By Jake Donovan
The manner in which Adonis Stevenson snatched the light heavyweight crown from Chad Dawson is befitting of his fighting style as a whole. A single shot was all it took to end their June fight in barely over a minute, much to the delight of the ever-growing fan base of the Haiti-born Canada-based knockout artist.
Next up for Stevenson is the first defense of that very belt, as he faces former titlist Tavoris Cloud on September 28. The bout takes place at the very same venue and hosting network that bore witness to his championship winning effort, with HBO televising live from the Bell Centre in Montreal. Less than four months have elapsed since registering the career-defining win, but Stevenson used the short time spent in the ring to his advangate.
“I was in the ring very (brief) the last time I fought. I took off for a week and then I was back in the ring. I've trained very hard for this fight,” Stevenson assured the media during a conference call Thursday afternoon.
Cloud is coming off of a draining 12-round points loss at the hands of Bernard Hopkins this past March. The loss was his first as a professional, but has yet to be stopped as a pro or amateur.
Stevenson vows to change that, heeding the advice of his late former trainer every time he steps into the ring.
“I will win by knockout,” Stevenson promises, and hardly selling wolf tickets as has stopped each of his last eight opponents. “Emanuel (Steward) always told me that knockouts sell. For this fight, Tavoris Cloud will be trying to take my belt but it's not going to happen.”
While promoter Yvon Michel sold the fight as a tough challenge for his fighter, co-promoter Gary Shaw is far more confident of an early night’s work.
“I don't see it like Yvon Michel sees. I think it will be an easy night,” said Shaw, who gained options on Stevenson following the win over Dawson, whom he has promoted since 2005. “I see it going well for Adonis Stevenson, and ending in knockout.
“If Tavoris Cloud throws a wide punch, the fight is over. Whether it's round one, two, four nine... the first wide punch he throws, the fight is over.”
The commentary by Stevenson and Shaw went unchallenged, as Cloud was a no-show for Thursday’s media call. The southpaw insists it didn’t matter to him, but there is the hunch that he will treat the slight as bulletin board material come fight night.
“I don't care what he is doing or his team is doing,” Stevenson said of his opponent’s on-the-line absence. “For me, I have a job to do on September 28, and my job is to knock him out.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America.