By Ian S Palmer
Haitian-born Quebecer Adonis “Superman” Stevenson will be defending his WBC Light Heavyweight Title against Polish challenger Andrzej Fonfara at the Bell Centre in Montreal Canada this Saturday June 3rd. This is a rematch of their May 2014 contest which Stevenson won by unanimous decision. The fight can be seen live on Showtime in the U.S. while fans in Canada will have to fork over for the pay-per-view broadcast. Stevenson last fought in July when be stopped Thomas Williams Jr. in the fourth round in Toronto. Fonfara’s last bout was in March when he beat Chad Dawson by a 10th-round stoppage.
The 39-year-old Stevenson will climb into the ring with an impressive record of 28-1 along with 23 Kos and has 15 wins in a row. The southpaw is regarded as one of the sport’s hardest hitters and his current knockout ratio stands at 79 per cent. This will be Stevenson’s eighth title defence. He also owns the linear light heavyweight crown as well as The Ring version. He’s not invincible though as he was knocked out by Darnell Boone in the second round back in April of 2010 in his only defeat.
Stevenson stands 5-feet-11-inches tall and has a 77-inch wingspan. He turned pro back in 2006 and has 129 rounds under his belt since then. He had his hands full with Fonfara three years ago as the challenger dropped him with a right hand in the ninth round. However, Stevenson recorded knockdowns in the first and fifth rounds and won by score of 115-110, 115-110 and 116-109. It ended up being an exciting bout and the rematch could be better.
Stevenson’s biggest career wins have come against Chad Dawson for the title with a first-round stoppage in 2013, as well as victories over Etianne Whitaker, Donovan George, Marlon Hayes, Anthony Bonsante, Derek Edwards, Tavoris Cloud, Jesus Gonzalez, Aaron Pryor Jr., Tony Bellew, Dmitry Sukhotsky, Sakio Bika and Tommy Karpency. He also stopped Darnell Boone in the sixth round in their rematch to avenge his only defeat.
The 29-year-old Fonfara fights out of Chicago and is trying to get his career back on the fast track after being stopped in just 152 seconds by Joe Smith Jr. last June. His win over Dawson just a couple of months ago earned him another shot at Stevenson. The challenger has a record of 29-4 along with 16 Kos. He’s 10-2 in his last 12 outings with just two defeats in the past seven years. He stands just over 6-feet-2-inches tall with a reach of 77 inches so is a few inches taller than Stevenson.
His biggest wins have been a ninth-round stoppage of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2015 and a 12-round unanimous decision over Nathan Cleverly in a highly entertaining fight just six months later. His two other losses were by second-round TKO to Derrick Findley in 2008 as a middleweight and to Eberto Medina by five-round unanimous decision in 2006. Fonfara isn’t really a slugger, but has pretty good power. He isn’t afraid to brawl even though his chin isn’t the most solid at light heavyweight.
Fonfara has been on the canvas a few times, but overall he can still take a pretty good shot though and has proven to be a tough customer to deal with. Fonfara owns a current knockout ratio of 50 per cent and has 171 rounds under his belt since turning pro in 2006. He’s also beaten the likes of Gabriel Campillo, Tommy Karpency, Glen Johnson, Byron Mitchell, Anthony Russell and Samuel Miller.
The first meeting between these two was competitive and Stevenson is now older while Fonfara is more experienced. Stevenson is going to lose his title at some point as his chin is susceptible. However, Fonfara might not have the power to stop him. Fonfara does have the determination and aggressiveness to outwork the champion though, not outbox him, but out work him. Fonfara’s chin needs to hold out for him to have a chance of an upset and I think the time might be right for a Stevenson loss here. I’ll go against the favourite and take a gamble on Fonfara.