Chad Dawson vs Adonis Stevenson: A look at Adonis Stevenson
By Peter Wells (twitter – @boxingbrains): With just a few days to go until Chad Dawson defends his WBC Light Heavyweight title, I’ll be taking a look at his challenger, the 35 year old Canadian Adonis Stevenson. With just 21 fights to his name Stevenson is moving up from Super Middleweight having failed to secure a fight with one of the top guns at 168lbs. In modern day boxing Stevenson has failed to attract much attention outside of the fight game.
Having fought the majority of his fights in Canada he has some what gone under the radar, but Saturday night he has the chance to make a name for himself. Win, draw or lose, a good performance from Adonis against the world class Dawson would do wonders for his career. Having been a pro for just 7 years, Adonis still has time on his side even at the age of 35, a late bloomer he is, but compare him to fellow Light Heavyweight Bernard Hopkins and he’s a young pup.
My main focus for giving you the low-down on Stevenson will be his bout last October against Don George, where he won via TKO in round 12. The most notable trait of Stevenson’s is his punching power, early wins against Jesus Gonzalez and Noe Gonzalez back this up, and the way he finished Don George in the 12th highlights his killer instinct. What we gained from the George fight past round 4 bears little significance to what can be expected Saturday night. Once George was twice knocked down in the 5th, the fight was virtually over.
First thing to note though is that Stevenson is a southpaw, like Chad Dawson. The straight left hand is his best weapon, whether to body or head. A left to the body in the 5th was the beginning of the end for George. Adonis rarely gets careless with his left hand, but on occasion left himself too open to the right hand counter. This generally comes down to his wanting to be the aggressor. At range though George didn’t have the reach nor the speed to counter. Although patient Stevenson is happy to let his hands go, and is very active with his right jab. When Stevenson has his opponents hurt he does go for broke somewhat, but in this particular fight after the 5th round he remained patient and looked for shots rather than throwing punches with reckless urgency, a good idea when he’s fighting someone like Chad Dawson.
As far as his defence goes, he holds his right hand low, slinging jabs from his hip. Almost identical to Carl Froch. Good head and body movement helps him to avoid slow counters. At first he constantly stepped to his left, but made the correct adjustment when George started to land the right hand. Stevenson then began to step to his own right opening up room for the left hand and avoiding any wild right hooks from George. Although just a minor adjustment it showed he has the ability to make adjustments mid fight, after that he didn’t need to make any other changes to his game plan.
Adonis also oozes confidence, and fights well at his own pace, he’ll need to step up the pace against Dawson, who also fights at a slow tempo. Dawson will be a huge step up in class, although the step up in weight shouldn’t be a problem. Stevenson is a big Super Middleweight, not in terms of height but in terms of build. Being able to knock opponents over with one shot has its pluses and minuses against Dawson. The plus side is that it is hard to land combinations on Dawson, meaning if he is going to be knocked down then it’d have to be from a single shot – just like Andre Ward did only that was more to do with Dawson being weight drained that Ward being a powerful puncher. The minus side is that Stevenson may not throw enough leather to win rounds against Dawson, much like Bernard Hopkins who just didn’t do enough to win.
Well I hope now you have a better idea on what to expect from Adonis Stevenson this weekend. But this analysis is my own opinion and not facts, so I am sure you all have your own opinions on Stevenson’s style that may not be in direct line with my own.