Although RING and WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson is focused on his next two potential bouts — an optional defense against Tavoris Cloud on Sept. 28 in Montreal, and, possibly, a December fight with Liverpool’s Tony Bellew — he envisions future clashes with IBF 175-pound beltholder Bernard Hopkins and/or RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward.
Stevenson (21-1, 17 knockouts) had primarily campaigned as a 168-pounder before scoring last month’s 76-second stoppage that dethroned RING 175-pound champion Chad Dawson in Montreal, while Cloud (24-2, 19 KOs) was derailed as IBF beltholder via unanimous decision loss to Hopkins in March.
Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) was last in the ring for September’s 168-pound 10th-round TKO of Dawson, who was coming off a unanimous decision over Hopkins in April of 2012 for the RING light heavyweight championship.
“You know, Andre, he’s a good fighter and a smart fighter. And now I’ll mention his name, because he’s at 168, and I’m at 175. But me, I can fight at 168. I could fight him at either weight. So, that would be an interesting fight,” said Stevenson, 35.
“But right now, I don’t think that would be an easy fight to make this year. It would be more like something in 2014 or 2015. So I think that I will just take it fight by fight. So I might not get Andre Ward for now. I’ve got one fight now, against Tavoris Cloud, and then another fight against Tony Bellew, so I’m focused on those two fights right now.”
In victory over Cloud, Hopkins, whose 48th birthday was on Jan. 15, eclipsed his own record as the oldest man to win a significant crown. Hopkins’ initial record had been accomplished at the age of 46 with a unanimous decision over Jean Pascal for THE RING and WBC light heavyweight belts in May of 2011 in Montreal.
Hopkins-Pascal was a rematch of a majority draw that happened in December of 2010 in Quebec City.
“Bernard Hopkins fought Jean Pascal twice in Canada, and because of his last fight in Montreal, everyone knows Bernard Hopkins in Montreal, so him against me, that would be a big fight in Montreal,” said Stevenson, a resident of Longueuil, Quebec, Canada.
“We want this fight and I think that people in Montreal would want to see me against Bernard Hopkins. So, in 2014, I would like to fight Bernard Hopkins. I want Bernard Hopkins because Adonis Stevens, he’s a champion, and we could unify the title with him.”
Stevenson did not begin his boxing career until just shy of 30 years old, and his longest fight lasted into the 12th round, where he stopped Donovan George after dropping him five times during their bout in October of last year.
Other than that, Stevenson’s longest bouts were a 10-round unanimous decision over David Whittom in December of 2007, a ninth-round stoppage of Aaron Pryor Jr. in December of 2011, and an eight-round unanimous decision over Marlon Hayes in August of 2007.
Stevenson has also been in the sixth round twice: Once for a unanimous decision over Carl Cockerham in April of 2007, and a knockout of Darnell Boone in March of last year that avenged a second round stoppage loss from April of 2010.
“Look Bernard Hopkins is 48 years old, and he’s a still a champion,” said Stevenson, who will turn 36 in September.
“Now, I started late in my career, at the age of 29, and I don’t do a lot of 12 rounds fights because most of my fights end by knockout. Since I don’t get a lot of rounds of boxing, I’m at a young 35 years old.”
Photos by Richard Wolowicz, Gettyimages
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]