Adonis Stevenson, the former Emanuel Steward protege, met Andrzej Fonfara, from Poland and living in Chicago, on Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Adonis showed that Kryptonite can bother him, and though he sent the Pole down in the first and fifth round, he gassed some, and went down in the ninth.
"Superman" had to rebound, and prove that he didn't look past the Pole, to get to the scorecards. Once there, he was given good news, a UD12, via scores of 115-110, 115-110 and 116-109.
Adonis said to Jim Gray he hurt his left hand in round two, from hitting an elbow. He had to box and move more than expected, then. In round nine, he said, he got knocked down, but all great fighters do..and like a true champ, he came back strong, he said. He said he wasn't tired in the ninth. He said he expected Fonfara to be strong, and "he was ready for the fight." Is Bernard Hopkins next? He said he'd let Al Haymon work that out, and then asked the crowd if they'd like that. Or maybe Sergey Kovalev? He said he's open to that, and will let Haymon hash it out.
Fonfara said he fought hard because he has heart. "Tonight, Stevenson, he's better. But I'm young, and one day will be world champion," he told Gray. He did think he could get a stoppage in the ninth, but did not go crazy, because he didn't want to overspend. "No congratulations, because I didn't win," he told Gray after getting congrats.
The Haitian-born Adonis, part of the new Haitian influx, holds the WBC light heavy belt. Age 36, the 23-1 hitter collided with a 25-2 scrapper, age 26, who most expected to fold before the halfway point.
In the first, the lefty Adonis pumped a jab, and then went with the power, and sent Fonfara down. A jab blinded and the left behind it dropped the underdog. There was 1:19 left and he hammered Fonfara. The Pole countered with a couple shots, actually, instead of clinching. The left hands were thudders by Adonis but the Pole made it to his stool.
In the second, Adonis' left was there for the Pole, who didn't slide to his left, make Adonis cross his body with the left. He wanted to land his right, and make a fight of it, bless his soul. In the third, Adonis' power was hurtful. The right hand landed, and Fonfara didn't go into a running or clinching mode, bless him. A right hook, with Fonfaras' head on the proverbial platter, was a brain rattler.
In round four, the champ was backing up some. The Pole even went lefty for a bit, then switched back. He hit the deck in the fifth, off a body shot, but stuck around for more.
In the sixth, Adonis, pacing himself nicely, not going overboard to crack this tough nut, kept hammering.
In the seventh, Fonfara came out busy, working on landing hooks. He earned every dime he will take home. His corner asked him to "cut him off, don't follow him" post-round.
In the eighth, the Pole picked up more fans, with his gameness. His hand-speed was impressive for having taken such hard hits earlier. Sugar Hill sort of laced into Adonis after the round, and told him he was letting Fonfara get too many breaks.
In the ninth, Fonfara buzzed Adonis, and sent him down. A fat right landed on Adonis, and his future hung in the balance. Adonis backed up, as he had for the last couple rounds, sending a message of defensiveness. Adonis was told he needed to be offensive in the tenth, not back up, be timid. Fonfara took one a bit low, and then got back to it. But Adonis rebounded nicely. "Stop waiting for one shot," Sam Colonna told Fonfara. Adonis went low and high and had a really sharp rebound round in the tenth.
In the 11th, Adonis' body work looked harsh, and Fonfara backed up to end the round. In the 12th, Fonfara dropped but the ref said no knockdown. Adonis had the better luck but Fonfara snagged more followers making it to the final bell. We went to the cards...
Here is the Showtime release on some of the undercard action:
SHOWTIME EXTREME® Results:
In the feature bout on SHOWTIME EXTREME, Julian “J-Rock” Williams (16-0-1, 10 KOs), of Philadelphia, earned a knockout victory over Michael Medina (26-5-2, 19 KOs), of Modesto, Calif., in the eighth round of a 10-round junior middleweight matchup.
Williams landed 64% of his power shots in a commanding victory to further establish himself as a top prospect at 154 pounds.
“I think I’d call him a contender now,” said SHOWTIME EXTREME analyst Steve Farhood. “This was a very impressive and complete performance. He won the fight on the inside. He won the fight on the outside. Just when you thought maybe he didn’t have the power to finish, he finished.”
“It’s interesting to see the Charlo brothers and Williams and all these young American 154-pounders, and to think that one day they will all be facing each other.”
In the opening fight on SHO EXTREME, world-ranked light heavyweight Eleider Alvarez (15-0, 8 KOs), of Montreal by way of Colombia, defeated Alexander Johnson (15-2, 6 KOs), of Washington, D.C., by unanimous decision in a 10-round bout. All three judges scored the fight 97-92.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV