Adonis Stevenson showed class against Tavoris Cloud, says Johnny Nelson
Adonis Stevenson showed his boxing class by dissecting Tavoris Cloud, says Johnny Nelson.
By Johnny Nelson
Last Updated: 01/10/13 9:41am
Stevenson did a brilliant job in stopping his challenger, Tavoris Cloud, after the seventh round and boxed a lot better than I expected.
His boxing ability is well and truly underrated; the angles he picked to dissect Cloud with were top drawer and he had his number from the off.
When a fighter produces a sensational knockout in his previous fight, as Stevenson did against Chad Dawson in June, people think he's a banger and only has that one shot.
But, although Stevenson hit hard, he was consistent and fluent with his angles and really got around Cloud's defences; he slowly but surely, systematically broke him down - and showed there's a lot to him as a fighter.
Bellew was ringside in Canada and will be well aware of what he's up against.
We've seen two sides to the Liverpudlian during his career.
We got used to the emotional, aggressive Tony Bellew, who really puts it on the line, but since he's stepped up through the levels he's been more cautious, more careful to get the results and thought more about what he's doing.
Against Stevenson everything has to come together and he has to use instinct, caution, wisdom and speed.
If he gives Stevenson a chance he'll make life hard for himself so if he sees a shot he has to take it and make it, not wait for it to happen because it could slip away from him.
Bellew might be known as the Bomber but he's a decent technical boxer, too.
He did that in the amateurs and he's tried to revert back to that recently, but he needs to be less predictable against Stevenson, too. That's what got him here in the first place, his unpredictability.
Of course, he needs to be cautious of Stevenson's big shot and have a game plan and try to out-box him - but he also needs to have that spite and fire so when he sees a shot he doesn't think twice about it and jumps on it.
At this stage, you have to make Stevenson favourite, given his past performances - that's why he's a world champion - and Bellew will need to bring his best on the night to win.
But I didn't look at Stevenson on Saturday and think 'wow, Bellew is going to get battered'. It's a winnable fight - but everything has to come together for the Brit.
Meanwhile, there was good news for George Groves last week when he announced he is linking up with trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick for his fight against Carl Froch on November 23.
That's a good move for George. If you're going to move to anybody it's got to be someone he's familiar with, someone he feels comfortable with in a short space of time and, in Fitzpatrick, someone who has been in his corner. He has that.
He may not stay with Fitzpatrick for the rest of his career but for now I'd say this is the right move.
George is familiar with Paddy's work and, although he's not going to show him anything different to what he's been doing, he's picked someone who knows how he worked with Adam Booth and there should be a smooth transition.
Of course, splitting from his trainer Booth wasn't ideal preparation for George at all, but it's done now and this will be a real test of his character and mental strength.
Let's see how he deals with it.