A Decade Ago: When Adonis Stevenson Wiped Out Chad Dawson To Begin Five-Year Reign As WBC Light Heavyweight Champ

By James Slater - 06/08/2023 - Comments

Some upsets, you can kind of, sort of see them coming. Case in point, and I’m no upset-seer, is the fight that took place a decade ago today, between defending WBC light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson and once-beaten challenger Adonis Stevenson. Going into this one, the writer had a feeling Stevenson would win and would win big (maybe it was because “Bad Chad” was coming off a stoppage loss to Andre Ward, this down at 168 pounds).

In any case, not having stayed up to watch the fight live (on Setanta, or maybe BoxNation here in the UK if memory serves?), it was no massive shock to see how Stevenson had taken Dawson out in the first round. Again, it was an upset, but one that could certainly have been seeing coming.

Stevenson of Haiti looked set for a long reign, a dominant reign. And “Superman,” as the southpaw was dubbed, did rule for over five years, during which time he made nine successful title defences. But it is that last fight, that title-losing fight for which Stevenson is, unfortunately, best remembered. Stevenson, who defeated Dawson, Tavoris Cloud, Tony Bellew, Sakio Bika, and Andrzej Fonfara, was stopped late in a damaging fight with Oleksandr Gvozdyk, this in December of 2018.

Sadly, Stevenson suffered a brain injury, and he was placed in intensive care after the fight that saw him ship much punishment before being stopped in round 11; Stevenson then being placed in an induced coma. It was another reminder of how dangerous the sport we all love so much really is, of how much all fighters risk each time they step into the ring.

Happily, Stevenson shocked doctors by making an at least partial recovery, with some reports saying the 45-year-old was “almost back to full health,” this report coming out in early 2021.

Stevenson was a fine fighter, he was an exciting fighter, and he sure won a world title with a bang. Today, living a low-profile life, Stevenson, we hope, is indeed doing well.

Stevenson is one of only three men to have ever stopped Dawson, and Adonis sure did the job quicker than anyone else ever did!

Stevenson’s final ring record reads 29-2-1(24). Only Gvozdyk and Darnell Boone defeated him (the loss to Boone was later avenged).

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