The elite level of boxing has had a number of youtube worthy one-punch knockouts in recent years. Think Sergio Martinez-Paul Williams II, Donaire-Montiel, or Pacquiao-Marquez IV. Last Saturday nights light heavyweight (175 Ibs.) championship bout between Adonis Stevenson (21-1 18KO) and Chad Dawson (31-3 17KO) can be added to that list.
Dawson was making the first defense of the lineal light heavyweight championship he won from Bernard Hopkins almost two years ago. He had lost his last fight to super middleweight champion Andre Ward but since the fight was contested at super middleweight (168 Ibs.) Dawson’s championship wasn’t at risk.
Meanwhile, Stevenson avenged his only loss to Darnell Boone and was looking to give his home crowd in Montreal the gift of a championship. Many experts expected Dawson to outclass Stevenson due to the limited competition the challenger defeated and the elite fighters Dawson has faced and beaten.
Dawson himself was questioning the validity of Stevenson’s power due to the B-level competition for Stevenson. However, power is power, regardless of the competition.
Dawson would learn this hard lesson in the first round.
The fight started with Dawson coming out more aggressive than usual and Stevenson trying to counter. This would prove to be a big mistake on Dawson’s part. An old motto in boxing that is still true to this day is “Never follow a puncher around” and this is exactly what Dawson did.
Around 76 seconds into the first round, Dawson tried to fire a right hook but Stevenson countered with a perfect one-two combo that put the champ on his back. Dawson rose on unsteady legs and the referee wisely stopped the fight.
This was a great win not only for Stevenson but also for Montreal as a new attraction for the city has emerged. Stevenson has many options for himself as potential bouts against the likes of Hopkins, Jean Pascal, Lucian Bute and others are suddenly viable opportunities for him.
It is unclear where Dawson goes from here. He knew he had to look impressive against Stevenson after the disastrous loss to Ward and failed to deliver. Once regarded as one of the top fighters in the world, his career has been lackluster since his first loss to Pascal with a decision over Adrian Diaconou, and forgettable bouts with Hopkins. A second consecutive knockout loss was the last thing he needed. The only sure thing is his time as a highly regarded fighter is over for the moment.
Adonis “Superman” Stevenson can fly to superstar status and bring meaningful bouts to Montreal. The citizens of that city must be proud of their new champion, who rose from relative obscurity to becoming the light heavyweight champion of the world.