By Ben Jacobs
Promoter Yvon Michel is excited about this Saturday’s card in Montreal which features Adonis Stevenson defending his WBC title for the first time against former IBF champion, Tavoris Cloud. But the bill will also feature the likes of Jean Pascal, David Lemieux and rising star Eleider Álvarez.
“We will have about 8,000 fans in the arena so it’s very good. We’ll be live on pay-per-view and it will be the best crowd for an Adonis Stevenson fight,” Michel told BoxingScene.
“I believe that Cloud is the best contender in the light heavyweight division. He’s a proven warrior, has a good strong chin, he likes to fight. It’s a good test but I believe he doesn’t value Adonis’ talent. I think this is the best fight for the boxing world to see that Adonis is not only the best pure puncher in the sport right now but he also has a very high boxing IQ. I don’t see really Cloud being able to do anything, and Adonis will prove that he didn’t just beat Dawson by chance. Adonis can carry his power into the last rounds, no problem.
“Cloud won’t fall from the first punch - he will be tentative and careful. Cloud is strong and experienced. I still see a one sided fight, but it will be good.”
Michel also confirmed that Tony Bellew, who intends to be ringside as a spectator this Saturday, will be the next opponent for Stevenson, providing he is able to beat Cloud.
“Definitely, the next fight after this one is Tony Bellew,” he insisted. “Bellew is the mandatory contender. He deserves the next shot at the title because he won the eliminator. When a fighter is able to reach the number one spot he should have a chance at the champion, that’s what we’ll do. Carl Froch didn’t do that when Adonis was his mandatory contender but for sure Bellew can count on it that he’ll be the next one.”
Another fight for boxing fans to look out for is the battle of two Colombians between Eleider Álvarez (12-0, 8 KOs) and veteran, Edison Miranda (35-8, 30 KOs). Michel is so confident of Álvarez’s abilities that he would throw him into a title shot even at this stage of his development.
“Álvarez is ready now - he could fight for a title now. We’d be very happy to fight Sergey Kovalev. He’s fighting Miranda and both are Colombians. It’s a pretty emotional fight. Miranda has trained for two months but even at his best he was nothing near the quality of Álvarez which will show in the ring next week. He [Álvarez] will prove he’s ready to fight anybody.”
Saturday also marks the return to action for Jean Pascal who has been on the treatment table following an injury which forced his fight with Lucian Bute to be moved to January of next year.
“It’s an important fight for Jean Pascal, he needed some motivation to be in the gym and prepare himself. He has an important rendezvous with Lucian Bute in January here in Montreal so he wants to use the fight against George Blades as a stepping stone to get better prepared. I’ve seen Jean in the gym - he’s doing very well. He wants to show against Blades that he hasn’t lost anything. Although he hasn’t fought for a while, he’s still one of the biggest stars in the division. Time is on his side, he’s only 30 years old.”