By Keith Idec
Adonis Stevenson seemed completely comfortable Thursday as he joked and laughed his way through a press conference in Toronto.
Toward the end of it, though, he reminded Badou Jack and everyone else in attendance that the time for smiling and pleasantries nearly is over.
Come Saturday night, Stevenson intends to remind Jack why he has won 14 of his past 16 bouts by knockout and has beaten 80 percent of his opponents inside the distance since he turned pro 11½ years ago.
Stevenson smirked as Jack predicted it would be him, not Stevenson, who wins by knockout in their 12-round, 175-pound championship match at Air Canada Centre (Showtime; 10:05 p.m. ET).
“Badou, are you ready?,” Stevenson said to Jack, who assured the defending champion he is indeed ready. “My friend, Badou, is ready. I’m very excited. I love that. I love that because you never get hit. That’s the problem, but …’
Jack interjected and told Stevenson he hasn’t fought anyone since he won the WBC light heavyweight title in spectacular fashion from Chad Dawson. Since stunning Dawson in the first round of their June 2013 bout, the 40-year-old Stevenson has defended his title eight times against Tavoris Cloud, Tony Bellew, Andrzej Fonfara (twice), Dmitry Sukhotskiy, Sakio Bika, Tommy Karpency and Thomas Williams Jr.
“OK, OK,” Stevenson said in response to Jack’s crack about his level of opposition. “It’s good. But when you’re gonna get hit it will be a different thing, you know? It will be exciting. I hope he’s ready. I know he’s ready. You trained very hard? Very good, so it will be very exciting. I love it. I love it.”
Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) didn’t go as far as to predict he’ll knock out Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) as quickly as Derek Edwards did four years ago. Edwards (27-8-1, 14 KOs), who was knocked out by Stevenson in the third round four fights earlier, needed just 61 seconds to drop Jack twice and stop him in the first round of their February 2014 bout in Verona, New York.
The Haitian southpaw cautioned, though, that their fight could end very abruptly.
“I’m looking for the knockout, so don’t blink because that will be too late,” Stevenson said. “So I’m looking for the knockout. I know Badou’s ready. He’s prepared, you know, and he’s gonna make his slick movements, right and left. I know. But, you know, it’s 12 rounds and I just need one punch. Only one – that’s it. That’s one I just need. And as soon as it’s gonna land, I’m going to knock him out. And he’s gonna stay on the floor. That’s it.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.