Entering 2015 fans were optimistic that the anticipated showdown between light heavyweight champions Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (26-1 , 21 KOs) and Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (27-0-1 , 24 KOs) would finally go down this years. Both fighters had scheduled fight in the first quarter of the year but were heavily favored to win. Kovalev was perceived to have the tougher task with former world champion Jean Pascal as his opponent and this turned out to be true. Pascal would give Kovalev all he could handle and stunned him a few times throughout the fight. In the end Kovalev’s power and overall skill were too much for the very game Pascal. Kovalev would win by TKO in round 8. The Kovalev-Pascal bout was actually a WBC Eliminator so the win placed Kovalev as Stevenson’s mandatory. Stevenson was present for the bout and stated afterwards that he would do his part to make the showdown with Kovalev happen.
Professional boxing, or prizefighting, emerged in the early twentieth century as boxing gradually attained legitimacy and became a regulated, sanctioned sport. Professional boxing bouts are fought for a purse which is divided between the boxers as determined by contract. Most professional boxing bouts are supervised by a regulatory authority to guarantee the fighters’ safety. Most high-profile bouts obtain the endorsement of a sanctioning body, which awards championship belts, establishes rules, and assigns its own judges and referee. Professional boxing bouts are typically much longer than amateur bouts, and can last up to twelve rounds, though less significant fights can be as short as four rounds. Protective headgear is not permitted, and boxers are generally allowed to take substantial punishment before a fight is halted. Pro boxing has enjoyed a much higher profile than amateur boxing throughout the twentieth century and beyond.