Former light heavyweight world champion Adonis Stevenson, who suffered a catastrophic brain injury in a knockout loss on Dec. 1, has been brought out of a medically induced coma.
"Despite recent reports being leaked to media, I wanted to clarify that Adonis is awake," Simone "Sisi" God, Stevenson's girlfriend and the mother of his daughter, said in a statement on Saturday. "He is healing from his injury in the private company of his family and his dedicated medical team. Adonis is a world champion in the ring and is exhibiting that same grit, strength and determination in his recovery."
Stevenson suffered the injury when he lost the light heavyweight world title by 11th-round knockout to Oleksandr Gvozdyk at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, after which he was taken to Enfant-Jesus Hospital, where he has been since.
Stevenson, 41, of Montreal, was admitted to the hospital shortly after the fight and underwent emergency brain surgery. He was placed in a medically induced coma, a method used to allow time for swelling on the brain to go down.
"On behalf of Adonis and our family, I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who has taken the time to reach out, send prayers and post about Adonis' injury," God said. "We are so grateful for the outpour of messages, gifts and support that have come our way.
"'Superman' is a world champion and has demonstrated his strength in facing every obstacle he has ever faced. He is a legend in the eyes of his fans and a man that demonstrates to his family daily that inner strength and love can change and redeem even the greatest of hardships."
Updates have been rare since Stevenson suffered the injury, and God asked for continued privacy.
"Adonis and our family are so thankful to you all for your love and support and respectfully ask to continue to grant Adonis and our family privacy as he heals from this accident," she said. "With the holidays here, Adonis is spending time enjoying music and spending time with [daughter] Adonia and his family and sends his love and appreciation to you all.
"While our Superman Adonis recovers, I'll be stepping in to deal with all business related to Adonis as the Superwoman he always tells me I am. We are truly blessed by God and all of you for your support."
There were no details released on Stevenson's specific condition.
Stevenson was making the 10th title defense of his five-and-a-half-year title reign against Gvozdyk (16-0, 13 KOs) and was ahead on two of the scorecards when Gvozdyk stormed back in the 11th round, landing eight unanswered punches, including a left hand and two crushing rights that badly hurt Stevenson (29-2-1, 24 KOs). He went down and slumped against one of the corner posts. Stevenson tried to get to all fours but fell partially onto the ring apron between the bottom two ropes as referee Michael Griffin waved off the fight at 2 minutes, 49 seconds.
Stevenson was eventually able to get to his feet and sit down on a stool to be examined by the ringside doctor. He appeared alert until his condition deteriorated. He lost consciousness in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.