MONTREAL – The most feared puncher in boxing, International Boxing Federation (“IBF”) No. 2 ranked Adonis "Superman" Stevenson, takes on World Boxing Council (“WBC”) No. 2-rated Noe “El Carbonero” Gonzalez, April 20 on ESPN Friday Night Fights in a unification fight, as part of another installment of the popular Fast and Furious Series, live from the famed Bell Centre in Montreal.
At stake in the 12-round main event will be a lot of hardware, including Stevenson’s IBF Inter-Continental, North American Boxing Organization (“NABO”) and North American Boxing Association (“NABA”) 168-pound belts, as well as Gonzalez’ WBC Silver title.
Stevenson (17-1, 14 KOs) is coming off of his sensation Knockout of the Year candidate performance February 18, in which he destroyed Jesus Gonzales (27-1) in the opening round, which followed Adonis’ impressive ninth-round stoppage of Aaron Pryor Jr. (16-4) last December. Both of these fights were part of the Fast & Furious Series, presented by Mise-O-Jeau and Videotron, at Bell Centre.
Stevenson, a native of Haiti living in Quebec, is ranked rated No. 2 by the IBF, No. 7 by the (“WBA”), No. 9 WBC and No. 12 (“WBO”).
The IBF ordered an eliminator match-up last week between the heavy-handed Stevenson and three-time world title challenger Librado Andrade (30-4, 23 KOs) for the IBF # 1 position to determine the mandatory challenger for IBF super middleweight king Lucian Bute (30-0, 24 KOs). Andrade passed on the opportunity to fight “Superman” without even inquiring about the purse.
"Adonis could have waited until the IBF appointed another opponent,” noted Stevenson’s promoter Yvon Michel, president of Group Yvon Michel (“GTM”), “but he is on a mission to become world champion. If he has to fight this eliminator to be the top contender in order to better position himself to become world champion, he will do just that and a win over Gonzalez would be a major step in that direction.”
According to Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, his protégé is ready for the challenge. "Gonzalez is the most difficult opponent of Adonis career,” Steward admitted. “Both fighters can end a fight with a single punch at anytime. ‘Superman’ is back here training in Detroit and he will be fully prepared to win impressively once again."
“We are pleased to showcase this eliminator bout with two solid fighters who both have impressive KO records and ability.” said Doug Loughrey, ESPN Director of Programming. “The Bell Center has continuously delivered great fights with a passionate and dedicated live boxing audience we trust this Friday Night Fights telecast will capture that energy.”
Uruguay-native Gonzalez, who lives in Argentina, is a knockout artist like Stevenson. Gonzalez’ lone loss as a professional was by decision in Germany to WBO titlist Felix Sturm (35-2-2, 15KO) in 2007. Since then, however, Noe he won 14 fights in a row, all but one by knockout. He captured the WBC Silver Belt in January, 2011, with a ninth-round technical knockout of Gustavo Magallanes (29-1) in Uruguay. Gonzalez is promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz (president of Sampson Boxing), who also handles World Super middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (48-2-2, 27 KOs)
Lewkowicz looks at the Apr. 20th fight against Stevenson as a golden opportunity for Noe. "Gonzalez is a force of nature,” Sampson commented. “All he’s lacked is a platform for him to showcase his talent and the opportunity is now there for him on ESPN. If Stevenson crumbled under Darnell Boone’s blows, I do not see how he will withstand the punches from my champion on April 20th. Super middleweights are terrified by Noe Gonzalez. "
GYM will present eight fights on the Apr. 20 show at the Bell Centre. WBC International welterweight Antonin Decarie (26-1, 7KOs), ranked No. 13 by the WBC, will fight in the ESPN FNF co-feature in a title defense.
Local favorites and rising stars such as NABO light heavyweight champion heavyweight Eleider "Storm" Alvarez (7-0, 5 KOs) along with heavyweights Oscar "Kaboom" Rivas (9-0, 6 KOs) and Didier Bence (4-0, 2 KOs), are all scheduled to be in action Apr. 20. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
GYM’s Fast and Furious is an innovative and unique series, featuring seats close to the action, staged at the Bell Centre. These exciting events are also available for PPV via Canal Indigo, Bell TV and Shaw TV.
Tickets, starting at $60.00, are on sale and available to purchase at the Bell Centre box office, or at GYM evenko.ca (383.0666).