If the trainer is tempted to say he thinks it will be easier work than last time, when his guy Adonis Stevenson gloves up with Pole Andrzej Fonfara tomorrow (Saturday) evening in Montreal, and on Showtime, he will not allow himself the luxury of indiscretion of telling me.
Me, I think the 39 year old left hand driller/killer Stevenson, who holds the WBC 175 strap, will this time take out Fonfara, who stopped a lengthy KO streak of the Haitian Canadian when they tangoed back in 2014. On that occasion, Fonfara made it to the final bell, on his feet, losing a UD12. The fight had pockets of excitement, for sure, and though there wasn’t mass clamor for a rematch, they will do a sequel.
I reached out to Sugar Hill, the nephew of the late great Emanuel Steward, and asked him what he thinks will go down—will it be Fonfara?—at the Bell Center.
The tutor was in mellow mode. “I just finished yoga,” he told me. “90 minutes…I’ve been doing it, and I’m 168 now. I was 180. I lose 5 to 7 pounds every time.”
I told him yoga is now on my to do list.
So, will it be easier this time, beating Fonfara? “I want to say yes,” said the Kronk offspring and legacy builder. “But three years later, after fighting Chavez Jr, Cleverly and Joe Smith, Fonfara is up for this.”
“He admits he overlooked Joe Smith, so excited that maybe Adonis was next. Now, mentally, he’s ready for Adonis’ best shot. I don’t know how long it will last, but Adonis tries to get you out in every round, with every shot,” he said.
“Adonis has mentioned several times he was injured the first time, I’m repeating what he said, normally I wouldn’t mention that. So that could change things. But, I told Adonis, this man has been stalking you three years. I see him and his brother, every time, they tell me, ‘We want Adonis!”
All due credit to Fonfara, but I think his chin wiring is off. Joe Smith likely sort of wrecked it. Chad Dawson was touching him but good in their tango, in Fonfara’s last outing, in March, and I can see Adonis checking and wrecking that wiring.
So, what then? “Adonis has said, he wants the Ward-Kovalev winner next. He’s wanted them before,” Hill said. “I hope we can get that. I haven’t pushed for it, that’s not my position. But he’s voiced his opinion, he wants the winner. Hey, I cracked up, I heard John David Jackson say to win, Ward will have to be Superman. Adonis Superman,” he said, chuckling.
If not that, and maybe politics and whatever continues to keep that from happening, Eleider Alvarez if he beats Jean Pascal on this Bell card is possibly likely. Alvarez is based in Canada, so there’s a local rivalry element. “Adonis has been subject to some decisions, he didn’t get some fights, but it’s nothing he had control over,” the trainer stated.
So, how technically could this look? And is there anything you can share that Adonis (28-1 with 23 KOs) wants to do so he can stop Fonfara (29-4 with 24 KOs, been stopped twice; age 29)?
“We should see better footwork, Adonis being more of a ring general,” Hill said. “Footwork is a key!”
You sound like Manny, I started to say, right as Hill began to say, “As Emanuel used to say.”
My take: I will always follow Adonis with an extra measure of interest, as he was one of Steward’s last students. Manny raved about his athleticism, about how high he could jump, his explosivity. I believe we see it Saturday; Fonfara sometimes forgets to tuck that chin and that deficiency gets Adonis the win. Your thoughts?