It’s hard to think that it’s been nearly five years since Adonis Stevenson burst onto the boxing scene. It was June of 2008 when Stevenson challenged WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson for his belt on HBO.
The fight took place in Stevenson’s hometown of Quebec, Canada and he delivered to his fans an unexpected and shocking first round knockout over Dawson, who had been one of the sport’s top champions at 175 pounds for many years prior.
What was shocking about Stevenson’s knockout over Dawson was just how emphatic the punch was. Stevenson’s left hand caught Dawson and dropped him hard, as the Connecticut native was dazed and, despite rising to his feet, saw the contest waved off. Stevenson ran around the ring in euphoric celebration, celebrating his big win.
At 35 years old, Stevenson was a late bloomer in the sport but also a fighter on the rise due to his great power and awesome ability. He was a star in the making and was only missing one thing; the perfect opponent.
No need to fear, however, as just a few months later, another champion in the sport would emerge, as Russia’s Sergey Kovalev won the WBO light heavyweight championship a few months later, in August of 2013, by defeating former champion Nathan Cleverly in his backyard of London.
Kovalev, too, was an imposing force, a fighter with great power, size, and a two-fisted attack. With each fighter being featured on HBO, it was only natural to expect an eventual showdown between the two champions.
Fast forward years later and the match has yet to happen. Why? Who knows for sure, but there has always seemed to be a lack of interest from Stevenson’s side. What was a bit alarming about Stevenson has been the level of opponents he has faced following the fight with Dawson.
His first three defenses were fine, as he stopped prizefighters Tavoris Cloud and Tony Bellew, while also winning a unanimous decision over Andrzej Fonfara. Talk of the Kovalev fight continued to fill the sport, from blogs, news articles, online forums, and more, yet you always got the sense that Stevenson vs. Kovalev was going to be a hard fight to make.
Kovalev raised his stock, and a November 2014 decision over legend Bernard Hopkins put him on a new level of stardom. But, for some reason, Stevenson didn’t seem interested in taking part of a fight with Kovalev.
Perhaps it was because Stevenson signed with powerful adviser Al Haymon, and has since been featured exclusively on SHOWTIME’s airwaves, while Kovalev has been a staple at HBO dating back to his debut on the network.
Stevenson is 40 years old now and his latest opponents have left a lot to be desired, as he has beaten unheralded Dmitry Sukhotskiy, former super middleweight champion Sakio Bika, gate keeper Tommy Karpency, slugger Thomas Williams Jr., and had a seemingly pointless rematch with Andrzej Fonfara.
Kovalev, meanwhile, is still regaining the luster he saw fade a bit in back-to-back losses to retired former pound-for-pound king Andre Ward. He recently gained his WBO title back in his last match, stopping over-matched Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in the second round, and is on course for a March 3 return against Igor Mikhalkin.
Stevenson, meanwhile, may be returning to face Badou Jackson in March to defend his WBC title.
It seems more and more unlikely that we will ever see this possible dream match, but in the sport of boxing you never can lose hope.