Adonis Stevenson (-850) vs. Andrzej Fonfara (+800), Draw (+3000)
Adonis Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) puts his WBC and lineal light-heavyweight titles on the line for the eighth time this Saturday, June 3rd when he takes on Andrzej Fonfara (29-4, 17 KOs) for the second time. Stevenson will have the hometown advantage, fighting once again at the Centre Bell in Montreal.
The light heavyweight division currently holds the two top-ranked pound-for-pound fighters in boxing today (according to The Ring Magazine), Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev. So understandably the upcoming Ward v Kovalev II (June 17th) is currently dominating the headlines.
But Stevenson v Fonfara II also promises to be an entertaining affair. The two met for the first time in 2014 in an action-packed fight. Stevenson knocked Fonfara down early and almost stopped him in the first round. He completely dominated the opening rounds, knocking Fonfara down again in the fifth with a heavy body shot.
Fonfara endured a tremendous amount of punishment but managed to stage a comeback late in the fight, knocking Stevenson down in the ninth. After that, the momentum shifted slightly in his favor, but it was too little too late. The fight went the distance with Stevenson emerging the clear winner.
Stevenson has been criticized for playing it safe when it comes to picking his fights. Since stripping Chad Dawson of his titles in 2013, he’s yet to take one where he isn’t the heavy favorite.
Fonfara may once again be the underdog, but a lot has changed since his first title shot against Stevenson. He left Poland for Chicago and picked up a new trainer in Virgil Hunter, the man behind Andre Ward. If anyone can fix Fonfara’s defensive vulnerabilities, it’s him.
Since his loss, he’s gone on to beat Mexican superstar Julio César Chávez Jr. as well as former champs Nathan Cleverly and Chad Dawson. Having said that, he did also suffer an upset loss to the then-unknown Joe Smith Jr.
While Fonfara has improved since the first fight, the 39-year-old Stevenson is likely on the decline. The defending champ is understandably the heavy favorite, but I don’t think we should be so quick to write off Fonfara. With his new team in Chicago, he has a real shot at winning the sequel.
Pick: Andrzej Fonfara (+800)
Photo: Dwight McCann [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
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