In the main event of HBO's Boxing After Dark, Chad Dawson took on Adonis Stevenson, coming up from 168, in a light heavyweight scrap from Montreal's Bell Centre. We wondered if Adonis' power could make itself felt on the vet Dawson...and it sure as hell did. A left hand sent Dawson down and he got up, but the ref didn't like the look of his eyes and he halted the fight in round one.
A jab froze Chad, and a left on the ear put him on his back. He said he was OK, but he was swaying and the ref said no mas. The end came at 1:16, for a man Michael Buffer called a new star of the sport.
When the hammer dropped and Dawson was finished, you had to think of his trainer-manager Emanuel Steward, who died last year, but who thought highly of Adonis. Here's what Manny told me in April 2012, in one of my last conversations with him: "Adonis is dangerous all the way through. We got some kind of weird-ass guy here, one of these stamina freaks...There's nothing like knocking [emeffers] out. That's what made Mike Tyson special. I train all my fighters to go for the KO. But they have the stamina in case it doesn't happen."
Stevenson afterwards to Max Kellerman said this is why he gets avoided. He told Max that Steward had told him he'd KO either Dawson or Tavoris Cloud if he got the chance to fight either. "It's a dream come true," he yelled, as he dropped to his knees. He said he'd like to unify at 175 against Bernard Hopkins and also would like a crack at Andre Ward.
"Sugar" Hill, Emanuel's nephew, said this win was like Hilmer Kenty's first title win. He said we can expect more wins from the Kronk crew.
Dawson afterwards said he didn't see the punch coming. Max asked him if he came in at 100%. He said he felt fine coming in. "He caught me with a good shot," he said.
Jim Lampley asked Andre Ward if he thinks Dawson was lessened by the beating he dished out. He gave props to Adonis. Ward said Adonis has options. "He's definitely a player in both divisions right now," Ward said.
The WBC light heavy champ Dawson (age 30; 31-2-1 NC-1, 1 ND with 17 KOs) was 173 1/2 pounds, while Stevenson (from Haiti; lives in Montreal; turns 36 in September; 20-1 with 17 KOs) was 174.2 pounds.
Stevenson, Jim Lampley told us, had been been imprisoned for deeds committed against women while working for an escot service in Canada. He was in jail for two years, he explained, but realized the errors of his ways when he found the gym. He turned pro at age 29, and was a protege of Emanuel Steward, who died last October.
Dawson, we heard, did his tenth trainer switch in 11 years; he's with Eddie Mustafa Muhammad now. He said that he was weight drained in his last fight, when he dropped from 175 to 168 to get his bum kicked by Andre Ward.
He got rolled over by a bus when it was mentioned that Dawson was busted telling a radio interviewer that HBO basically forced him to fight Ward lol, which the HBO crew established was not so. The bus came back for more, in the form of Stevenson's left hand.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV