Adonis Stevenson Interview Transcript
Operator: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Adonis Stevenson v. Tavoris Cloud conference call. Unfortunately, the Tavoris Cloud side was not able to make the conference. All lines are currently in a listen-only mode and you may press 1 on your telephone keypad to enter the question queue at any time. Mr. Bob Trieger will now begin.
Bob Trieger: Thank you. Welcome to the Stevenson/Cloud media conference call and thanks for taking the time from your busy schedule to join us today. We have just learned that Team Cloud will not be participating, but we are moving on.
“Superman Returns” on Saturday night, September 28 matches two of boxing’s most lethal punches as World Boxing Council, Ring Magazine, and lineal light heavyweight champion, Adonis “Superman” Stevenson makes his first title event against former world light heavyweight champion, Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud.
Stevenson/Cloud will air live on HBO in the United States from the famed Bell Centre in Montreal.
This much anticipated fight is being presented by Groupe Yvon Michel, Don King Productions, and Gary Shaw Productions. Each of our speakers will make a few opening remarks and then we will turn it over to the media for your questions.
Our first speaker is one of the event promoters as well as Adonis Stevenson’s promoter. GYM has put together a tremendous cut from top to bottom, highlighted by Stevenson versus Cloud and, also, featuring many of the top fighters in the world, including former world light heavyweight champion, Jean Pascal.
Please welcome Yvon Michel. Yvon?
Yvon Michel: Thank you, Bob. Welcome, everybody, for this conference call. Unfortunately, I apologize for the mid-active competition and the non-participation of the Cloud Team.
I want to first thank HBO (unintelligible), (Peter Nelson) for their precious support for us and Adonis Stevenson and for the – and the (unintelligible).
I want to thank Gary Shaw, my co-promoter for – with Adonis for this fight which always is a great asset in a promotion. I also want to thank Don King, the promoter of Tavoris Cloud. It was crucial with this collaboration to get the fight done a couple months ago.
This is the return of “Superman” at the Bell Centre.
The WBC, The Ring, and the lineal light heavyweight titles are going to be on the line. Adonis Stevenson is defending his title for the first time against the former IBS champion and reigning Number 3rd contender, Tavoris Cloud.
Stevenson is the purist puncher in boxing to date and Cloud is the most dangerous contender of the division. So their style matched perfection to make the most spectacular and the best fight available in the division.
Cloud has fought almost the same number of world championship rounds than Stevenson has fought in his whole career. He has only one defeat on point, never been KO’d, never been knocked down, so at 33, he has the experience on his side and he is at the peak of his career. Stevenson proved that he is a little puncher when he KO’d Chad Dawson and he will prove — he wants to prove — that this was not a lucky punch. He wants to show also that he is the real deal and the best of the talented, crowned, light heavyweight division and a superstar in the making.
So Saturday September, we will witness a great war between two uncompromised, hungry warriors who are both counting on their offense (unintelligible) and not on defensive magic. This is why every witness of the fight will be kept on the tip of their seat because anything could happen at any moment and exhibition will be at peak as it always the case when punchers are facing each other and whenever Adonis Stevenson is in the ring.
At the end, Adonis Stevenson will emerge as a proven boxing star and as previously predicted by the great trainer, late Emanuel Steward, another exceptional boxing evening in one of the best boxing cities of the world, Montreal.
The event will also include the return of talented former champion and — right now — Number 2 WBC rated contender, Jean Pascal, against the American George Blades.
Thank you very much for your attention.
Bob Trieger: Thank you, Yvon. Another promoter who is going to speak today is no stranger to world championship fights, Gary Shaw. Gary?
Gary Shaw: Thanks, Bob. I don’t see it like Yvon sees it. I think it is an easy fight for Adonis “Superman” Stevenson. I have seen Cloud fight. I was there, obviously, for the Chad Dawson fight. I believe it is going to be an easy night for Adonis. He has got a great trainer.
“Sugar” Hill is a very underrated trainer, but he learned his craft well from one of the greatest of all time in Emanuel Steward. Obviously, he has transferred that to Stevenson. I think it is going to be an easy night and he will walk away with his title and I believe it will end with a knock out. I don’t see it going the distance at all.
Yvon has a great card put together. It is going to be a great night. Canada has some of the greatest boxing fans in any country that I’ve ever gone to and they really light up the place. And, obviously, if you can’t be there in person, then you need to see it on HBO.
It will be a great night of boxing and that goes with what Yvon said thanking HBO, Ken Hershman very much for buying the fight right back in featuring Adonis. I thank you all very much. I look forward to any questions you might have.
Bob Trieger: Thank you, Gary. Gary, of course, mentioned Adonis Stevenson’s trainer, Javon “Sugar” Hill and it is time to hear from him right now. Sugar?
Javan Hill: How are you doing, Bob?
Bob Trieger: All right.
Javan Hill: Yes. I would like to say, you know, thank you to Gary Shaw for the nice comments he mentioned about me and my uncle, Emanuel Steward. As far as Montreal being a great boxing city, that is also true. I have experienced it myself working with Yvon and the GYM promotions and Adonis Stevenson.
September 28 will be Adonis’ first defense of his WBC and Ring championship and I know it is going to be an exciting fight. The fans will soon know that Adonis Stevenson is the next superstar in boxing. He has power in both hands — upstairs — and to the body and he can also box which most people don’t give him credit for. They just give him credit for being a power puncher and that’s it.
I believe when the time comes when he has to box, the people and the fans will see that Adonis – he can box also very well. This is what is going to catapult him into being that superstar boxer. But first, he has Tavoris Cloud in front of him who is a former champion for many years and has experience.
These are the kind of fights that Adonis, you know, he needs and he wants. He wants to fight the best and Tavoris Cloud is that champion and he has been at the top of the light heavyweight chain for quite some time facing all competitors before him. He had only had one defeat which was to Bernard Hopkins who is also a great fighter. Tavoris Cloud is not afraid to be in there with Adonis who is – I believe is a great fighter myself.
I think it is going to be an exciting night of fireworks at the Bell Centre, once again, with Adonis Stevenson.
Adonis has been training very, very hard for this fight. There is no lack of motivation or drive from being a challenger to being a champion. Actually, there is more drive and determination to keep this championship.
That is something I notice and those are some questions that have been asked of me to see if he had the focus and determination and that answer is yes — 100% — even more than last time coming out for the fight with Chad Dawson. He is always in his gym and he is right back for (unintelligible).
Some of the things that we worked on for the last fight we don’t have to work on for this fight and we can move on to improve much more of his offense and his defense. His boxing IQ is off the charts. As I’ve said before, he is a very, very good thinker and very exceptional at seeing weaknesses and openings and mistakes that the opponent makes and capitalizes on it.
So Saturday, September 28 is going to be a great fight once again at the Bell Centre on HBO — big time boxing. And, once again, I said it, but Adonis is being welcomed into big time boxing. Thank you.
Bob Trieger: Thank you, Sugar. HBO has given Adonis Stevenson the courage to be a superstar in this sport and the champ is going to speak in a second. I just wanted to mention he is fighting out of Waynesville, Quebec, Canada with a 21-and-1 record, 18 KOs. He is the reigning WBC, Ring Magazine, and lineal light heavyweight champion of the world. It is time for Superman to speak. Adonis, please go ahead.
Adonis Stevenson: Hello, everybody. How are you doing? First of all, I want to thank God. I want to thank Sugar, my trainer, (unintelligible), GYM Promotions. I want to thank HBO — HBO is doing a great job – a good job — and Don King and Gary Shaw who gave me the opportunity.
And I want to thank Don King to put the fight with two, you know, both guys and both promoters and your teams that put the fight together. I want to thank – this is my defense. I’m going to defend my title now.
You know, I’m very, very hungry. I’ve got (unintelligible), you know. I know the next time I win isn’t going to be a quick – a very quick, quick night, but actually I feel one week – I think one week of break. Then I’m going to come back to the gym. I’m in good shape and I trained very hard for this fight.
I know Tavoris Cloud. He is a good fighter, an impressive boxer. I know he is coming to Montreal and you’ve got to be ready. That is why I’m training very, very hard. I know I’m going to win. You know, I want my fans to see the fight. So I will win by knock out, you know, because this is – knock out sell. That is Emanuel (unintelligible). Knock out sell following by knock out, but I know this is a good fight. Tavoris Cloud is going to be ready and he is going to come in and try to take my belt, but it is not going to happen.
I want to thank all my fans, too, who come to support me in Montreal. This is a great city for boxing. So I will wait and I want to see everybody come to the fight or watch the fight on HBO — the fight at (unintelligible). Thank you.
Bob Trieger: Thank you, Adonis. Now, Operator, we are going to turn it over to the media.
Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to ask a question, please press the Number 1 key. Again, if you have any questions or comments, please press the Number 1 key. The first question or comment is from Lem Satterfield with Ring TV.com. Please go ahead.
Lem Satterfield: Hey, Adonis. How are you doing?
Adonis Stevenson: Hi, I’m good. Thanks.
Lem Satterfield: Hey, I guess the simple question is how does it feel to be the man — to be the Number 1 guy, The Ring champion, and to be the one that everybody is chasing?
Adonis Stevenson: I know, you know, it is different now because now – so I will train more and my dedication is only on boxing. So I will train more and more to prepare for any fight I’m going to do because I know I am the man at 125 and I want to – I have proved that I’m going to prove more and more. And so, any fight is going to be – any fight I will prove that me, I am the man. That is why I’m training very, very, very hard anytime I’m getting into the ring.
Lem Satterfield: You talked to me about the punch that you landed on Chad Dawson and you said it was a specially designed punch for southpaws. Can you characterize that punch again?
Adonis Stevenson: Yes, because that punch I practice on the (unintelligible). And, you know, for the southpaw, that punch – it works a lot for the southpaw. You know, Chad Dawson is a good boxer, but you know, in the first one, he tried to put me on pressure. That is why – he tried to put me on pressure and you get the hand down – the right hand flows down to the left hand. You can put your hands down like that.
My trainer – I learned because my trainer — in summer training — he told me that so I know. That is why when I jab and he still does the hands down so I catch him with my left.
Lem Satterfield: What is that punch called? You had a name for it?
Adonis Stevenson: That’s the Superman punch.
Lem Satterfield: What is it called?
Adonis Stevenson: Superman punch.
Lem Satterfield: Superman punch. I thought you had, like, either a hook or some kind of left – I can’t remember what you called it. I thought you had a name for it.
Adonis Stevenson: Like, overhead, but I call it, personally, my Superman punch.
Lem Satterfield: Okay. Got it. Is it the same punch with the right hand if you get an orthodox puncher – fighter with it?
Adonis Stevenson: No. I got another Superman punch for the right hand.
Lem Satterfield: Okay. Now, Tavoris Cloud is not someone who has ever been knocked out. He takes a good punch. And the two guys who probably go through the most trouble were boxers. Campillo and Hopkins include the groove, Yusaf Mack. What aspect of your boxing ability could show up?
I heard Sugar Hill talk a little bit about your boxing ability. That’s a two-part question — one for you.
Do you feel that you are going to have to – you could rely on your boxing if you have to given what success other guys have had to – against them? And, also, Sugar Hill, if you could elaborate, too, after he answers.
Adonis Stevenson: Yes. You know, I practice all over. Sugar has my boxing IQ. I can box. I can punch. I can box. And I can punch on the body. So I got, you know, so I practice a lot in my movement. I practice things, you know, but tell me – Tavoris Cloud, yes, he took a punch — Campillo, Bernard, and Yusaf Mack — but tell me, this good guy, he is a power puncher, KO puncher?
Lem Satterfield: Who?
Adonis Stevenson: Hello? Bernard, Campillo, and Yusaf Mack.
Lem Satterfield: None of them have a power…
Adonis Stevenson: You can come and you can tell a boxer he is a pure and power puncher?
Lem Satterfield: No, you’re the puncher.
Adonis Stevenson: That’s right. That’s a big difference. When you are a power puncher, you can’t be a mistake. You have to be anytime to watch you and what happens. So I know I can punch and I know I can box, too. I got good boxing IQ, good movement, but my defense — with Sugar — defense. So that is like this title, the WBC and The Ring Magazine, they understand Montreal because I will be ready to fight. And so, I’m just exciting – I’m just exciting to wait for the moment I go in the ring and show my fans what I can do.
Lem Satterfield: Sugar Hill, can you elaborate on that — his boxing ability and possibly his ability to maneuver Cloud into the power punches?
Javan Hill: Well, as Adonis stated, he has exceptional boxing IQ. And, if you look at the right with Dawson, how quickly he was able to set that shot up and to capitalize on the mistake that he made. He was not able to display his boxing skills, but that is something that he has been working on for a while.
Ever since he had come over the (unintelligible) gym. I believe he has superior boxing skills. He was able to display somewhat of good boxing skills with Donovan George which went 12 rounds with a very, very, very tough competitor. He did – most of that was just, you know, his right hand and his jab. He didn’t really pull the left hand that much because he had a hand injury from the previous schedule bout with Donovan George which had been postponed until that fight.
Lem Satterfield: And he still had five knockdowns.
Javan Hill: I’m sorry? Yes, he still had five knockdowns with that fight and that was just boxing and you are going into the 12th round and he just wanted to finish him. He just went out there and put more pressure on him then used both hands and finished the fight, but he had exceptional movement then for that fight.
But since that fight, his footwork and his boxing skills have gotten a lot better. Each time we are in camp, he is getting better and better. I’m watching him learn more and more.
Even – for instance, if we watched the Floyd Mayweather and Canelo fight, I know he learned from that because when he came into the gym the following Monday, he was doing some more new stuff that he learned from watching – from that fight and just, you know, being more mentally aware and being in control of the fight at all times.
You know, if – you know, if he has to box Tavoris Cloud for 12 rounds, that is not a problem. We always look for mistakes and catch the point where mistakes. I’ve heard it once said, “Power is power.” That is what he has — every equalizer — along with his boxing and his IQ.
I don’t think it is going to be a problem at all as far as if he had to box Tavoris Cloud with – if Cloud puts an extreme amount of pressure on him, that is not a problem. He trains for that and actually he lives for that.
Lem Satterfield: Thank you so much. I really appreciate your time and good luck in the fight.
Javan Hill: Thank you.
Adonis Stevenson: Thank you.
Operator: The next question is from Jean Francois (Jabout) from PBS Canada. Please go ahead.
(Jean Francois Jabout): Oui. Bonjour, Adonis.
Adonis Stevenson: Bonjour.
(Jean Francois Jabout): This is (Jean Francois Jabout) from Canada.
Adonis Stevenson: Bonjour, Francois.
(Jean Francois Jabout): Adonis…((French spoken 0:21:52)-0:22:09)).
Adonis Stevenson: ((French Spoken 0:22:11-0:23:04)).
(Jean Francois Jabout): ((French Spoken 0:23:04-0:23:20)).
Bob Trieger: I’m sorry. We are going to have move on because we are not able to understand. This is likely a U.S. media.
(Jean Francois Jabout): I only need another – just two questions.
Bob Trieger: No, we don’t have the time. Operator, could we please move on?
Operator: Next question is from Dan Rafael at ESPN. Please so ahead.
Dan Rafael: Thank you very much. Personally, I would like to hear what that question and answer was. Since it was in French, anybody going to translate?
Bob Trieger: Yvon, could you help us here? Yvon?
Yvon Michel: Yes. Sorry, I missed the question.
Dan Rafael: No problem.
Adonis Stevenson: He said to me if I can talk about my training, what preparation I do with my trainer – what the different training, again, Chad Dawson and Tavoris Cloud now because I’ll fight Tavoris Cloud what the different strategy in training I do?
Dan Rafael: Okay. Did you have an answer for him, Adonis?
Adonis Stevenson: Yes. I told him that the difference is, like, Chad Dawson is a southpaw. He is more difficult. And so, now, Tavoris Cloud – he is orthodox. He is more easy for me than – he is more boxer, he is orthodox than southpaw.
And, you know, Chad Dawson is 6’3″ and Tavoris Cloud is 5’10” and orthodox. So you have a boxer 5’10”, orthodox with question. I’m working with my trainer. He tells me, “I know he puts pressure.” And so, I practice my movement, my defense. I know he got a good left hook so I practice a lot with a guy whom I’ve punched about the hook, so I learn about that, too.
I practice my defense so I know that Tavoris Cloud is coming and you want to be hungry about the fight because I know he lost from Bernard so I know he is going to come ready to try to surprise me. That is why I’m training everything so I know I’m ready for everything he brings to the table. You know?
Dan Rafael: All right. Very good. My question for you Adonis, you know, Cloud — although coming off of a loss to Bernard — never been knocked down, to my knowledge, obviously, he was not stopped in his one loss. You are a big puncher. I know you feel like you are going to win the fight. Do you think it would be making even more of a statement if you could be the first man to stop Cloud whose reputation is for having a pretty good chin?
Adonis Stevenson: Yes. You know, first of all, from a quality fight I’m a pure power puncher. He fight – he is a power puncher? No. He fights comfortable. He is a power puncher? No. He fights Bernard. Bernard is a power puncher? No, he is a good (unintelligible). He is a good boxer, but not — Bernard cannot power punch. When I fight a power puncher, this is a big difference and, of course, I can box — I can box — I’ve got movement. You are not going to be the same. Soon Tavoris is going to make a mistake, I’m going to catch him.
Like, Chad Dawson makes a mistake. Chad is a good technician. He makes a mistake, I catch him. It is going to be the same thing before Tavoris Cloud. Soon he is going to make a mistake, I’m going to catch him.
Dan Rafael: So you think you will knock him out then as opposed to have him last a whole round?
Adonis Stevenson: No. I’m going to – yes, I’m going for the knock out. Knock out sells, you know? Emanuel has told me all the way — knock outs sell. That – I want to win by knock out and, you know, the bucks and I think people want to see that, the knockout. You know? You are good in the 12th round, but I think the fans — the TV — everybody wants to see a knock out. That is what I want to bring and me, all my fights I want to win by knock out.
Dan Rafael: Now, do you have a – let’s say you get in the ring and you are able to land some of your big punches and he is able to take it and you find yourself getting into the later rounds and he is still taking it and he is not going down. Do you have that backup plan as Sugar talked about your boxing ability where sometimes guys just aren’t getting knocked out and you will have to possibly go the route and win 12 rounds.
Adonis Stevenson: Oh, well…
Dan Rafael: Will you be able to do that also?
Adonis Stevenson: Oh, yes. I can go 12 of them. I’m in shape, you know. I’ve been training, like, since, like, Donovan George so I’m in shape to do a 12-round. If there is no knock out, he is going to be punished. I’m going to punish him out in, like, 12 rounds and I’ll tell him to go 12 rounds. I’m going to be ready and I got Plan A, B, C, D, so I’m – as soon as I get in the ring, I’m a chef master.
Dan Rafael: Do you feel, Adonis, though, by Tavoris and his team not showing up on this call — which was, obviously, announced to the media, we showed up — do you feel that he is disrespecting you or your team for not showing up on this conference call?
Adonis Stevenson: I don’t know what is disrespect or not disrespect. I don’t care why he thinks or what his team thinks, but me, I’ve got a job to do on September 28 so I’m going to do my job and knock him out. That is only that I want to do.
He is not in the confidence club. He is good, but you know, I know, next when he comes to Montreal so I’m going to see him anyways. He is not here now. I don’t know what will be – what is the problem with him and the team. I don’t know. That’s him and his team. I don’t know their problems.