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Sunday Punch: Adonis Stevenson starches Chad Dawson in 76 seconds

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This was Ring Magazine’s KO of the Year for 2013.

The Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada is known to UFC fans for hosting several memorable pay-per-view events, many of which were headlined by Georges St-Pierre. On June 8th, 2013, Adonis Stevenson had his breakthrough moment as a world boxing champion in front of a raucous crowd.

Stevenson challenged Chad Dawson for Dawson’s WBC light heavyweight title. In his previous bout, Dawson had a rather disastrous cut to 168 lbs to take on WBC super-middleweight champion Andre Ward and was stopped in ten rounds. He went back up to 175 lbs, where his last fight at that weight class saw him win his rematch with Bernard Hopkins.

At the time, Stevenson was not well known to the general boxing fanbase. He undoubtedly had punching power but he wasn’t tested against particularly high-level opposition, whereas Dawson had twice beaten Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver and had lost just once at light heavyweight. Unsurprisingly, Dawson was the favorite to retain his title even though he was venturing into enemy territory. The week of the fight, Dawson said Stevenson didn’t deserve to be on his level.


That vaunted Stevenson left hand met Dawson’s face barely over a minute into the opening round. Dawson got up and beat the count but unless you’re an irresponsible ref and/or an absolute imbecile who knows nothing about boxing, there was nothing there to indicate that fight needed to continue.

Over and out in 76 seconds and a new champion crowned. Watch the fight at the top of the page.

Stevenson (29-2-1, 24 KOs) defended his title nine times after knocking Dawson out — unfortunately never fighting Sergey Kovalev and taking far too many soft touches during that span — before his career was ended by a brutal KO against the now-retired Oleksandr Gvodzyk. Adonis was hospitalized with life-threatening brain injuries but thankfully for him he quite an incredible recovery. Dawson (36-5-2 NCs, 19 KOs) really was never the same after that starching. A shock loss to Tommy Karpency in 2014 made him practically irrelevant in the world title picture and he’s been inactive since a pair of wins in 2019.