Despite late stumble, Adonis 'Superman' Stevenson keeps belt

Adonis 'Superman' Stevenson defended his title in a victory over challenger Andrzej Fonfara in...

Adonis 'Superman' Stevenson defended his title in a victory over challenger Andrzej Fonfara in Montreal on Saturday, May 24, 2014. (Pascale Levesque/QMI Agency)

Dave Kaufman, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:39 PM ET

MONTREAL - Adonis 'Superman' Stevenson defended his WBC light-heavyweight title, but challenger Andrzej Fonfara didn't make it easy on Saturday night in Montreal.

The fight went the distance, which was a happy surprise for Fonfara and the nearly 6,500 paying customers at the Bell Centre. For Stevenson (24-1-0, 20 KO), who odds makers had expected to knock Fonfara out, the surprise must have been less happy.

It turned out that all the 26-year-old Fonfara (25-3-0 15 KO) needed to win was a little more Kryptonite.

Sitting in his post-fight news conference Sunday, the Polish born, Chicago-trained fighter had the smile of someone who had just shocked the world.

“I showed heart in this fight,” Fonfara said. “He (Stevenson) got me a couple of times, but I’m a warrior. I proved tonight he’s not Superman.”

Fonfara was a heavy underdog for the fight, and many expected the tilt to end early. Stevenson, who was both Sports Illustrated and Ring Magazine’s 2013 fighter of the year, was looking for his 11th consecutive victory by knockout.

“I wasn’t at all surprised that Fonfara was a quality opponent,” Stevenson said after the fight. “The guy was tough.”

Stevenson, 36, nearly knocked him out for good in the first round.

Fonfara landed one meaningful punch in the first, and it seemed to set off the champion. Stevenson went from docile to aggressive very quickly, dropping Fonfara to the mat after a series of combinations.

For the first eight rounds of the fight, Stevenson barely broke a sweat. Fonfara would land punches, but all they elicited were smiles from Stevenson.

“(Fonfara’s punches) didn’t bother me a lot,” Stevenson told QMI agency after the fight. “That’s why I wasn’t worried after I went down.”

Stevenson did go down, and hard, in a wild 9th round that proved Fonfara wasn’t the random opponent many had predicted he would be. After eight rounds that resembled a cat toying with a ball of string, Fonfara gave Stevenson every reason to be worried as the fight went on.

After the fight, Fonfara’s beaming promoter Leon Margules spoke highly of his prized fighter.

“I’m so proud of my fighter, I’m so proud of my team,” Margules said. “(Fonfara) went up against one of the greatest fighters in the world, and he came a hair away from knocking him out.”

Notes: Stevenson told the assembled media after the fight that he had hurt his hand, and that he had perhaps broken it during the fight. He said that he would have to wait until seeing the extent of the damage before deciding when his next fight would be. ... Fight promoter Yvon Michel said that Saturday's tilt was "the best fight we've seen in Montreal in a long time ... It was everything you would ask for from a fight."


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