Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (23-1-0, 20 KOs), the Sports Illustrated and The Ring Magazine 2013 Fighter of the Year, makes his SHOWTIME debut Saturday, May 24 at Bell Centre in Montreal in defense of his WBC Light Heavyweight World Championship against challenger Andrzej “The Polish Prince” Fonfara (25-2-0, 15 KOs), live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Montreal middleweight David Lemieux (31-2, 29 KOs) will face former world title challenger Fernando Guerrero (26-2, 19 KOs), of Sacramento, Calif., in the 10-round co-feature. World-ranked junior middleweights Jermell Charlo (23-0, 11 KOs), of Houston, and Charlie Ota (24-1-1, 16 KOs), of Tokyo, Japan, by way of New York, will open the telecast in a 10-rounder.
The Stevenson-Fonfara winner could be first in line to face legendary Unified Light Heavyweight World Champion Bernard Hopkins in a fight to become the undisputed 175-pound champion. Hopkins, who made history on April 19h when he became the oldest fighter to unify a division, now holds the WBA and IBF titles.
“Adonis Stevenson is a fighter we’ve been interested in for a long time,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “He was scheduled to fight on SHOWTIME in 2012, but the card was canceled because of an injury. Now, following Stevenson’s breakout year in 2013, we are even more excited to see him in action on the network. Add the two co-features, featuring powerful punchers in closely matched bouts, and this becomes yet another SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event that you do not want to miss.”
Stevenson, 36, had a breakout year in 2013, recording victories over former undisputed light heavyweight world champion Chad Dawson, former world champion Tavoris Cloud, and top contender Tony Bellew.
In addition to his “Fighter of the Year” accolade, Stevenson’s first round KO of Chad Dawson was awarded “2013 Knockout of the Year” by numerous publications, including USA Today, ESPN, Boxing Scene and Bleacher Report.
Fonfara, 26, a native of Warsaw, Poland, is undefeated at light heavyweight. He has won 13 in a row, and is 15-0 with one no-contest since his last loss in July 2008. Fonfara is rated as the No. 1 light heavyweight by the IBF and WBO, as well as No. 3 by the WBC.
One of Canada’s top prospects, Lemieux, 25, has won by knockout in 29 of his 33 professional fights. Lemieux was born and raised in Montreal and has campaigned exclusively in Canada since turning pro; the vast majority of his fights have been at the Bell Centre. Lemieux was a four-time Canadian amateur champion before turning pro at the age of 18 in April 2007.
Guerrero, 27, is a Dominican southpaw with good skills and movement. Known for his body-punching, Guerrero has won five of his last seven fights. Last Nov. 11, he rallied from an opening-round knockdown to win a close, 10-round unanimous decision over Raymond Gatica in San Antonio. Two starts ago, Guerrero lost by seventh-round TKO to unbeaten WBO Middleweight Champion Peter Quillin on April 27, 2013, on SHOWTIME.
Charlo, a 5’ 11”, 23-year-old whose twin brother Jermall is also a world-ranked 154-pound contender, is coming off a career-best, 10-round unanimous decision win over the always-tough Gabriel Rosado on Jan. 25. The talented Charlo is ranked No. 4 in the WBO, No. 5 in the IBF, and No. 6 in the WBC.
Ota, 32, has campaigned primarily in Japan. This will be his third fight out of the country. He is ranked fifth in the WBO and eighth in the WBC at 154 pounds, and has won 17 in a row since July 2005. Ota will be making his SHOWTIME and 2014 debut in Montreal. His only career loss came in his seventh pro fight via a majority decision.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?