Adonis "Superman" Stevenson (19-1, 16 KO) has big plans for his immediate future, but before he can move on to them, he must settle an old score.
The lone loss on Stevenson's record came at the hands of his opponent on Friday night, Darnell Boone (19-20, 8 KO).
I know Boone's record isn't impressive, and if you actually saw the fight between the two back in April 2010, it seems Stevenson underestimated his opponent.
Boone stopped Stevenson in the second round with a short, powerful right hand, and the loss curtailed what was a promising start to Stevenson's career.
Now with a shot at Chad Dawson awaiting him, per World Boxing News, Stevenson looks to avenge this embarrassing loss by defeating the 33-year-old journeyman fighter.
It should be interesting to watch Stevenson take this gamble. Here's the information needed so you can see the rematch, as well as deeper analysis into the fight and my prediction.
When: Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Live Stream: WealthTV.com
The Book on Stevenson
Can't Be Caught Looking Ahead Again
The 35-year-old Haitian-born slugger may have been caught dreaming about bigger opportunities when Boone stopped him three years ago.
Boone only has eight KOs, but his track record would suggest that number is deceiving. He not only stopped Stevenson, but he also dropped Andre Ward in a six-round bout in 2005.
Obviously, Boone shouldn't be taken lightly. But even with him having upset Stevenson in their first fight, the temptation to look ahead is still there.
This will probably be Stevenson's final fight at super middleweight, so a weight-class jump and more famous opponents await.
If Stevenson does look past Boone again, he may be put to sleep, but this time the consequences for a loss would be even worse. Losing to Boone again would likely kill the chances of meeting Dawson in June.
Though he's only had 20 professional fights, Stevenson is 35 years old. The clock is ticking, and the window for meaningful and lucrative bouts won't be open for long.
He must seize this opportunity.
In the Ring
Stevenson is a southpaw with tremendous one-punch KO power.
He's a very good athlete who is always looking to set up his huge left hand. Take a look at this massive shot he landed to KO Jesus Gonzales in Feb. 2012.
Superman can be careless with his defense, though. He keeps his hands too low and can sometimes show a complete disregard for his opponent's power.
That is what cost him against Boone in their first fight. He needs to practice more controlled aggression in his approach—especially against good fighters.
The Book on Boone
This is His Championship
Boone will probably never get a title shot of any significance. He's a bit of gatekeeper/journeyman fighter, and that likely makes him a decent living.
But this fight has to represent his biggest opportunity against an established opponent. He has faced some big names in his career (Ward, Jean Pascal, Erislandy Lara and Sergey Kovalev twice), but none of those fighters were established when he met them.
In fact, only the 2006 meeting with Pascal was even scheduled for 10 rounds.
This bout is set up to be the prelude to a title shot for Stevenson, and Boone is in position not only to prevent that but to grab a second win over a highly regarded fighter.
He is in the enviable position of having nothing to lose but everything to gain.
In the Ring
Boone usually shows up to the ring with some sort of mask on, so he totally understands the hype aspect of the fight game.
The Ohio native brings the thunder, and as Stevenson learned, the man in the mask has one-punch KO power. Take a look at Boone dropping Ward in their bout.
It happens around the 12:25 mark of the video:
How come a man with the power that Boone possesses doesn't have more KOs or wins? There's actually a pretty simple answer to that question.
Boone is too much of a counter-puncher. He doesn't push the action, and he is a plodder in the ring. He possesses solid timing, and that is what allows him to lull opponents to sleep and then unleash the bomb that can change the night.
Unfortunately for him, if his opponent doesn't take that bait, he doesn't have much else to fall back on. Fighters who employ a lot of lateral movement give Boone major issues, and that is a strategy Stevenson would be wise to employ early on.
I can't see Stevenson allowing this opportunity to slip away from him.
Style does make the fight, and Stevenson's hard-charging style does play into Boone's hands. But I expect Stevenson will be a little more cautious this time, and it'll allow him to get to Boone with his speed, length and power.
I predict a sixth-round TKO win for Superman.