By Dave Spencer
Adonis Stevenson held court in Montreal Thursday as the light-heavyweight champion and promoter Yvon Michel tried to hold off a barrage of questioning concerning , new advisor Al Haymon, HBO having the rug pulled out from under it in favour of Showtime and the dwindling hopes of an immediate Andrey Kovalev matchup. Lost in all the white noise was the official announcement of the Stevenson (23-1 20KO) defense of his WBC title against Andrzej Fonfara (25-2 15KO) for May 24th at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
As the relentless mosh pit surged forward demanding answers, #3 ranked WBC challenger Andrzej Fonfara was forced to play Jimmy Olsen to Stevenson’s Superman, wandering the large Casino stage alone while Stevenson and his team had the earmuffs held high, doing their best to fend off the onslaught. After traveling in from his hometown of Chicago, Fonfara was locked and loaded for an opponent who wasn’t there.
“If he’s overlooking me (because of all these other distractions), he’s going to be surprised,” the Chicago fighter told FightNews. “If he’s thinking like that, he’s mistaken, because I will win May 24th and fight with Kovalev or Hopkins. He can fight with Kovalev, but not in the next fight, or if he does, it will be without the belt.”
As it was, it didn’t much matter what the 6’2″ Warsaw born fighter said, with promoter Yvon Michel standing side-by-side with his fighter Stevenson telling everyone that it simply was a business decision to go with Showtime and not HBO; a deal that at this point includes just the Fonfara fight and nothing more.
But with more money on the table, Fonfara isn’t seeing any trickle down effect that benefits him. “It really doesn’t impact us,” said Fonfara’s promoter Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing Promotions. “We agreed to the fight for a certain amount of money, it really doesn’t impact us whether it’s on Showtime or HBO.”
As for the champion himself, Stevenson not surprisingly predicted an early night. The WBC light-heavyweight champion has now built up a string of ten consecutive knockouts and expects to be training soon for number eleven. “I have to be ready for any challenge, any fight,” said the powerful southpaw. As a champion I accept any challenge and will start training soon. I will win by knockout. At Kronk Gym we train for knockouts. That’s what sells. Knockouts in boxing sell..a lot.”