By Keith Idec
Adonis Stevenson’s one-punch, first-round knockout of Chad Dawson made an unequivocal believer out of Dawson’s promoter.
After watching Stevenson demolish Dawson from his front-row seat June 8 at Bell Centre in Montreal, Gary Shaw is convinced the new WBC light heavyweight champion will knock out Tavoris Cloud in his first title defense Saturday night at Bell Centre.
“I don’t see it like Yvon sees it,” Shaw said, referring to Stevenson’s promoter, Yvon Michel. “I think it is an easy fight for Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson. I have seen Cloud fight. I was there, obviously, for the Dawson fight [against Stevenson]. I believe it is going to be an easy night for Adonis.
“He has got a great trainer. [Javan] ‘Sugar’ Hill is a very underrated trainer, but he learned his craft well from one of the greatest trainers of all time in Emanuel Steward [Hill’s uncle]. Obviously, he has transferred that to Stevenson. I think it is going to be an easy night and he will walk away with his title, and I believe it will end in a knockout. I don’t see it going the distance at all.”
The left-handed Stevenson (21-1-1, 18 KOs), who was born in Haiti and raised in Longueuil, Quebec, has established himself as one of boxing’s biggest punchers entering this HBO “World Championship Boxing” co-feature. The 31-year-old Cloud (24-1, 19 KOs), of Tallahassee, Fla., lost the IBF 175-pound title to 48-year-old Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs, 2 NC) in his last bout, but he has never been knocked out in a pro career that began in April 2004.
Shaw suspects that’ll change once the 36-year-old Stevenson cracks Cloud in an exchange.
“If Tavoris Cloud throws a wide punch, the fight is over,” said Shaw, who’s co-promoting Saturday’s card because he had a contract option on Stevenson from the Dawson fight. “Remember I said that. Whether it is round one, two, three, four, nine, the first wide punch he throws, Stevenson will knock him cold.”
The Totowa, N.J.-based promoter also feels as though Cloud’s power is overrated, despite his high knockout ratio (76 percent).
“They talk about Cloud’s power,” Shaw said. “Cloud has had only one knockout [in six fights] since 2008, which was [against] Yusaf Mack. Everybody that he has fought are not power punchers. They don’t have anywhere near the power of Adonis. Hopkins, he had his hands full with [Gabriel] Campillo. … Yusaf Mack. None of these guys can really punch.
“So, for the first time, Cloud is going to be in with someone who can really punch. I mean, I witnessed it with my own eyes. And I don’t think Cloud has the punch everybody thinks Cloud has. [That’s why] I could say it’s going to be an easy night for Adonis Stevenson.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing. Tags: Gary Shaw , Tavoris Cloud , Adonis Stevenson , Stevenson vs. Cloud , Stevenson-Cloud