This Saturday night at the Bell Center in Montreal, Canada, WBC world light-heavyweight title holder Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson will take on former foe Andrzej Fonfara in a rematch of their 2014 war.
Stevenson won that fight by unanimous decision but had it a lot tougher than most pre-fight analysts had predicted, hitting the canvas hard in the ninth round from a stiff right hand delivered from the Polish challenger. In what had been up to that point a fairly mundane fight for the Haitian born champion, suddenly he had to dig deep and the championship rounds surged back and forth between each fighter.
With both men predicting easy wins on Saturday night it should be an entertaining fight as they look to settle the score between them for the final time.
Stevenson enters the fight as a prohibitive -1200 favorite with Fonfara coming in as a +600 underdog.
Stevenson’s preperation leading up to this fight has been less than ideal however. With negotiations between new WBC International Champion Joe Smith Jr. and WBA #5 ranked contender ‘Irish’ Seanie Monaghan both falling through, Fonfara was given the late call and a fight was arranged for Montreal.
Stevenson has also been relatively inactive in recent months. With only three fights since 2014, he has been one of the most inactive champions in recent memory. Compound this with Stevenson turning 40 years of age this September and it is hard to tell how much this combination of age and inactivity will affect the aging champion.
Fonfara meanwhile has had problems of his own. Despite a recent change in camps to world reknowned trainer Virgil Hunter, Fonfara’s recent results have been less than impressive. Coming from behind late in his last fight against former champion Chad Dawson, Fonfara had to rally late to stop the fading veteran, a fight in which he was down on all three judges scorecards at the time of the stoppage. Before that Fonfara was blasted out in just one round by Irish-American fighter Joe Smith Jr, a fight in which he was a substantial pre-fight favorite.
With both fighters having less than stellar lead-ups to this fight, it begs the question of whether or not we will see a similar result to their first fight in 2014 or has the challenger Fonfara improved enough – and Stevenson aged enough – for this now to be a competitive matchup?
I see this fight going in a similar way to their first as both fighters rely on a set style they have honed over a number of years so they should bring nothing new to the table here. Stevenson will likely look to jab from the outside, moving and toying with his right hand, looking for openings in which to unleash his devastating left hand. Even if that left hand fails to connect early, that probing right hand is more than enough to keep Fonfara busy for most of the fight, and if the fight remains on the outside it should be an easy nights work for Stevenson as he is the better technician of the two. Fonfara, conversely, will look to get in on the inside and rough up Stevenson with some well-timed hooks and uppercuts, but this could prove problematic, as getting inside on the champion would require navigating past that deadly left hand of his.
Overall, this fight comes down to a question of age and conditioning. If Stevenson is still fresh and doesn’t fade, letting his advanced 39 years of age creep up on him in the last third of the fight, then he should win this fight at a canter. He is the far superior outside fighter and has enough raw power and experience on the inside to make this fight an even easier one than the first. But if Fonfara can weather the early storm and take Stevenson deep into the late rounds then things could get interesting, especially if the older man tires down the stretch.
Either way, at the current odds, I see very little value in betting this fight. Stevenson is the much better boxer of the two and possesses the much greater power also, but at a hefty pricetag of -1200 and the worrying cloud of a 40th birthday approaching, it should be enough to keep your money firmly in your pocket.
Take Stevenson for the win in a fight I think he dictates easier than the first.
Pick: Stevenson by KO