By Derek Gionta: "You have amazing power," Emanuel Steward once told Adonis Stevenson.
The Haitian-born Montreal native introduced himself to the Kronk Gym and the late Steward in a big way. The light heavyweight southpaw, virtually unknown to many at the time, reportedly knocked out one or two guys in the famed Detroit-based boxing gym, leaving quite an impression on the Kronk crew.
From there Steward told him, "You’re going to be a superstar in boxing." As time passed, Stevenson honed his craft, making an impact in the light heavyweight division, now introducing himself to the boxing public in a larger way.
Stevenson went on a knockout streak, none more impressive than his first round knockout of former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson in June of 2013. The impressive one-punch knockout earned him the WBC light heavyweight strap and now the 2013 Secondsout.com Knockout of the Year.
Many boxing insiders felt Dawson would out box Stevenson while retaining his WBC belt despite signs of physically breaking down against Andre Ward at a lower weight nine months prior.
Every fan wants to see a knockout. Some fights end pre-mature with a referee saving a drained fighter from further punishment while still on their feet, while some are forcefully halted from the power one pugilist displays at the right time, on the right target.
The 36-year old Stevenson, now trained by Steward’s nephew Javan Hill and nicknamed "Sugar," made his mark on Dawson with bitter intentions.
The fight lasted much shorter than the pre-fight ring entrances, however fans will continue to support the sweet science when a natural ending to a fight occurs such as a knockout rather than a pre-mature stoppage or a decision left in the judges hands.
On this summer night, the fighter nicknamed "Superman" took matters into his own hands, a form of kryptonite many of his opponents have fallen to.
As the opening bell sounded, both fighters postured from the southpaw stance and circled briefly. Stevenson threw a couple left hands, signaling what may be in store for Dawson and the raucous Montreal crowd which filled the Bell Centre.
At the blink of an eye, Stevenson connected with a left hand that he called an "overhead hook" to the right side of the head sending Dawson crashing to the canvas. Dawson made it to his feet but showed no signs of comfort as referee Michael Griffin counted him out at the 1:16 mark.
Stevenson won his first world title in a big way as the jubilant fighter ran around the ring screaming and cheering with his team. He celebrated with the same emotion he fights with, showing signs of energy and enthusiasm similar to the many warriors of yesteryear that have exited the Kronk gym and entered the ring with knockout intentions.
Emanuel Steward surely was smiling down from above at Stevenson and his pupil "Sugar" Hill as they won a major world title on a large stage in exciting fashion. The fashion that keeps boxing fans coming back for more: brutal knockouts.
Adonis Stevenson’s knockout streak continued throughout his next couple fights as the year-end approached, but none more impressive than his one-punch knockout of Chad Dawson, our knockout of the year.
December 29, 2013