By Matt Casavant
Photo Herby Whyne
Light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (31-2, 17KOs) is used to having to defend his title in enemy territory, however his familiarity with his next opponent, Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (20-1, 17KOs) required some investigation. “Nobody knows you, I had to Google your ass,” quipped Dawson, who clearly wasn’t amused by Stevenson’s claims that the Champion had only beaten men over 40 or when their careers were near the end.
The exchanges at the opening press conference today between the two fighters were quite entertaining and one can only hope the verbal jabs will translate into pugilistic ones when both men meet in the main event of the June 8th Boxing Grand Prix Gala, at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Although the Pascal-Bute Canadian super fight will be taking place only two weeks prior to Dawson-Stevenson, the light heavy championship clash is still expected to garner its fair share of attention as it will take place during the prestigious F1 Grand Prix weekend potentially attracting international fight fans to witness the showdown.
After all, Chad Dawson finds himself having to face Stevenson only because Jean Pascal pulled out of their scheduled matchup, in favor of the more lucrative Bute fight, leaving “Superman” to rescue the HBO date and obligation it had towards the 30 year old Dawson. Stevenson, who’s been competing as a super middleweight his entire career, had finally positioned himself for a world title opportunity with the IBF, but simply could not pass up at the age of 35, the offer to move up to the 175lbs weight class and challenge Dawson’s lineal championship and WBC title. “This is a step up fight for Adonis, we moved up in weight to challenge a world champion in Chad Dawson. The weight won’t be a problem,” stated Stevenson’s trainer Sugar Hill, “Adonis is eager, this is his moment. He gets knockouts.”
Stevenson never lacking in confidence, made it clear that his intention is to win by separating Dawson from his senses. If the goal of that prediction was to get Dawson’s attention, “Superman” certainly succeeded. “Don’t believe the hype. What gives him the right to say he will knock me out?” ask Dawson. He elaborated, “I mean it’s disrespectful. I’m going to disrespect him on June 8th. He’ll never touch my title.”
Those who question Dawson’s durability going into the Stevenson fight after getting dominated and ultimately knocked out by Andre Ward this past September, are making a mistake in judgement in his opinion, “People look at the fight against Ward, I lost 9 pounds the night before the weigh in. I had nothing and people looking at me like I’m done! I’m not through, I’m just getting started.”
As for those who take a look at Stevenson’s record and find it lacking in big names, his promoter Yvon Michel has a rebuttal: “Adonis has not beaten anyone with the notoriety resembling that of Chad Dawson, but he’s beaten everyone who accepted to get in the ring with him. He would have beaten opponents of higher caliber if they had not been afraid of facing him.”
Adonis Stevenson’s training camp will take place in North Michigan with his trainer, the nephew of Emanuel Steward, “Sugar” Hill, while Chad Dawson will continue his camp in Las Vegas with his coach Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.