Friday, March 24, 2023  |


David Lemieux, Jermell Charlo on Adonis Stevenson-Andrzej Fonfara card




On Thursday, promoter Yvon Michel announced the bulk of the May 24 card at the Bell Center in Montreal, Quebec, Canada featuring RING/WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson's defense against Andrzej Fonfara. The main event, broadcast on Showtime, will be supported by Canadian middleweight David Lemieux against Fernando Guerrero, junior middleweight Jermell Charlo opposite Charlie Bellamy Ota, 175-pounder Eleider Alvarez taking on Alexander Johnson and welterweight Mikael Zewski facing Prince Doku Jr.

The southpaw Stevenson (23-1, 20 knockouts), 36, signed with powerful advisor Al Haymon in February, this after having scored four stoppage victories over the course of 2013.

"Boxing's back in Montreal with Stevenson in the main and the co-main being David Lemieux and the opener on Showtime being Charlo," said Michel. "This is going to be a spectacular night but that's what you have when you have a card where you have two of the hardest punchers in boxing with Stevenson and Lemieux."

In successsion, Stevenson fought his last bout slightly north of 168 in March 2013 when he knocked out Darnell Boone in the sixth round to avenge a second round stoppage loss from April 2010. Stevenson then rose to 175, where his 76-second knockout win dethroned Chad Dawson as RING/WBC champion in June of last year. He stopped former IBF beltholder Tavoris Cloud in the seventh round in September and scored a sixth-round TKO of Tony Bellew in his last fight in November.

"For Stevenson, everybody is looking for his return," said Michel. "He was the 'Fighter of the Year' by THE RING in 2013 and he will be back in Montreal today. So to have Stevenson back in the ring, this is probably the most highly-anticipated return of 2014."

In victory over Fonfara (25-2, 15 KOs), Stevenson could set up a unification bout with 49-year-old IBF/WBA beltholder Bernard Hopkins for later this year. Hopkins' unanimous decision dethroned former WBA counterpart Beibut Shumenov on April 19 to make him the oldest man to unify belts in the sport. Hopkins already has twice become the oldest man to win a major belt as well as the oldest to defend one.

"Stevenson is agruably the best puncher, pound-for-pound, and he's going against Fonfara, who has 12 knockouts in his last 15 fights," said Michel. "Fonfara is, no doubt, the best contender in the division, so it's going to be an explosive and spectacular fight."

Fonfara, 26, was last in action for December's second-round knockout of Samuel Miller that followed a ninth-round stoppage of ex-beltholder Gabriel Campillo in August. Fonfara last suffered defeat against Derrick Findley by second-round TKO in July of 2008.

Lemieux (31-2, 29 KOs), 25, takes a six-fight winning streak that includes five knockouts into his bout with Guerrero (26-2, 19 KOs), 27, a southpaw and former title challenger.

Lemieux has been on a tear since suffering consecutive losses to Marco Antonio Rubio by seventh-round stoppage in April 2011 and via majority decision to Joachim Alcine in December 2011. He was last in action for a seventh-round TKO of Jose Miguel Torres in November.

"David Lemieux has gained maturity now. He has learned. It's been two years since he has lost to Marco Antonio Rubio, who is now the WBC's interim [middleweight] champion. When he fought Rubio, he won the first five rounds before finally running out of gas and losing the fight," said Michel, who promotes Lemieux. "This is a good step for him against Fernando Guerrero and it is a fight that will show that Lemieux is back on the top and that he's on the verge of a title fight."

Guerrero's unanimous decision over Raymond Gatica in November helped him to rebound from being dropped four times during his seventh-round stoppage loss to WBO middleweight titleholder Peter Quillin in April of last year. The loss to Quillin ended a streak of four straight wins, three by knockout for Guerrero, whose other loss was by fourth-round stoppage to Grady Brewer in June 2011.

Charlo (23-0, 11 KOs), 23, is the twin brother of Jermall Charlo and was last in action for a unanimous decision over former title challenger Gabriel Rosado in January. Charlo faces Ota (24-1-1, 16 KOs), 32, who is coming off a majority decision win over Mike Ruiz in November.

Alvarez (14-0, 8 KOs) turned 30 last month and is coming off January's unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Andrew Gardiner, while Johnson (15-1, 6 KOs), 32, will be after his fourth consecutive win, having last been in the ring for a unanimous decision over DeLeon Tinsley in December.

In January, Zewski (23-0, 18 KOs), 25, scored his third straight knockout in the seventh round against Krzysztof Szot. Zewski's opponent, Doku (18-5, 12 KOs), 27, is attempting to end a two-fight losing streak, having lost by unanimous decision to Jose Benavidez in March.

In other bouts, junior middleweight Julian Williams (15-0-1, 9 KOs) will be in against Michael Medina (26-4-2, 19 KOs); welterweight Kevin Bizier (21-1, 14 KOs) faces Carlos Herrera (24-6, 10 KOs); light heavyweight Erik Bazinyan (3-0, 3 KOs) challenges Jaudiel Zepada (12-11-1, 9 KOs) and 147-pounder Junior Ulysse (1-0, 1 KO) meets Carlos Alberto Olivera (6-6, 4 KOs).

The 24-year-old Williams will be after his third straight win, having stopped Freddy Hernandez in the third round of his last fight in March. Medina was stopped in the first round of his last bout in March of 2013 by Willie Nelson.


Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images