Stevenson overpowers Gonzalez in second round of clash of contenders
Published Saturday, April 21, 2012 12:03PM EDT
MONTREAL - Adonis Stevenson backed Noe Gonzalez of Uruguay into a corner and finished him with a flurry of punches 1:40 into the second round to win the scheduled 12 round bout between two top contenders in the super-middleweight division on Friday night.
It was a second straight quick, impressive win for Stevenson (18-1), the Longueuil, Que., power puncher who dropped American Jesus Gonzales only 99 seconds into their fight in February.
Stevenson defended his minor NABA, NABO and IBF Intercontinental belts and picked up the WBC Silver belt from Gonzalez (28-2), who had won his previous 14 fights, the last 13 by knockout.
The 34-year-old Stevenson was the aggressor from the outset and took the first round with a steady jab.
A minute into the second, the left-hander landed a power shot that rocked Gonzalez. He then got his 32-year-old opponent into a corner and fired punch after punch. Gonzalez looked about to go down and wasn't fighting back when referee Richard Griffin moved in to stop the slaughter.
Some in the crowd of 2,853 in an end section of the Bell Centre booed, wishing Griffin had let the bout continue.
The fight aired on ESPN2 was Stevenson's first major U.S. television exposure. He hopes being better known will lead to a title fight.
He was already ranked second by the IBF, where the champion Lucian Bute of Montreal is to fight top contender Carl Froch in England on May 26. Gonzalez had been ranked second by the WBC and Stevenson may take over that position as well.
Stevenson was in his second fight since he began working with Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward and posted a second straight dominant victory.
In the co-feature, Eleider Alvarez (8-0), a Colombian fighting out of Montreal, showed why he is considered a top light heavyweight prospect as he used his quick hands and stiff jab to dominate eight rounds against Rayco Saunders (22-16-2), who is a better fighter than his record indicates.
Heavyweight Oscar Rivas (10-0) of Montreal won all six listless rounds against a late replacement, portly 39-year-old Stephane (Brutus) Tessier (3-28-1) of St. Philippe, Que.
Rivas was scheduled to fight Kendrick (The Apostle) Releford (22-16-2), but the Fort Worth, Tex., native was ruled out after turning in a suspicious blood test. Promoter Yvon Michel refused to divulge what was found in the test, but said it was not an official positive result.
Tessier has not won a match since he beat Patrick Cote on Oct. 1, 2005, when he was a reasonable 3-2. His record includes a loss to Alexander Povetkin, now the WBA heavyweight champion.
Two more lopsided bouts saw light heavyweight Schiller Hippolyte (3-0) knock down defenceless Martin Desjardins (7-22-5) twice for a unanimous four-round decision in a battle of locals, and heavyweight Eric Barrack (7-0) of St. Come, Que. stop Sandy Pembroke (2-5) of Kelowna, B.C. in the second round of a six-rounder.