By: Sean Crose
“Doctors do not venture an opinion on what lies ahead.”
With these words, Yvon Michel, promoter of former WBC and lineal light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, made clear that the future of the Canadian fighter is uncertain. Stevenson, who had held the title since knocking out Chad Dawson in one round in 2013, was defeated by Oleksandr Gvozdyk in Quebec City on the first of December. Shortly after the fight, Stevenson was taken to Hopital de l’Enfant-Jesus. Doctor’s concluded that Stevenson had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in need of surgery. A short time later, the fighter was placed in a medically induced coma, where he remains unconscious.
Unfortunately, there have been no signs of improvement in the fighter. Michel claims Stevenson “needs mechanical assistance to breathe.” It’s also being reported that those who suffer from the kinds of injuries Stevenson has often sustain lasting damage. “There is no change at the moment” Michel said. “He still needs mechanical assistance to breathe and he has not regained consciousness.” Although no official word has come from the hospital, Michel said that “”When there’s a significant change, the authorities of the Quebec University Hospital will announce it with the agreement of the family.”
During his reign, Stevenson was one of the more controversial champions in the sport, one who had a reputation, fair or not, of avoiding threatening competition. In his last two bouts, however, Stevenson fought not only the undefeated and well regarded Gvozdyk, but also the high level and popular fighter Badu Jack, who he battled to a draw in May of this year. Both fights were back to back grueling affairs waged by an aging fighter in his forties. Although he had Gvozdyk hurt in the 10th, the Ukrainian came back and unleashed a frightening combination in the 11th, sending Stevenson down in disturbing fashion in a corner, as the referee, Michael Griffin, stopped the fight.
Since being hospitalized, Steven has received much good will and support from the fight community. People such as Gvozdyk, Jack, Michael Buffer, Gennady Golovkin, Mauricio Sulaiman, Roberto Duran, Andrzej Fonfara, and Sergio Martinez have all publicly offered their prayers and best wishes. An exciting, hard hitting battler, Stevenson reigned as Kronk fighter, Kronk being the famed Detroit-based boxing stable led by the late, iconic trainer, Emanuel Steward. Stevenson, a father engaged to be married, has been fighting professionally since his debut in 2006.