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Adonis Stevenson to face Dmitry Sukhotsky on Dec. 19


RING/WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson will return to the ring on Dec. 19 against Russian Dmitry Sukhotsky at Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada on Showtime, promoter Yvon Michel informed on Monday.

In his last fight in May, Stevenson (24-1, 20 knockouts) won a spirited unanimous decision over Andrzej Fonfara, scoring knockdowns in the first and fifth rounds and rising from the canvas himself in the ninth.

Stevenson took a run of 13-1 with 13 knockouts in his previous 14 fights into the bout with Fonfara, and had stopped 10 consecutive opponents since being knocked out by Darnell Boone in April 2010.

“On Dec. 19, Adonis Stevenson is back. This is a new chapter in my life. For Fonfara, I only trained for a month because of a back injury,” said Stevenson, a southpaw who turned 37 last month.

“But now, it’s different, because I’ve got no injuries and I’m healthy. I started my career late, so my body is still young and perfect, so I feel very, very young. I may be older, but I feel like I’m 20 years old.”

Sukhotsky (22-2, 16 KOs) has won four straight bouts since falling by unanimous decision to Cornelius White in July 2012. In his last fight in June, Sukhotsky, 33, outpointed Joey Vegas.

“I know that he’s a good boxer and he’ll be very tough. From my last fight, I know that when you’re fighting the kingpin of the light heavyweight division, that you’re going to be ready and train very hard. I understand that,” said Stevenson.

“That’s why it’s different now. I’m going to push myself in training to make sure that I’m in top condition. My attitude has not changed. I’m training for the knockout, and I’m going for the knockout, for sure.”

The loss to White ended a streak of four consecutive knockouts by Sukhotsky, whose previous loss had been unanimous decision to then-WBO beltholder Juergen Braehmer in December 2009. Before White, Sukhotsky scored a second-round knockout in October 2011 over Nadjib Mohammedi.

Sukhotsky had been in line to face Fonfara in an IBF eliminator before Fonfara pulled out of the bout to take on Stevenson.

“Sukhotsky is a strong, strong fighter. A strong Russian who comes to fight and who has never been knocked out and never been knocked down. He knocked out. After he lost to Braehmer for the world championship, he knocked out Nadjib Mohammedi, who is the mandatory contender to [IBF/WBA beltholder] Bernard Hopkins at this time,” said Michel.

“So Sukhotsky is about the same caliber of Fonfara. This is a fight that Adonis has to take very, very seriously, because you saw what happened when a guy like Fonfara comes in fully prepared. Anybody can beat you, and Adonis knows that. His future in 2015 will depend on how he does on Dec. 19.”

If Stevenson is successful against Sukhotsky, Michel said he will attempt to match him with former RING champ Jean Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KOs) should Pascal get beyond a Dec. 6 clash with Donovan George (31-2, 24 KOs).

Pascal, 31, will be after his fourth straight win against George, having won a unanimous decision over Aleksy Kuziemski, a fifth-round knockout of George Blades and a unanimous decision over former IBF 168-pound titleholder Lucian Bute. Pascal last suffered defeat by unanimous decision to Hopkins, who took his belt in May 2011.

“After this fight with Sukhotsky, Adonis’ mandatory contender is Jean Pascal. We have a date for Stevenson-Pascal at The Bell Centre in Montreal. We have already agreed with the WBC that we are going to be entering the free negotiations in January,” said Michel.

“If we don’t come to an agreement, then there will be a purse bid on Feb. 2. (But) we have plenty of time to come to an agreement.”

Also slated for the Stevenson-Sukhotsky card are Russian 175-pound prospect Artur Beterbiev (6-0, 6-0) and welterweight Kevin Bizier (26-1, 16 KOs).

In his last fight in September, Beterbiev, 29, scored a second-round stoppage of former IBF titleholder Tavoris Cloud. Beterbiev will meet an opponent to be determined.

“Beterbiev is the future of the division, and we’ve proposed an opponent. He has everything that is required to be a major boxing star,” said Michel. “So he will be on the show, but I’m not sure if his fight will be televised on Showtime. We hope that they pick his fight up for the American public to see how good he is.”

Michel is hoping to make a return bout between Bizier, 30, and Ionut “Jo Jo” Dan Ion (33-2, 18 KOs), who defeated Bizier by split-decision last November.

“We’re trying to come to an agreement with Jo Jo Dan’s promoter to put that fight on the show,” said Michel.

Two press conferences will be held on Nov. 5 in Quebec City in the morning and in Montreal in the afternoon. Details will be announced soon, according to Michel.