Adonis Stevenson (21-, 18 KOs) makes the first defense of his WBC/Ring light heavyweight title on Saturday night against former IBF 175 pound titlist Tavoris Cloud (24-1 , 19 KOs). Stevenson is coming off his spectacular first round knockout of Chad Dawson. On the other hand, Cloud is coming off his worst performance as a pro losing to 48 year old Bernard Hopkins by a unanimous decision. Many in the sport feel this bout will serve as a mere showcase for Stevenson. However, Cloud is by no means a push over and should be viewed as a very live underdog.
Stevenson is a big puncher. There is absolutely no debating this fact. At any given time, he can hurt and get his opponent out of there.
But sometimes punchers, particularly after big knockout performances, fall in love too much with their power. They come to rely on simply landing that one punch to end the contest and believe they can get it done at any time. In the course of action, they sometimes forget what is needed to be done to set up their lethal punches.
A case study in this would be the Lucas Matthysse’s recent performance against Danny Garcia. What happened in that fight? Well the puncher was exposed some and out boxed over the course of twelve rounds.
So one possible scenario here is Stevenson falls in love to much with his punch. He forgets how to set his power shots up and starts winging hoping for that spectacular knockout again. And if he doesn’t land the Sunday punch or is able to hurt Cloud, it may be a long twelve rounds for Stevenson.
There are other factors as well to take into consideration. Cloud is not the puncher Stevenson is but is no slouch in that category either. Stevenson has one loss in his career and that was by 2nd round TKO to journeymen Darnell Boone. So Stevenson’s chin can be considered a question mark and Cloud may put it to the test.
Cloud has been the twelve round distance on five occasions. Some of those bouts were grueling hard fought contests. Stevenson has been to the twelfth round one time in his career when he stopped Don George. That was a fight Stevenson has largely in control of and was not really being pushed in the late rounds.
The question that needs to be brought up here is stamina. What if the fight gets to the late rounds and Stevenson is being pushed? We don’t know yet how he will react to such a situation. Cloud, on the other hand, has fought hard late in very tough fights.
Now all this of course could be a moot point if Stevenson lands his bombs early and gets Cloud out of there. But if he doesn’t, this could turn out to be a very interesting fight and one that sees the WBC/Ring light heavyweight championship change hands again.