Even though he is pushing 40, WBC light-heavyweight champ Adonis Stevenson retains the ambition of becoming unified 175 pound king. The powerful southpaw faces tough Polish warrior Andrzej Fonfara on Saturday night, in what is an interesting rematch of the unexpectedly exciting battle the two put on back in May of 2014.
Stevenson, who was making the third defence of his green belt, looked as though he was on the way to a quick win, decking Fonfara early, only for the challenger to fight back and then hurt and shake up the champ. The 12 rounder saw both men have to dig deep. Who knows what we can expect from the rematch. Fonfara has had good wins since the decision loss to “Superman;” beating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and, in a great action fight, Nathan Cleverly. But the 29 year old was shocked to a one-round defeat by Joe Smith Jr a year ago. Since then, Fonfara has pounded out a decent TKO over common opponent Chad Dawson (the man Stevenson crushed in a round to become champ back in June of 2013).
How much has Fonfara got left to offer at top level? Stevenson has had some tough nights since his win over the Pole; getting involved in a short and thrilling slugfest with Thomas Williams Jr. last time out. Never too hard to hit, Stevenson’s power has got him out of jail a couple of times. Still, with just 29 pro bouts on his body, relatively few for a world champ who has been reigning for four years (seven title retentions) Stevenson hasn’t taken too much punishment.
If he can repeat his win over Fonfara on Saturday – and Stevenson’s a pretty big betting favourite to do so – he says he wants the Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev winner next. That would be a huge unification clash and we all want to see it. Stevenson-Kovalev really has excitement written all over it, pitting the two hardest hitters of the division against one another as it would.
Stevenson-Ward is also a good fight. Fans always want to see the best fight the best and they always like to see unified champions. Can Stevenson, at the age of 40 and in the eleventh year of his pro career, become undisputed champ? It would be some story if he managed to pull it off.