Adonis Stevenson proved himself to be more than a mere bomber, showing quite solid boxing skills in the HBO TV opener, which unfolded Saturday night from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Stevenson cut foe Tavoris Cloud's left eye early, and right eye in round seven. His straight left hands and lefts to the body had Cloud, a sturdy sort, buzzed a few times. After a round of eating, Cloud went back to his corner and his trainer assesses him, and pulled the plug. He didn't protest.
Adonis went 108-443 to 36-176 for Cloud, who has now lost two straight, after being schooled by Bernard Hopkins. This one wasn't a schooling, this one was more of an educated mugging.
After, Adonis told Max Kellerman said the plan was basic boxing. He said he was ready to box the distance or look to close the show. And next? Sergey Kovalev? Sergey needs to fight some ex champs, too, he said. "I'll let my promoter fix that," he said. He will watch the Jean Pascal-Lucian Bute with interest early next year, as well.
Before the first bell, ring emcee Michael Buffer asked for a ten count toll for the departed heavyweight standouts Ken Norton and Tommy Morrison.
The Haitian-born Adonis (21-1-1 with 18 KOs; living in Montreal), at 36, was 173.8 at the weigh in, and the 31-year-old Cloud was 174.6 on Friday. We heard in the leadup that Cloud (24-1 with 19 KOs; from Florida; ex IBF light heavy champ) said he's never really even been hurt in the ring, and wondered if Stevenson could be the difference maker there.
The late trainer-manager-analyst Emanuel Steward helmed Stevenson, the reigning WBC light heavy champ, and loved his athleticism, and explosivity. In the first, Adonis landed a couple stiff, straight lefts. Cloud spent some time leading, being the aggressor, at the start and the end of the round. His corner told him he wasn't busy enough after the round. In the second, Adonis came out moving, looking more confident, as Cloud followed him without much success. Cloud went down, but it was deemed a slip, near the end of the round. Adonis was boxing smartly.
In the third, Adonis boxed smartly. His trainer Sugar Hill wanted him to get nastier. In the fourth, Adonis came out fiery. A cut opened on Cloud's left eye from a left hand. A body shot sapped Cloud some, and Adonis was in full control. In the fifth, the fighters scuffled during a break and the ref warned them. Cloud looked better than before, maybe even enough to win the round, though I didn't think so.
In round six, lefts to the body by Adonis looked like they'd hurt on Thursday.
In round seven, Adonis buzzed Cloud and the Floridian's right eye was bleeding. Before the start of the eighth, Cloud's trainer said no mas. After looking at the left eye, and the way things had been going, Al Bonnani said that's it, no more.
Next up for Adonis will likely be a scrap against Brit Tony Bellew, who is rated No. 1 by the WBC. Bellew will be a heavy underdog in that one, I dare say...
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV