Canadian boxer Adonis Stevenson is reported to be in critical condition after being knocked out Saturday night in his light heavyweight title fight in Quebec City.
The report comes from boxing promoter Yvon Michel, who tweeted early Sunday morning that Stevenson was in intensive care and that family members have asked that his privacy be respected.
“They wish to inform friends and supporters that Adonis is currently in critical condition in the intensive care at the hospital, following his fight against Oleksander Gvozdyk,” the promoter wrote.
“They appreciate the concern and support of everyone for Adonis.”
Oleksandr Gvozdyk stopped Stevenson with a violent knockout at 2:49 of the 11th round to take his World Boxing Council light heavyweight title.
The 41-year-old Stevenson was put on a stretcher after the bout and left Videotron Centre in an ambulance.
The Montreal-based fighter was making his 10th title defence since winning the belt against Chad Dawson in 2013 and was ahead on two of the judges’ cards and tied on the third when he was stopped.
The 31-year-old Gvozdyk, from the Ukraine, improved to 16-0.
Gvozdyk landed several strong blows at the beginning the round which left Stevenson faltering in the corners.
Stevenson appeared to recover, but a second volley of blows from Gvozdyk appeared to shift the momentum entirely in the Ukrainian’s favour.
Referee Michael Griffin stopped the fight after a third push, in which Gvozdyk landed a dozen or so blows without Stevenson being able to stop a single one.
Stevenson stayed down for several minutes before being able to sit up on a stool brought to the ring, and needed assistance to return to the dressing room.
Late Saturday, Michel said he’d spoken to the boxer immediately after the match and he appeared to be regaining his spirits.
However, Stevenson’s condition worsened after leaving the shower, and he was taken to the l’Enfant-Jesus de Quebec hospital, which specializes in neurosurgery and head trauma.
A person who was present in the dressing room, who did want wish to be named, said Stevenson could no longer stand at the time the decision was taken.
In a press conference late Saturday, Michel said Stevenson seemed disoriented and confused when he arrived at the hospital.
“We fear a concussion,” he said. “This is very worrying.”
Fellow Canadian boxer Jean Pascal tweeted about the incident on Sunday.
“Boxing is not a game, but a difficult and dangerous sport,” he wrote. “My prayers go to our champion Adonis and his family. It is hoped that he will recover quickly and for the better. The QC and I are wholeheartedly with you Champ !!”
Frederic Daigle, The Canadian Press