Light heavyweight world champion Adonis Stevenson said throughout the buildup to his rematch with Andrzej Fonfara that he was training for the knockout.
“(The late) Emanuel Steward (Stevenson’s former trainer) always told me, ‘Knockouts sell.’ When I get in the ring I’m going for a knockout. It’s not an option for me to go 12 rounds,” Stevenson said a few days before the fight.
Well, he got the knockout, and an early one at that, stopping the outclassed Fonfara in the second round of an absolute annihilation that came to an end when Fonfara trainer Virgil Hunter stepped up onto the ring apron and implored referee Michael Griffin to stop the fight on Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The rematch, at the same venue as their first fight in May 2014, was much different than that initial encounter, when Stevenson, a southpaw, said he was he was nursing a sore left hand and may have taken the relatively unknown Fonfara lightly.
In the first fight, Stevenson dominated the first seven rounds, including scoring two knockdowns. But Fonfara turned the tide in the eighth round, dropped Stevenson in the ninth round and battled him hard until the final bell only to lose a unanimous decision.
He never had a chance in the rematch as Stevenson jumped him from the start. He issued such a tremendous beating to Fonfara in the opening round that it could have easily been a 10-7 round with only one knockdown.
Stevenson dropped Fonfara with a hard left hand, and although Fonfara got up almost immediately he was hurt and took massive damage the rest of the round. Stevenson rocked him repeatedly with stiff left hands. He staggered him again and again and was being pummeled in a corner when the bell finally rang to end the round.
Things got no better for Fonfara in the second round. When he got rocked with another destructive left hand, Hunter jumped up onto the ring apron and Griffin stepped in and waved the fight off at 28 seconds. Fonfara did not complain about the stoppage at all.