telecast from the friendly confines of the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City. The main event features Canada’s favorite son Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, as he looks to defend his WBC/linear light heavyweight championship against former super middleweight titlist Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika. The 12 round contest is the 1st bout in mega-manager Al Haymon’s time-buy contract with CBS, which means that fight fanatics are in store for a great run of top-flight matches on free TV!
Stevenson burst on to the light heavyweight scene back in 2013 with his electric 1-punch, 1st round KO of reigning champ Chad Dawson, lifting the world championship while also marking his territory as one of the elite power-punchers in the sport. Since then, the champ has taken on contenders (Cloud, Fonfara) as well as pretenders (Bellew, Sukhotsky) in defense of his crown, while fellow 175 pound titleholder Sergey Kovalev has destroyed elite-level competition (Hopkins, Pascal) in order to unify the remaining belts.
To say that Stevenson (25-1, 21 KO’s) has developed a reputation as a protected champion who is unwilling to fight the best in the division is quite the understatement, as a match with his Russian rival has become one of the most sought-after showdowns in the sport. For a variety of reasons, Stevenson and his team have avoided the bout, and they will once again look to earn another check against an opponent who is not named Sergey or Kovalev. The delay in the potential super-fight is not only a disappointment, but may also provoke what amounts to a trap-fight if the champ isn’t focused on the current opponent at hand.
The fighter who may be a prime candidate to set that trap will stand across the ring from Stevenson on Saturday, as Sakio Bika isn’t the kind of fighter anyone should be taking lightly. While The Scorpion (32-6-3, 21 KO’s) may not be outstanding at any one thing in the ring, he is solid in all areas with good technique, surprising power in both paws, along with a rock-solid chin. His career has taken many twists and turns, as he won the 2nd season tournament of The Contender in-between unsuccessful world title bids against division legends Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward. In his 3rd crack at a belt, he out-slugged Marco Antonio Periban to earn the vacant WBC strap in 2013, then promptly turned the title over to Anthony Dirrell after a draw and a loss in their two bouts the following year.
Now that he has moved up to 175 pounds, Bika will attempt to add a 2nd belt to his collection, although it may be a steep uphill climb against the hard-hitting southpaw champion. In what should be a fascinating style clash, Stevenson will look to land his dynamite left cross against an opponent who is known to be able to handle clean blows at center ring. Will Adonis be able to turn out the lights against an athlete who has shown the ability to walk through power shots and return fire?
Considering that Stevenson has been knocked down against lesser opposition (Fonfara specifically), it would not be a shock to see both men hit the canvas at one point or another in this contest. While Bika may not be a one-punch destroyer, he has an aggressive style that puts a lot of pressure on his opponents, which could very well pose problems for Stevenson if his defense isn’t up to par for the duration of the bout.
Ultimately, Stevenson’s accuracy with the left hand, combined with Bika’s touch-and-go work rate, should add-up to a clear decision victory for the champ, even if the road to round 12 gets a bit bumpy along the way. Expect some good exchanges in the early rounds with a possible knockdown or two in either direction. As the match progresses, Bika will most likely fade into the sunset, while Stevenson establishes the distance and pace in order to pile up the points. The end result should be another triumphant W for Superman and his loyal fan base, leaving the rest of us to sit and ponder the slow-simmering showdown with Kovalev that will hopefully take place some time later in…the decade.
PREDICTION: Adonis Stevenson by unanimous decision