“It’s good to be a champion, but to stay a champion it’s different now," said Adonis Stevenson, who currently holds the light heavyweight title, in an interview with BET.com. He is preparing to defend his crown this Saturday in a bout against veteran boxer Tavoris Cloud, and he's been training hard to keep it.
Stevenson, 36, whose record stands at 21 wins, one loss, and zero draws, will fight in his hometown of Montreal, Canada. The event will air exclusively on HBO on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 10:15 p.m.
The Canadian native is a rising star in boxing, knocking out reigning champion Chad Dawson just 76 seconds into his last bout in June. To keep that momentum, he has been putting in seven hours a day in training camp to be ready for Saturday.
“I got my trainer Sugar Hill. He cooks very well for me. I eat really good, sleep very good. I’ve been focused on the training. That’s the secret,” he said.
Stevenson started out in kickboxing when he was 16 years old, growing up in Montreal, Canada. He was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and moved to Canada when he was 5 years old. As a teen, he walked into a gym and picked up his first set of boxing gloves.
He eventually chose to focus on boxing, instead of kickboxing, when he asked his trainer which would offer him more opportunities to make money. "I said which is paying me more? He said boxing. So I picked boxing,” he said. Stevenson went on to win his first professional fight against Canadian boxer Mike Funk in 2006.
The champion credits boxing legend Muhammad Ali as his first major influence in the sport. "I saw him dancing, moving, his energy and said it’s beautiful. So I said I can do that, man," he said. "That’s the first time I saw boxing."
On Sept. 22, Stevenson turned 36, but the boxer says the real celebration will happen after the fight this Saturday. “I’m going to celebrate at the ring...when I’m gonna win my knock out. That’s my celebration.”
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(Photo: Olivier Jean/LANDOV)