Adonis Stevenson will headline the April 20 edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights from Montreal's Bell Centre, facing Noe Gonzalez.
Stevenson (17-1, 14 KO) is coming off of a devastating knockout win over Jesus Gonzales on February 18, where he knocked a legit opponent stiff in just 1:39 on a monstrous left hand. The 34-year-old Haitian transplant is now ranked No. 2 by the IBF, and is hoping to eventually land a fight with titlist Lucian Bute, or with Carl Froch, should Froch beat the current beltholder when those two meet on May 26 in the UK.
Stevenson, now trained by Emanuel Steward, had a second eliminator bout lined up with perennial IBF favorite Librado Andrade, a head-scratcher given Andrade's recent lack of noteworthy success, but the Mexican brawler simply turned the fight down.
His next opponent is a 32-year-old Uruguayan from Argentina with a record of 28-1 (20 KO), most notable for his 2007 loss to Felix Sturm back when Sturm was fighting guys who weren't worthy of title shots regularly, and would sort of have their one fit with him, lose, and then disappear back into the shadows of the sport where no one was paying much attention.
He hasn't lost since then, going 14-0, but he also hasn't beaten anyone -- Mariano Carrera is his best win in that time, probably. Steward says that Gonzalez is Stevenson's "toughest opponent" ever, but first of all, that wouldn't really be saying a lot, and second of all, we know how Emanuel likes to play pretend when the opportunity presents itself. This is an OK fight, and works as something to get Stevenson a bit more exposure to U.S. fans, because he is an exciting fighter who throws with bad intentions and can be fun to watch. If they want to get him into the mix for bigger fights at 168, this is a good step, and a fight he should win.