WBC boss Adonis Stevenson might hold the coveted Ring magazine light-heavyweight belt but industry experts left canvasser Glynn Evans in no doubts as to who the real ‘daddy’ is at 175lbs.
(Hall of Fame promoter)
Stevenson isn’t a bad puncher himself and, were they to meet any time soon, I see a very close fight. But I sway marginally to Kovalev.
That said, I’ve always believed that a really good boxer – someone like Andre Ward, perhaps – has the beating of Kovalev but they’ll need to show balls. Nathan Cleverly begged me for the fight but didn’t really show the necessary desire on the night. It’s a fight I still feel he should’ve won.
I always back a good boxer over a good puncher. That’s what the sport is really about. That’s why they have judges.
Kovalev’s my fancy. I’ve only seen him live once but he absolutely destroyed Nathan Cleverly, a decent fighter, on his home turf in Cardiff. He’s not only a superb puncher, he’s a granite man.
Stevenson has real pedigree but he’s 38 now and let’s not forget what happened recently to Wladimir Klitschko, who was a similar age. I also happen to feel Kovalev might be the more resolute. I know he’s been over a couple of times but he always gets straight back up. I have a feeling that Kovalev is still improving. I’m not sure Stevenson is.
I go with Kovalev, by a good way. If they boxed each other, I’d fancy Sergey by mid to late stoppage.
Power wise, they’re pretty similar - Stevenson is a massive puncher - but he has more weaknesses. Kovalev has the better stature and better chin. His victories are more impressive and he’s the more rounded fighter.
People who view Kovalev as merely a big puncher are hugely mistaken. His footwork is phenomenal. He outboxed and outfoxed Bernard Hopkins; made a great champion look ordinary.
Kovalev is better and by some way. He’s the more rounded, has fought better men, and his wins are more convincing. He bashed up Jean Pascal who’s a real tough old boot and handled Bernard Hopkins easily. I also think his win over Nathan Cleverly in Wales is hugely underrated.
Stevenson possesses real ‘one shot’ power but he’s been more protected – fighting Tommy Karpency last time wasn’t the boldest move. Apart from the blowout over Chad Dawson –who’s not been the same since dropping to super-middle to fight Andre Ward – and perhaps Andrzej Fonfara, little stands out on Stevenson’s record.
His team seem to be avoiding a showdown with the Russian. Kovalev certainly appears the more willing of the two.
Kovalev is top. It’s not even a serious argument. Both hit exceptionally hard but Kovalev has the better boxing IQ, the better technique and schooling. He cuts the ring off so well and like all the other top Eastern Europeans – such as Golovkin, Provodnikov and Beterbiev – he punches right through the target. If they don’t knock you out, they seriously beat you up.
Stevenson is a very athletic southpaw. Though he’s not massively tall, he’s stocky and has very long arms. He’s wild and reckless; often lands from positions where he has no right to. He certainly has the power to catch Kovalev cold.
But Kovalev is so clever. I’d back him to crack Stevenson as he is coming in, then ruin him.
Kovalev, by far. I’m all over him, so menacing and ruthless; an absolute beast. He’s been overshadowed by Golovkin but his clubbing power is unreal. He’d knock you out if he connected with the inside of his arm.
Stevenson’s a decent champion and you’d have to give him a puncher’s chance. I thought he was really good when he stopped (Tony) Bellew. The way he bounced back from that knockout defeat to Darnell Boone is the sign of a good fighter. Also, you have to respect where he’s come from in life – he’s overcome a very sordid past. But he doesn’t beat Kovalev.
Kovalev is better in every department. He’s the superior boxer and he hits harder. Stevenson’s okay but I much prefer Kovalev. He does nothing wrong and he’s just so hurtful. Like Gennady Golovkin, he doesn’t waste a punch.
Gareth A. Davies
Stevenson has some really clever, slick skills and is blessed with fantastic athletic ability. He also carries real kayo power but he sometimes has a tendency to switch off and I believe Kovalev would break him mentally and get to him.
‘Krusher’ has real ‘chilling’ power, and a real spite when he fights. He’s very efficient, has everything, a fighting phenomenon. He’s also a lovely man who donated a large portion of his purse to the family of his opponent (Roman Simakov) who died shortly after their fight.
He’s one of the greatest talents in the sport today. It’s a travesty that he and Stevenson aren’t getting matched but the fight I’d really like to see is Kovalev against Andre Ward. Ward’s never been undone in any fight.
(ex WBA light-heavyweight challenger)
It’s got to be Kovalev. It’s very hard to see how you’d beat him because he has no apparent weaknesses. He’s no nonsense, trains exceptionally hard, has tremendous power and can stick to a gameplan; as he showed when he out boxed Bernard Hopkins.
Stevenson has long arms for a stocky guy and is very fast and explosive but tends to tire and falter. He made hard work of Andrzej Fonfara who, to be fair, is no bum.
We’ve never really seen Kovalev under heavy pressure. Only Jean Pascal has really whacked him on the whiskers. But he’s shone at a higher level and I’m pretty confident he knocks Stevenson out.
Sergey Kovalev is the best. Stevenson might have the instincts but Kovalev has the grade, the history and the better boxing brain. Kovalev is a much cleaner puncher, less dependent on wild punches.
However, Andre Ward might be able to play with the pair of ‘em – it’s the year of the light-heavies, trust me.
Final score: Kovalev 10 - Stevenson 0!
Don’t miss the ‘Krusher’ defending his WBA Super, WBO and IBF titles in a rematch with Canada’s Jean Pascal at the fabulous Bell Centre, Montreal this Saturday night, live on BoxNation (coverage starts at 2am).