Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Can Adonis Stevenson Redeem Himself?

Let's face it, Adonis Stevenson has not been the hero of the boxing community since he stunningly knocked out Chad Dawson to become lineal light heavyweight champion years ago. Fights with such serious competitors as Sergey Kovalev, Bernard Hopkins, and Jean Pascal have never come to fruition - and people blame Stevenson for it, perhaps with good reason. For while he's yet to meet a major foe since becoming champ, Stevenson has sung the praises of Al Haymon and the money Haymon has lined his pockets with.

If you think the whole thing sounds like a cash grab, you're not alone.

Still, Stevenson insists that he's a serious competitor. Just recently, for instance, Stevenson claimed in an interview that he wants to unify all the light heavyweight titles. That means he would have to face Kovalev, the man he's been accused of ducking. Whether Stevenson really wants to face Kovalev or not remains to be seen.

Stevenson can go a long way convincing people of his seriousness, however, if he takes a cue from fellow Haymon stablemate Floyd Mayweather.

For, by calling out Manny Pacquiao live in front of Showtime cameras last December, Mayweather started the process which led to the May 2nd fight that everyone wanted. Stevenson can silence at least some of the criticism lobbed his way by coming across as serious after he presumably bests Tommy Karpency a week from this Friday. He has to sound serious, though.

Instead of saying he'll fight anyone Stevenson has to say that he WANTS Kovalev, that he's aware of promotional matters and the politics of boxing but that he would love it if the two men could get in the ring. Even if Haymon gets to veto who he fights, Stevenson can do a better job making it clear to the public what he wants. Unless he's able to do that, however, people will see Stevenson as a champion pretty much in name only.

And that's too bad.

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