Former light heavyweight world champion Adonis Stevenson, who suffered a catastrophic brain injury in a knockout loss on Dec. 1, has begun to walk with assistance and speak, according to Simone "Sisi" God, Stevenson's girlfriend and the mother of his daughter.
"Last month, I disclosed that Adonis had woken up and was healing from his injury in the private company of his family and his dedicated medical team. Today, I am happy to share that after months of grueling workouts and physical therapy, Adonis has taken his first few steps, and is working towards walking independently," God said in a statement Saturday.
Stevenson, 41, of Montreal, 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, had emergency brain surgery and spent weeks in a medically induced coma.
"Despite his champion health, these improvements to his condition have not come easy," God said. "Adonis has pushed himself as the true champion that he is, incorporating courage and determination into his recovery. It has been a true gift to watch his health improve and we are grateful for every advancement he has made. Adonis is a world champion in the ring and continues to exhibit strength and perseverance in his rehabilitation.
"Additionally, I am happy to share that Adonis is beginning to verbally communicate and is able to speak to our family, friends and his medical team. At this time, I am confident that our 'Superman' will make a full recovery. On behalf of Adonis and our family, I thank you once again for your messages and ongoing support. We are truly humbled by your love and well wishes."
Stevenson was making the 10th defense of his 5½-year title reign and was ahead on two scorecards when Gvozdyk (16-0, 13 KOs) 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 able to eventually get to his feet and sit on a stool to be examined by the ringside doctor and appeared alert until his condition deteriorated. He lost consciousness in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.