While Adonis Stevenson is out to prove that he’s still at the top of his game, Andrzej Fonfara is looking to show that he can take that last giant step to reach the top.
In a rematch of their May 2014 title bout, Adonis Stevenson looks to defend his 175-pound world championship against Andrzej Fonfara on Saturday night at Montreal’s Bell Centre (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Both fighters made the weight with no problem Friday, as Stevenson hit the scale at 173½ pounds and Fonfara came in at 174¼.
Their first fight was a slugfest in which Stevenson dropped the “Polish Prince” in Round 3 with a left hand and in Round 5 with a body shot before Fonfara stormed back late and knocked down the champ in the ninth. Ultimately, Stevenson earned a unanimous decision by scores of 116-109 and 115-110 twice in his third title defense.
“I’m as strong as ever,” Stevenson said. “I know he’s dangerous, I know he’s tough. He has a new trainer and he’s going to do everything he can to take my title. But I'm going to go for the knockout. I’m going to show him I don’t only have the left, I have the right, too.”
Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) won his world title with a first-round KO of Chad Dawson in June 2013 and “Superman” has had little trouble retaining it since then, winning all seven of his title defenses by either stoppage or unanimous decision, including a fourth-round KO of Thomas Williams Jr. in July in his last fight.
“ I'm the smarter guy now, and I have more experience. I'm ready mentally and physically to take his belt. I'm here to put Stevenson down and become the new light heavyweight champion. ” Andrzej Fonfara, on his rematch with 175-pound world champion Adonis Stevenson
However, with his 40th birthday approaching in September, Stevenson is the oldest reigning champion in any weight class, something Fonfara hopes gives him an edge in Saturday’s bout.
“I'm the smarter guy now, and I have more experience,” Fonfara said. “I'm ready mentally and physically to take his belt. I'm here to put Stevenson down and become the new light heavyweight champion.”
Fonfara, a 29-year-old native of Poland who now lives in Chicago, is entering his second fight under the guidance of trainer Virgil Hunter, and moved his training camp to Hunter’s gym in Oakland, California, to prepare for Stevenson.
Fonfara (29-4, 17 KOs) broke ranks with longtime trainer Sam Colonna after his first-round KO loss to Joe Smith Jr. last June, and in his first fight with Hunter gained a 10th-round TKO of Dawson in Brooklyn, New York, in March.
“I’ve shown in a couple of fights that I am a better fighter,” Fonfara said. “The last fight against Chad Dawson gave me experience because it was very technical. All my fights since [May 2014] have helped me prepare for Stevenson again.”
While Fonfara is confident entering the rematch with more experience under his belt, he knows he must again try to defeat the Haitian-born Stevenson, who has lived in Quebec since childhood, in front of his adoring fans at the Bell Centre.
So, toward that end, Fonfara said he will go for a knockout of Stevenson. But that also might be playing right into the southpaw champion’s hands.
“I never fight for the distance,” Stevenson said. “And if this rematch is another slugfest, the distance may not determine the outcome.”
For a complete look at Stevenson vs Fonfara, visit our fight page.