It has been a big year for Adonis “Superman” Stevenson.
In March, Stevenson scored a sixth-round stoppage against journeyman Darnell Boone in a super middleweight bout, avenging the Canadian’s second-round knockout loss from April of 2010.
In June, Stevenson rose into the light heavyweight division for a clash of southpaws with Chad Dawson, whom he stopped in 76 seconds with what he called his “Superman punch” to become the RING and WBC 175-pound champion.
Last Saturday — six days after his 36th birthday — Stevenson (22-1, 18 knockouts) registered his 10th straight knockout in as many consecutive victories when he out-boxed and out-slugged former IBF titleholder Tavoris Cloud in defense of his belts.
Cloud’s eyes were badly cut and were bleeding profusely when his corner stopped the fight after the seventh round. In his third straight fight at Bell Centre in Montreal, Stevenson had vowed to become the first man to knock out Cloud, and he delivered.
Next up for Stevenson could be a mandatory defense against Liverpool’s Tony Bellew (20-1-1, 12 KOs). Should Stevenson get beyond Bellew, then he wants Bernard Hopkins, who dethroned Cloud by unanimous decision for the IBF belt in March after having lost by majority decision to Dawson in April of last year.
Stevenson discusses his past year and ponders his future in this Q&A.
RingTV.com: How are you doing?
Adonis Stevenson: I’m good. I feel good. You saw the fight? I have no injuries. I’m just a little stiff in the shoulder, the hands. Just from, you know, finishing a tough fight, you have stiffness.
RingTV.com: How does this performance rank in all of your victories?
AS: It’s different. All of my fights are different. Tavoris Cloud is a good fighter, and he comes to fight. He comes to put the pressure and to surprise you.
Chad Dawson, I caught him with a good left hand. This one, with Tavoris Cloud, there was a little more to it, because I had just become a champion and I was defending my title.
RingTV.com: Your thoughts on your display of boxing?
AS: Yes, because, before this one, many people had never seen me boxing. Now, they’ve seen me box, and they’ve seen my boxing IQ. So, it’s very different now.
So people that saw this fight, they can’t say that I’m just a puncher, you know? I can box, also, and people know that now. We were saying that before the fight.
I validated that. I got in there and I mixed up the combinations, and I boxed and used the ring and showed my boxing IQ. I never felt his power because he never really could hit me.
RingTV.com: Given what you just said, was the win over Cloud in any way more rewarding than that over Dawson?
AS: Well, it’s not the same style, you know, because for one, Cloud, he put on pressure, and the other one, Dawson, he can box. Chad is a southpaw and Tavoris Cloud was orthodox. It’s not the same style.
So within four months, I beat two of the best guys in the light heavyweight division, and they have the the two different styles, they’re a left-handed fighter and an orthodox fighter, and so they’re two different guys.
So I came from 168 pounds, I beat the only guy who ever beat me, Darnell Boone. I gained the weight to fight Chad Dawson and became the light heavyweight champion of the world.
Now, I just beat Tavoris Cloud, the former IBF light heavyweight champion of the world. Two top guys in four months. So, now it’s time to see what is coming for the next year.
RingTV.com: What is next?
AS: What is next now is that I’ve got my mandatory, so I will defend my title against Tony Bellew. I will defend my title, and then, after that, I want Bernard. I want Bernard Hopkins.
Bernard Hopkins has a big name at light heavyweight, and Chad Dawson beat him. But Hopkins beat Tavoris Cloud. The fans in Montreal, they know who Bernard Hopkins is, so that would be a very big fight in Montreal.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]