Stevenson and Kovalev both just made it abundantly clear why their future match-up is the most mouth watering fight in 2014.
Sergey Kovalev started the night off by absolutely demolishing Ismayl Silakh. Silakh started off well, and easily took round one by using his speed and his jab. Kovalev found the range in round two and ended things as soon as they started, dropping Silakh with a hard right hand that grazed Silakh’s temple. Silakh managed to beat the count and was nearly decapitated by a right hand for his trouble. Kovalev has now scored four knockouts this year in less than 12 rounds of action.
Stevenson strengthened his case for fighter of the year by dismantling the durable Tony Bellew tonight in only six rounds. Stevenson started the fight off fast throwing hard right hooks. Bellew did his best to stay away from the hard punching champion, although he occasionally found himself against the ropes. Stevenson looked to be a bit wound up as he spent a good portion of the early part of the fight chasing Bellew instead of cutting off the ring. Bellew was unable to handle the power of Stevenson, being wobbled nearly every time he was caught. Bellew decided to change his game-plan and came right at Stevenson in round four. Both men landed hard clean punches in round four although, Stevenson once again got the best of it hurting Bellew. Round five was more of the same, with Bellew essentially doing nothing more than running around the ring trying to survive. In round six Stevenson finally caught up to Bellew landing a hard straight left hand with dropped Bellew and had him on very shaky legs. The referee allowed the fight to continue and Stevenson then came in for the kill drilling Bellew and stopping him on the ropes in the second half of round number six.
Stevenson, like Kovalev, is now 4-0 with four KOs in 2013. Stevenson has established himself as the leading candidate for fighter of the year by knocking out Darnell Boone, Chad Dawson, Tavoris Cloud, and now Tony Bellew.
All roads point to a Kovalev vs Stevenson super-fight in the early part of 2014. Although, Stevenson like usual, did his best to try and avoid talking about Kovalev in his post fight interview. Stevenson instead called for matches against Carl Froch and Bernard Hopkins. The fight against Hopkins is not a viable option with the current situation between HBO and Goldenboy. However a fight between Stevenson and Froch would not be a bad second choice should a fight against Kovalev prove to hard to make. Kovalev made it no secret that he wants Stevenson immediately as he would be the heavy favorite given Stevenson’s shaky chin.
What did you think of this weekends fights? Who would win a fight between Stevenson and Kovalev? Let me know in the comments section below.