Haitian-Canadian professional boxer Adonis Stevenson was born Stevenson Adonis on September 22, 1977 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He relocated to Montreal, Quebec with his family at the age of 7 in search of better living conditions. At an early age he became involved with the criminal lifestyle and was eventually convicted of heading a prostitution ring. It was while incarcerated that he garnered a reputation for his fierce fighting ability. Soon after he was released from prison, he embarked on a storied amateur boxing career that led to a 33-5 record and placed him squarely in the center of the Canadian boxing world. He vowed to never return to prison, using the hardships of his past to keep him motivated on the road to greatness.
Stevenson’s first professional bout was held at the Montreal Casino in Montreal, Quebec, where he faced another fighter making his professional debut, Mike Funk. He made quick work of his opponent, demolishing him by TKO in the 4th round. After his inception into the professional boxing world, he went on a tear, knocking out nine of his next thirteen opponents. His first defeat came during his 14th professional bout, where he faced off with veteran fighter Darnell Boone losing by TKO in the 2nd round. This defeat was later rectified in a rematch where he knocked Boone out in the 6th round after clearly dominating his opponent with superior technique and power punching. He would later admit that he hadn’t properly trained for his first match with Boone, citing a myriad of personal issues.
On June 8th, 2013 Adonis Stevenson faced what was believed to be the toughest opponent of his career when he challenged WBC title-holder Chad Dawson. Up until this point, Dawson had only two career losses on his resume and had recently defeated Hall-of-Famer Bernard Hopkins in a majority decision. His bout with Chad Dawson resulted in a devastating knockout of the champion and earned Stevenson knockout of the year honors by Ring magazine. This victory catapulted his stock into the stratosphere, proving that he could live up to his “Superman” moniker and placed him on the radar of the entire boxing world. Despite the dominance he displayed in the win, his overall ability was still in question by many boxing pundits who believed Dawson’s skills were clearly in the declining stages.
As Adonis Stevenson continued his ascension to the top ranks of the sport, his superstar contemporaries also took notice. Sergey Kovalev, because of his hard-hitting, punishing boxing style, became an obvious choice for a megafight, and after his destruction of fellow Canadian powerhouse, Jean Pascal, proceeded to taunt the champ, referring to him as Adonis “Chickenson”, further spurring their rivalry and nearly resulting in an impromptu battle. Kovalev hinted at the prospect of the fight taking place prior to his matchup with boxing juggernaut, Andre Ward and seemed to scoff at Superman’s well-documented punching power. Despite Kovalev’s controversial loss to Ward, the enmity between the two never lost steam as both fighters continue to hover at the top of the boxing world.