Adonis Stevenson is a Canadian professional boxer of Haitian origin. One of the few Canadian boxers to have made it big on the world stage, Adonis is a national celebrity. He was also among the last of the boxers to be trained by the legendary Emanuel Steward - the boxer turned trainer whose protégés include such celebrity boxers as Lennox Lewis and Thomas Hearns. Known for his exceptionally powerful punches, the exploits of Adonis inside the ring is well matched by tales of his youth. As someone who rose from serving a jail term to becoming a famous boxer, Adonis’ life outside the ring is as well discussed as his life as a boxer. Adonis is also known for his adulation of Mohammad Ali. He started his career relatively late - when he was 28. Considering his late start, what he went on to achieve is considered as extraordinary in boxing circles. For instance, he holds a record of 26-1 points with 21 knockouts, which is rare statistic in the entire boxing world. In an esteemed career, Adonis has defeated such celebrated boxers like Sakio Bika, Tony Bellwe and Andrzej Fonfara.
Childhood & Early Life
Adonis Stevenson was born Steven Adonis on September 22, 1977 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. His name is an inversion of both his family name and his given name.
When he was seven years old, Adonis moved with his family to Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
By the time he was 14, Adonis fell on the wrong side of life. Not only was he living on the streets, he also became a member of a violent gang. As a result of his association with the gang, he got involved in criminal activities.
In 1998, while Adonis was in his early twenties, he was sentenced to a four year prison term following a criminal trial which took place in Quebec. He was charged with managing prostitutes, assault and also making threats. Adonis Stevenson served 18 months of his 4 year sentence before his release.
While Adonis was in prison, he got involved in yet another criminal activity. This time, he assaulted an inmate who went into coma.
He left prison in 2001, and vowed to never return back.
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The gritty life on the streets gave Stevenson a life lesson in violence. But Stevenson was determined to put those lessons to a good use so he turned to boxing. In 2004, he became the Quebec Middleweight champion and went on to become his country’s best amateur fighter in 2005-2006.
He won the Canada national title consecutively in 2005 and 2006.
In 2006, he participated in the 18th Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia. He won a silver medal losing to Jarrod Fletcher of Australia. He was the only Canadian boxer to win the medal at the games.
At the age of 29, he turned a professional boxer in September 2006. At his debut match, he fought another debutant Mike Funk. Stevenson won the match.
On August 1, 2006, Stevenson fought with Anthony Bonsante at the Windsor Station in Montreal, Quebec. He defeated the latter with a first round knockout. In September 2009, he won against Jermain Mackey.
On April 17, 2010, Stevenson had his first fight in the United States, and he faced his first defeat in this match. But he bounced back and went on to win the prestigious North American title, NABA, on April 8, 2011.
Stevenson then moved on to the light heavyweight category and challenged the then World Boxing Council (WBC) champion, Chad Dawson, on June 8, 2013. Stevenson defeated Dawson through a knock down, and it was called as the “Knockout of the Year” by Ring Magazine. Stevenson’s status as a formidable boxer was further bolstered when he fought and won against the former International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion, Tavoris Cloud on September 28, 2013.
After a string of such significant successes, Adonis Stevenson was challenged by the WBA ‘Regular’ light heavyweight title holder, Badou Jack, for a fight. Stevenson, in his customary cool manner, said that he was ready for anyone. Meanwhile, negotiations were also underway for a fight between Stevenson and the Columbian boxer, Eleider Alvarez who held the WBC Silver light heavyweight title since 2014. Though the fight was supposed to take place before the end of 2017, due to logistical issues in getting the two fighters for the same date, the fight is now confirmed to take place in January 2018. It will be aired on Showtime. Boxing enthusiasts look forward to this match as a significant event, further underlining Stevenson’s legacy that continues.
One of the most important fights of Adonis Stevenson’s career happened on October 12, 2012, and the opponent was Don George. It was deemed significant because the winner would get a shot at being the IBF champion. Stevenson won the match as he knocked his opponent down twice in the fifth round and once again in the sixth round. But he won in the 12th round when he knocked George out again twice.
Stevenson’s second encounter with Darnell Boone took place on March 22, 2013. The excitement surrounding the fight was quite high as Stevenson had suffered his only defeat from Boone. This time though, Stevenson got the better of Boone.
Stevenson defended his title of light heavyweight champion on November 30, 2013 against Tony Bellow. In the match, Stevenson became the first ever boxer in history to defeat Bellew with a knock-out.
More than anything else, what defines the legacy of Adonis Stevenson as a person is his rise from being a jailed ex-criminal to one of the leading boxers of our time. It was in 2012 that Stevenson admitted at a press conference that he spent time in jail for managing prostitutes, assault and also making threats.
In his very first fight as a professional in September 2006, Adonis Stevenson knocked his opponent out in just twenty two seconds.
He goes by the moniker of ‘Superman.’