Adonis Stevenson and Andrzej Fonfara participated in a conference call on Tuesday as they reach the apex of preparation for this Saturday’s world title showdown live on Showtime from Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
The 36-year-old Stevenson (23-1-0, 20 KOs) laid his claim as the world’s No. 1 light heavyweight with an exceptional 2013 campaign that included knockout victories over Chad Dawson and Tavoris Cloud. The 26-year-old Fonfara (25-2-0, 15 KOs), of Chicago by way of Warsaw, Poland, is the No. 3 contender in the WBC and holds victories over three former world champions in his last five fights. Fonfara has won 15 fights in a row, 12 by knockout, and has never been defeated as a light heavyweight.
“I’m very focused for this fight. I’m not overlooking him. I know he’s going to be ready and I’m training for just him. I take it one fight at a time and I will take care of business. I’m ready for this fight.
“I’m not here to lose. I’m a champion and I’m here to win. By knockout. That’s it and I’m not concerned about anything else.”
Q: What are your motivations for seeking a path that would lead you to a fight with Bernard Hopkins as opposed to one that was talked about with Sergey Kovalev?
“You know, I want to be a legend and I want to be on par with all the boxing legends so that gives me a lot of motivation to push my body very, very hard and at a high level and keep training and focus fight by fight. I’m very motivated.”
Q: How do you respond to some of the people who look at the decision you made and say, ‘Bernard is a great name and (Adonis) has a tough fight with Fonfara, but he’s ducking Kovalev because of the deal that you accepted.’ How do you respond to those people?
“Those people don’t understand that boxing is a business. That’s our mentality. That we negotiate with the network and we make sure that everyone gets paid. That’s why I took it because I’m working with the best managers in the world and they make sure everything is right with the network, and everything. It’s not about ducking, it’s about business. I don’t have a problem fighting Kovalev. I have a feeling that Yvon Michel will one day make that happen.”
Q: You came up as a fighter who worked with Emanuel Steward. What affect did he have, not only on your professional career, but what impact did he have on you as a person inside the ring and outside?
“You know, Emanuel gave me a lot of advice and motivation. And it’s not just about training. He was a friend to me and we spent a lot of time talking about life. And we talked about boxing and what it would be like to be a world champion. A couple of years ago he didn’t have any money, he didn’t save nothing. And he explained that to me and I took his advice. He told me I was going to be the world champion and that I was going to be a star.”
Q: What is Fonfara’s style, his strengths and his weaknesses?
“I don’t know. I’m gonna knock him out. That’s what I’m going to do. I don’t know his game plan. I’m going to knock him out.”
Q: Is Bernard Hopkins next up for you?
“I don’t care about Hopkins now. Fonfara is in front of me, and that’s it. After the fight we can talk about Hopkins.
“When you used to watch Mike Tyson fight, you knew someone was going to get knocked out. That’s what is going to happen on SHOWTIME. Somebody’s going to get knocked out.”
“Everything is going right. My training camp is almost ended. We trained for a couple of weeks in Chicago and then we flew to Big Bear in California. We trained in Abel Sanchez’s gym in Summit for like three weeks and then we came here. I’m ready for this fight and I’ve had good sparring partners and have had good preparation.”
Q: Do you think you’ve been overlooked by Adonis, and if so how is that beneficial to you?
“No. I don’t think like that. This business is like that and you must think about your next fight. Adonis should think about his next fight. I want to focus on this fight and it’s not a problem to talk about that. It’s normal.”
Q: What is your game plan?
“I don’t want to say it here. You will see when I get into the ring. I don’t want to say anything about my plan.”
Q: Is there a different preparation or approach you have to take when facing a guy with the knockout power as Adonis Stevenson?
“No. We do the same preparation as always. We change a little bit because he’s a southpaw and he has a different style. We have good sparring partners and I am ready physically and mentally.”