By Keith Idec
Dmitry Sukhotskiy isn’t the Russian light heavyweight fights fans most want to see Adonis Stevenson fight.
Sukhotskiy still expects to pull off a huge upset Friday night at Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Canada, where he’ll challenge Stevenson for the WBC light heavyweight title in a Showtime main event.
“He looked nervous at the podium, like he wasn’t ready to fight,” Sukhotskiy said through an interpreter Tuesday during a news conference to promote their fight. “But I am ready to fight.”
The 33-year-old Sukhotskiy (22-2, 16 KOs) has won four straight fights since losing a 12-round unanimous decision to Houston’s Cornelius White (21-3, 16 KOs) in July 2012 in Las Vegas. The hard-hitting Stevenson (24-1, 20 KOs) is a 30-1 favorite.
“I’m not going to say he is underestimating me, because I’ll show that in the ring,” Sukhotskiy said. “I came here to win. I came to here to bring the world title back to Russia. … He has flaws and it is our job to find them and find a way to win the fight. It’s always different when you fight a southpaw, but we prepared for it. We prepared for everything that can happen in the ring.”
The first loss of Sukhotskiy’s nine-year pro career came against a southpaw. He dropped a 12-round unanimous decision to Juergen Braehmer (45-2, 33 KOs), then the WBO light heavyweight champ, five years ago in Schwerin, Germany.
“I’m ready to fight,” Sukhotskiy said. “I’m here to make a statement. This isn’t my first time fighting for a world title. Only this time, I will win.”
Showtime’s telecast is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET Friday. It’ll begin with a fight that’ll showcase hard-hitting Russian light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev (6-0, 6 KOs) in a 10-round fight against Jeff Page Jr. (15-0, 10 KOs), of Andover, Kan.
The four-fight broadcast also will include 12-round IBF elimination matches between Quebec-based welterweights Ionut Dan Ion (33-2, 18 KOs) and Kevin Bizier (23-1, 16 KOs) and super middleweights Andre Dirrell (23-1, 16 KOs), of Flint, Mich., and Derek Edwards (27-3-1, 14 KOs), of Las Vegas.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.