By Joseph Herron: In a fight dedicated to legendary trainer Emanuel Steward, Super Middleweight contender Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (19-1, 16 KOs) went eleven plus rounds with the always rugged Don “Da Bomb” George (23-3-1, 20 KOs) before putting him away with only 1:57 left in the fight.
Known for being one of the hardest punchers in the division, the new IBF mandatory challenger to Carl Froch’s Super Middleweight title showed off his much improved technical skills that he’s been cultivating at the world renowned Kronk Gym in Detroit, Michigan with Steward and chief second Javan “Sugar” Hill.
In what started out as a tactical fight, the 35 year old Canadian resident controlled the action with sporadic right jabs to the body and head of the hard-nosed Chicago resident. Although George staggered the hometown favorite in the third round with a big right hand bomb, it was Stevenson who was regularly getting the better of the exchanges and throwing the wider variety of punches throughout the majority of the bout.
In the fifth and most exciting round of the evening, George was floored with a punishing body shot with only 40 seconds left. Despite beating the referee’s count, the hard punching contender was still noticeably hurt, and Don was put down once again with another body shot at the 2:40 mark.
When George got up off of the canvas, Adonis attempted to close the show but was met with a hard Donovan George left hook, straight right hand combination that buzzed the Kronk Gym fighter. As George moved forward to take advantage of the opening, the bell sounded to end the dramatic and entertaining round.
In round six both men picked up where they left off and began cracking each other with hard power shots. In the final minute of the round, Adonis floored George once again with a right hook to the body with just 45 seconds left in the round. Although he badly hurt the brave Chi-Town fighter, Don survived the round.
In the mid to late rounds, Adonis seemed to be content with boxing his perpetually dangerous opponent. Either do to fatigue or a possible injured left hand, Stevenson kept George at a safe distance for the majority of the last half of the bout by working the jab almost exclusively and sporadically launching the straight left hand or left uppercut.
Just when it seemed the fight would ultimately go the distance, George went down again with a hard combination to the body and head with 2:30 left in the final round. Despite beating the count for a fourth time, the valiant Mr. George was quickly floored once again for a fifth and final time by a barrage of punches from the favored southpaw fighter. Rather than commencing his count, the third man in charge quickly called a halt to the bout at the 2:05 mark of the twelfth round.
After the fight, Adonis Stevenson’s chief second and assistant trainer Javan “Sugar” Hill spoke about the big victory over his good friend Don George.
“I love Don and I really hated seeing him take punishment like that,” admitted the Kronk Gym trainer. “He helped Andy prepare for the Chavez fight earlier this year and we really got to know each other very well. It’s tough when you have to go up against someone you care about, but it’s just business and it’s your job to take care of business.”
“Adonis injured his left hand in preparation for the August date with Don and that’s why the first fight was initially postponed. So he re-injured it in the fight, but it’s not broken so Adonis will be ready to go very soon. That’s why he was using his jab predominately throughout the fight.”
“I was very happy with Adonis’ performance and I feel that he’s ready for anyone in the Super Middleweight division. He’s much improved and he’s still improving every day. He’s always in great condition and works harder than anyone in the sport. If Froch gets past Mack, we want to start putting that fight together right away.”
“Adonis is ready to become a world champion. He’s ready to fight any of the title holders at 168 pounds.”
With the win, Stevenson picks up his sixth consecutive win by knock-out and becomes the IBF Super Middleweight title challenger.
In under card action, Middleweight David Lemieux (26-2, 25 KOs) made short work of Alvaro Gaona (11-1, 7 KOs) by flooring him with a straight right hand at the 2:20 mark of the first round in a scheduled ten round fight. David immediately polished him off with a starching left hook just 20 seconds later. Without counting, the third man in the ring called a halt to the bout in what would appear to be a leading candidate for knock-out of the year.
Other undercard results:
John O’Donnell UD 8 Tomas Mendez
Didier Bence UD 6 Harold Sconiers
Kevin Bizier KO 1 Patryk Litkiewicz
Eleider Alvarez TKO 2 Daniel Regi