By Keith Idec
Adonis Stevenson wasn’t worried.
Even after he went down from Andrzej Fonfara’s right hand in the ninth round three years ago, Stevenson knew he wasn’t all that hurt. Fonfara’s right hand hit the right side of Stevenson’s face as the powerful southpaw was moving backward.
The WBC light heavyweight champion was up by the count of four. Soon after the action resumed, he was throwing hard shots of his own back at Poland’s Fonfara in their May 2014 bout at Bell Centre in Montreal.
Stevenson hit the canvas with a lot of time to go in the ninth round (2:38), but Fonfara wasn’t able to hurt or drop him again.
“It’s part of boxing,” Stevenson told BoxingScene.com in advance of their rematch Saturday night at Bell Centre. “When he caught me, I was off balance. I went down, but I caught him, too. I sent him down a couple times and hurt him three or four times. It’s part of boxing.
“But when he caught me, I was off balance and he hit me with a good punch. But I was OK. It’s not like I was shaking or anything. I was OK. I just got up and I finished the fight strong.”
Quebec’s Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) handled Fonfara (29-4, 17 KOs, 1 NC) over the final three rounds and won a unanimous decision (116-109, 115-110, 115-110).
Two judges – New York’s John McKaie and Quebec’s Jack Woodburn – scored eight of the 12 rounds for Stevenson, who floored Fonfara with a straight left hand to the head in the first round and a left hand to the body in the fifth. The third judge, Quebec’s Richard DeCarufel, scored nine of the 12 rounds for the defending champion.
The comfortable margins of victory aside, Fonfara gave Stevenson a more difficult fight than the Haitian knockout artist anticipated.
“I didn’t really expect that the first time,” Stevenson said. “But now I’m more prepared for that. I fought Fonfara one time. If I fight you one time, I know what I’m gonna do the second time.”
Showtime will televise the Stevenson-Fonfara rematch as the main event of a telecast set to start at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
The doubleheader is scheduled to begin with another 12-round light heavyweight bout – former WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal (31-4-1, 18 KOs, 1 NC), of Laval, Quebec, against Montreal’s Eleider Alvarez (22-0, 11 KOs). The Pascal-Alvarez winner will be the WBC’s mandatory challenger for the Stevenson-Fonfara victor.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.