Adonis “Superman” Stevenson is one step closer to a career-making title fight with a second-round TKO of Uruguayan Noe Gonzalez in an internationally-televised card at the Bell Centre Friday evening.
Entering the arena with a cape and with the Superman theme song blaring, Stevenson (18-1, 15 KOs) did not disappoint, peppering Gonzalez (28-2, 20 KOs) with shots that left the challenger on the ropes.
Referee Michael Griffin stopped the fight at 1:40 of the second round to the dismay of 2,853 spectators who were nonethless happy to see the Haitian-born southpaw from suburban Longueuil, Que. come out on top.
ESPN commentators, who were broadcasting the bout for Friday Night Fights, disagreed with Griffin’s decision to end the match.
Stevenson, who was a latecomer to boxing at age 29, snatched away Gonzalez’ WBC Silver belt while defending his own minor IBF, NABO and NABA super middleweight titles.
The 34-year-old said he never gave Gonzalez a chance to get settled.
“At first I took my time, I analyzed him in the first round and I used my jab,” said Stevenson, who was making his first appearance on ESPN.
“I didn’t give him the chance to strike early. At a certain point, I hit him with a left hook over his guard. I saw he was shaken so I pounced on him like a snake!”
Stevenson, with legendary American trainer Emanuel Steward in his corner, has displayed athleticism and power during his rise up the ranks of the super-middleweight division. His astonishing one-punch KO of American Jesus Gonzalez at the Bell Centre in February is a likely finalist for knockout of the year.
Following his dominant turn on Friday, Stevenson immediately made it clear that he has one of the world’s top pound-for-pound pugilists in his sights, a man who is from his neck of the woods.
“I want Lucian Bute, ” he said of the IBF super-middleweight champion from Montreal. “It would be a good fight. The Bell Centre would be packed!”
Most of the bouts on the Fast & Furious card were one-sided on Friday, but the main undercard was noteworthy for the triumph of another hometown hero, Eleider “Storm” Alvarez.
The 28-year-old light-heavyweight defended his NABO belt by outclassing tough American veteran Rayco “War” Saunders (22-16-2, 9 KO) in a unanimous eight-rounder.
All three judges scored the bout 80-72 in favour in favour of the Colombian-born Montrealer (8-0, 5 KOs). Alvarez, facing the biggest test of his three-year pro career, was smart and found openings in Saunders’ tight defense.