WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (27-1, 22 KOs) will be defending his title this Friday night on June 29 against #8 WBC Thomas Williams Jr. (20-1, 14 KOs)
in what should be a very winnable fight for the 38-year-old Stevenson on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike TV from the Centre Videotron, in Quebec city, Canada.
This is a fight that Stevenson wants because he likes the match-up. Read: Stevenson believes he can get through this fight without too much trouble. Williams Jr. is still largely the same flawed fighter that was stopped by Gabriel Campillo two years ago in 2014.
Williams has won his last three fights since then, but he’s not faced anyone remotely as talented as dangerous or as talented as Stevenson. Williams’s recent 2nd round knockout win over Edwin Rodriguez last April was a fight where neither fighter showed any defense at all in that fight. The fact that Williams won the fight was only a statement in how poorly skilled Rodriguez proved to be in that fight.
Stevenson for Williams start time: 9:00 p.m. ET.
Where to see the fight? PBC on Spike TV
Date: Friday, June 29
Location: Centre Videotron, in Quebec city, Canada
Stevenson will soon be turning 39-years-old on September 22, and he’s going to need to hurry up if he wants to fight the top guys in the division like Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward. By waiting so long before he takes those fights, Stevenson is increasing the chances of him losing both of them and more. He’s getting older and pretty soon it won’t be surprising if he gets picked off by one of his simple contenders.
Once that happens, it will destroy a lot of the interest in a fight between him and Ward or Kovalev. This is why it’s important that Stevenson take those fights while he’s still on top as the WBC 175lb champion.
Stevenson defeated fringe contender Tommy Karpency by a 3rd round knockout last September in Toronto. That fight took place 10 months ago, and you hate to see an aging fighter like Stevenson stay out of the ring for almost a year.
If Stevenson continues to fight at that rate, he likely will be finished as a top fighter in two or three more fights unless he ages like Bernard Hopkins, who was able to continue to fight at a high level into his last 40s.
Karpency reportedly helped Stevenson prepare for the southpaw Williams Jr. by working as a sparring partner.
“Thomas Williams is a dangerous opponent with power who is young, hungry and he has a lot of motivation,” said Stevenson to Premier Boxing Champions. “I can go toe-to-toe, but I can also show my boxing skills and my IQ. Anything Thomas Williams brings, I’m ready for it.”
It’s not likely that Stevenson will be looking to go toe-to-toe with the younger 28-year-old Williams; because that’s something he thrives at. Williams has a puncher’s chance of beating Stevenson on Friday night. Stevenson will likely fight the way he always does by staying on the outside looking to throw powerful left hands to the head and right hooks.
Stevenson does well when he’s able to get maximum leverage on his shots from the outside. He doesn’t do nearly as well when he’s crowded and forced to fight on the inside the way that Darnell Boone did in their first fight and how Andrzel Fonfara did.
Stevenson is a lot less effective when he’s forced to brawl than he is when he can load up on single shots on the outside in chess match fights. When things get out of control for Stevenson, his form breaks down and he’s not nearly as the same effective fighter when the pace is slow and he can get a lot of time in between shots.
This is why it’s in Williams’s best interest to speed up the pace of the fight and turn it into the same kind of anarchy that we saw in his last fight against Edwin Rodriguez. Williams can win that fight kind of fight against Stevenson. He can’t win a slow fight against him because Stevenson has the faster hands and the superior power.
Williams will be going into Friday’s fight with a three-fight winning streak since his 5th round stoppage loss to Campillo in August 2014.
Stevenson will be making his seventh title defense of his WBC belt that he won in June 2013 with a 1st round knockout win over Chad Dawson. Stevenson has had opportunities for fights against Kovalev and Hopkins, among others, in the last few years, and he’s not taken the fights. He’s going to need to think about taking one of those fights sooner or later before age catches up to him.