Stevenson feeling right at home heading into 175-pound title rematch with Fonfara

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Adonis Stevenson is quite comfortable in Canada.

Not only has the 175-pound world champion lived in the Great White North since his family moved from their native Haiti to Montreal when Stevenson was 7 years old, but the 39-year-old southpaw has fought 27 of his 29 professional bouts there.

Adonis Stevenson will add another Canadian date to his ring résumé Saturday when he attempts to make the eighth defense of his world title in a rematch with Polish challenger Andrzej Fonfara at Montreal’s Bell Centre (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

Stevenson, who now lives in Blainville, Quebec, made his pro debut in Montreal in September 2006 with a first-round KO of Mike Funk. Since then, he has fought outside of Canada just twice—both times in the United States—including his lone career loss to Darnell Boone by second-round TKO in Salisbury, Maryland, in April 2010.

It was in Montreal where Stevenson became a 175-pound world champion with a first-round KO of defending titleholder Chad Dawson in June 2013, and he has made all his title defenses either there or in Quebec City. 

“I like fighting there,” Stevenson said. “In Canada, I’m the king of the light heavyweight champions. You know I come to give a big show. It’s good for Canada and Quebec, and good for the kids training to be a world champion.”

Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) defended his title in Quebec City in his last fight in July, when he gained a fourth-round KO of fellow southpaw Thomas Williams Jr.

I’m focused to win this fight with Fonfara and then unify the title. I started [my pro career] at 29 years old ... [so] my body is still good compared to other fighters that are younger. Adonis Stevenson, on being a 175-pound world champion at 39 years old

That was his fifth defense since defeating Fonfara by unanimous decision at the Bell Centre in May 2014. While Stevenson won that first meeting by wide scores of 116-109 and 115-110 twice, it was anything but a comfortable victory.

Stevenson controlled the first half of the 12-round bout, knocking down Fonfara in the third and fifth rounds, but the Polish challenger scored a ninth-round knockdown of the champ to make things interesting.

Despite closing in on his 40th birthday, Stevenson claims he has improved since that first fight with Fonfara (29-4, 17 KOs).

“Last time I went down when he punched me because my balance was not there,’’ he said. “I’m more focused now. I’m ready to fight. I know [Fonfara] is a good boxer. He’s tough.”

Stevenson fought four times in 2013, when he not only earned his world title but also was named The Ring’s Fighter of the Year and gained the Knockout of the Year with his quick stoppage of Dawson. He has defended his title just four times since then, though, as he has become the oldest reigning champion in any weight division.

In anticipation of another successful defense of his championship, Stevenson will then turn his attention to the winner of the Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev world title rematch that takes place two weeks after his own rematch.

“I want to unify the titles. I think all the fans want that,” Stevenson said. “I’m focused to win this fight with Fonfara and then unify the title. I started [my pro career] at 29 years old. I did not have a lot of amateur fights. My body is still good compared to other fighters that are younger.”

For a complete look at Stevenson vs Fonfara, visit our fight page.

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