TRAVERSE CITY — Adonis Stevenson was the last boxer Emanuel Steward brought on at Detroit’s legendary Kronk Gym before Stewart’s death last October.
And now, Stevenson is training in Traverse City to get ready for the biggest fight of his life.
“He was Emanuel’s last fighter he accepted into Kronk,” said Javan “Sugar” Hill, Stevenson’s trainer and nephew of boxing legend Emanuel Steward. “He had dreams of Adonis becoming a world champion and a superstar fighter. This is part of completing something he started, as well as adding to the Kronk legacy for Emanuel.”
Stevenson is slated to fight Chad Dawson for the WBC light heavyweight championship on June 8 in Montreal, but he’ll be in Traverse City the rest of May training at Trigger Boxing.
The 35-year-old Stevenson has a 20-1 professional record, while 30-year-old Dawson is 31-2. The fight is slated to be broadcast on HBO.
“That’s a good matchup,” said Stevenson, whose first language is French. “I told him I’m going to knock him out. That’s why I work very hard.”
Stevenson — who goes by the nickname “Superman” — is the current WBC Continental Americas super middleweight title holder and is No. 4 in the International Boxing Organization computer rankings.
“I think he has a good chance, or we wouldn’t have taken the fight,” Hill said of the 5-foot-11 Stevenson. “Adonis is a super middleweight, but he can fight at light heavyweight, so that’s why I think it’s a good fight. People may not think he can fight at light heavyweight, but he can. He’s that strong and that physical.”
Stevenson’s only pro loss — in early 2010 to Darnell Boone — was avenged with a sixth-round KO this March at the same location he’ll take on Dawson, and 17 of his 20 wins have come by knockout.