On paper, Stevenson vs Bika made for a poor matchup. And that was certainly proven on 4th April, Quebec City, Canada, when Adonis Stevenson (26-1, 21 KO) effortlessly turned in a Unanimous Decision. The hometown hero needed no more than his left hand – quite literally – to control Australia’s Sakio Bika (32-7-3, 21 KO) and never had to shift out of first gear.
Stevenson vs Bika was hardly scintillating stuff, and yes, felt much like a gap-filler for the Kovalev showdown every fight fan is waiting for. But it is what it is. The RING and WBC Light Heavyweight straps didn’t leave Canada that night.
Stevenson came away with not so telling scores of 115-111, 116-110, 115-110, of which recorded one official knockdown in the 9th round – no guesses for the hand that dropped Bika. A case could also be made for a knockdown in the 5th which wasn’t called – but post fight, it seemed to matter little. BoxingBase.com had the bout at 117-109.
Stevenson vs Bika: The Fight
From the opening bell, the story seldom changed. Stevenson was the loose-shouldered, accurate sharpshooter, finding success with the left-straight time and again. The thing was like a missile. Add to that some of the best footwork in the fight game and an effective head-body attack and you can see why Stevenson is so highly regarded in the sport.
Then there was Bika, who, let’s be honest, is pretty much spent in the sport despite always looking in tip-top shape. We’ve seen him struggle greatly in his past two fights at Super Middleweight – where he has campaigned for most of his career – but unfortunately there was no visible improvement at 175, either.
Bika’s had a respectable career, having fought in memorable bouts such as those with Joe Calzaghe. And who can forget his finale with Jaidon Codrington in The Contender series? But at 35-years-old, he’s fighting like 40 – and that’s saying something since Stevenson himself is 37.
Bika was slow against Stevenson, plodding forward with flat feet, stiff in movement and posture. His craft center ring was almost non-existent, with his gloves only finding their target when he had his man on the ropes. Granted, it’s not easy to look good against a fighter like Stevenson. But where was the range-finding jab? The fundamentals? Bika was surely respectful of Stevenson’s power, but to not throw any caution to the wind at all can only guarantee defeat.
Not all of the old Bika had left, in fairness; he was still the solid, durable fighter many had expected him to be. But when there is little effective arsenal to go along with that courage and armor, how can a fight be won? Bika did land some clean blows, particularly in the 11th round, but it seemed like they only connected due to his opponent’s temptation to languish during the later stages of the fight.
That languishing won’t have won Stevenson any fans, as many will wonder why he didn’t press the action more and get his foe out of there. No one wants to see Bika, the warrior veteran that he is, get pounded into submission – but this is boxing, and the guy was ready to be taken out arguably from the 5th round.
It was target practice for Stevenson as he repeatedly connected with the left and rocked Bika to his boots on several occasions. The only real urgency came in the 9th when he stunned Bika with a you-know-what counter, and then followed up with a you-know-what that dropped his man. The knockdown itself was first class. No qualms there.
But after that, Stevenson went into auto-pilot, deciding to press little more, bizarrely goading on his spent opponent to throw his best shots while he lay on the ropes in the 12th round. It begs the question: if he saw Bika as so inept and outclassed, then why did Stevenson treat the fight like some glorified sparring match after the midpoint? (Stevenson vs Bika Fight Highlights)
Stevenson vs Bika is Over – But Will Stevenson vs Kovalev Ever Be Made?
If there was any confusion as to where Adonis Stevenson stands against Sergey Kovalev in the ‘Light Heavyweight Bad Ass’ league, he has certainly slipped into 2nd place. If it were Kovalev (who recently hammered Bernard Hopkins) in the ring with Bika that night, he’d have likely been the first man to stop Bika.
Which of course leads onto boxing’s next super fight – one hopefully destined following May 2nd. Stevenson vs Kovalev hasn’t been 5 or 6 years in the making exactly – not yet, anyway – but it will have no trouble emptying the pay-per-view pockets of fight fans. And no one will blame them for coughing up. ‘Superman’ vs. ‘The Krusher’ is fight gold.
So Kovalev, Stevenson, Al Haymon, Premier Boxing Champions – boxing gods, whoever the heck else is involved – let’s get this thing on! One super fight followed by another – that’s great for the sport, great for fans. All the right boxes checked, baby!
Let us know your take on the fight and the future of the Light Heavyweight division. And yeah, this is a good time to get your Stevenson vs Kovalev rant on. So come on – who wins?!
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