Stevenson eyes another KO vs. Cloud
June 8 was supposed to be the day Chad Dawson returned to the light heavyweight division and got back on track. A skilled boxer with reach and athleticism, Dawson quickly found himself on the canvas, the victim of a devastating right hand shot by Adonis “Superman” Stevenson.
The win was the Canadian puncher’s 18th knockout in 21 victories and suddenly has him firmly in boxing’s spotlight.
On Saturday night, he has another chance to raise his profile as he returns to HBO to face American Tavoris Cloud (24-1, 19 KOs), who is coming off his first career loss, to Bernard Hopkins. Stevenson says the excitement of his win over Dawson allowed him to continue training soon after that fight and has kept him in championship condition.
“I was already in shape," Stevenson said, "so I just kept training and training and awaited this fight because I'm in tremendous shape.”
Cloud’s come-forward style is a stark contrast to Dawson, who was more of a pure boxer. Stevenson respects his opponent but admits he prefers someone like Cloud, who should be more willing to engage.
“He's a good boxer,” Stevenson said. “He puts pressure on. I know he lost the last fight, but he's very strong. I think he will come to Montreal stronger and hungry and very prepared. He will put pressure on and keep coming and I like boxing like that. That’s no problem.”
This will be Stevenson’s seventh straight fight at the Bell Center in Montreal. Although he was born in Haiti, he has lived in Canada for 17 years and considers this his home turf. The previous six fights there have all ended in knockouts, and he hopes to continue to give fans what they want.
“It gives me more motivation, all my friends coming to see me," Stevenson said. "I love my fans, my friends, my country, and I want to give a good show and that's giving me a lot of extra motivation.”
Stevenson says his focus is firmly on this fight, but his goal for the year is to unify the titles. Should he defeat Cloud, that would likely mean a date with a living legend in Hopkins, or hard-punching Russian Sergey Kovalev.
“Superman” does not want to just defeat Cloud though. He wants to end his night the same way he has in every other recent fight.
“I love spectacular knockouts," Stevenson said. "I want to give that to people when they watch me fight. Knockouts sell, and [Saturday], I want to give another knockout.”