Yvon Michel Defends Adonis Stevenson

Adonis Stevenson has been hearing it on social media and from Team Jean Pascal, after Pascal stepped up, and agreed to fight Sergey Kovalev in March.

This, after WBC light heavy champ Stevenson earlier in the year latched on to advisor Al Haymon, which resulted in him swerving away from a clash with Pascal, and leaves him in his current state, which is fighting a boxer nobody really knows, while Pascal enters into the most meaningful test of his career.

Seems all sort of one sided, eh? Is there another side to this? I asked Yvon Michel, Stevenson’s promoter. “Michael, after March 14, one of those two, Kovalev or Pascal, is going to lose,” Michel told me. “Stevenson will still be champion and the fighter to beat for the winner.”

OK, some wisdom there, preaching patience. Patience isn’t as prized a virtue in this day and age, is it? Makes some sense to me, then…

But, what about that “ducking” charge on Adonis?

“For a promoter, boxing is a marathon, not a sprint,” Michel continued. “The longer you stay on top, the bolder the opportunities that will arise! Adonis has lost, for the moment, the popularity contest. The good thing is he can win it back with one straight left hand!”

(Regarding the ducking charge, also, it must be said, none of us really know how what if any power Adonis has in picking his fights. Advisor Haymon is well known for having an iron hand in picking and choosing the “right” course for his stable. Now, people have free will, so some will argue that the fighters should step up, and advise the advisor that they want the stiffest tests, and don’t want to take the safer but less fulfilling route, not if they want to be seen as a lion-heart, or leave a considerable legacy behind them.)

That straight left should do the job on Dec. 19, when Stevenson meets Dmitriy Sukhotsky in Montreal. “It will be an excellent show,” Michel said, “with the Stevenson fight, Beterbiev vs. Page, Bizier vs. Dan, Dirrell vs. Edwards. It’s on Showtime.

“As for the direction of Adonis’ career, 2014 was a frustrating year, but we shall wait to see how it will play out in the long run before judging.”

I cannot argue a stitch with that call for a longview take. Well, maybe a bit, as I had heard Stevenson say he would attend the Kovalev-Hopkins fight, with his eyes trained on the winner…and I do get frustrated when I see talented boxers sitting on the sidelines and waiting for their uber-advisor to complete his moves on the chess board…hello, they are not chess pieces, they are proud human beings, who sometimes choose the easier route over the harder but ultimately riskier and thus maybe more rewarding route…but I myself have preached taking a long view, and seeing if Haymon Boxing in 2015 will continue these practices or step up, or be forced to step up. Patience, it is a waning virtue, but I think it behooves us all to embrace it more forcefully more often.

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