Adonis Stevenson stopped challenger Andrzej Fonfara 28 seconds into the second round to retain his World Boxing Council world title on Saturday.
The 39-year-old easily won the rematch between the two light heavyweights as Poland's Fonfara barely survived the opening round at the Bell Centre Arena in Montreal. Fonfara's trainer Virgil Hunter stepped in and stopped the fight early in the second round because his boxer was taking too much punishment.
When Fonfara returned to his stool after the first round, he looked dazed and out of it. It was a rematch of their action-packed meeting in 2014, when Fonfara sent Stevenson to the canvas but was knocked down twice himself as Stevenson won by scores of 115-110, 115-110 and 116-109.
On Saturday, Fonfara was the first to hit the canvas in the opening round. Stevenson hurt him with a hard left to the temple, which was followed quickly by the knockdown.
Later in the round, a helpless Fonfara had to be saved by the bell after Stevenson trapped him in the corner and was landing punches at will.
The 39-year-old champion now boasts a record of 29-1 with 24 knockouts.
Stevenson has been talking about unifying the division, saying previously he might fight the winner of the upcoming bout between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward - who battle for the IBF, WBO, WBA light heavyweight titles on HBO Pay-Per-View on June 17th at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Stevenson has received a lot of heat from fans and writers alike, for facing what some perceive as lackluster competition for the last few years.
Stevenson claims that he was ready to face Kovalev two years ago and their two sides were heading to a WBC mandated purse bid, but Kovalev's side withdrew from the purse bid procedure. And says he was ready to fight Bernard Hopkins, when the future Hall of Famer held the belts, but says Hopkins jumped ship to HBO - while Stevenson was tied to Showtime.
“I’m the king. It (the criticism) doesn’t bother me. It has been four years I’m the champ,” Stevenson said to The Montreal Gazette. “Talk like that doesn’t mean anything. The opportunity, when it’s coming, it’s coming.
“It’s not my fault when Kovalev pulled out. It’s not my fault when Hopkins went on HBO. That’s the game. I don’t care and I don’t listen to people like that. I’m the king of the light-heavyweights. When you’re the king, for sure you’re going to be criticized. You have people who don’t like that. People talk, talk, talk. You can talk, but I’m still the champion.”
Stevenson's promoter, Yvon Michel of GYM, backed his fighter - stating that it's very hard to get A-level opponents to face Stevenson.
“The division isn’t only Kovalev or Hopkins. It’s deep and talented. He has fought anybody willing to get in the ring with him,” Michel said. “It’s just a perception. He avoids Kovalev, which isn’t the case. He avoided Hopkins? Not the case. Pascal? They all had opportunities to fight him and all turned it down. To cover, their promoters and themselves kept pretending it was the other way around. It seems to be a pattern, people turning against Adonis.”
Now is the moment of truth for Stevenson. His mandatory challenger is undefeated Eleider Alvarez, who won a final WBC eliminator two years ago over Isaac Chilemba.
Alvarez and Stevenson share the same promoter in Michel, the same adviser in Al Haymon, and they both fight on Showtime - so there are zero obstacles to prevent this fight from taking place.