QUEBEC - Adonis Stevenson intends to be patient when he climbs into the ring on Friday to defend his World Boxing Council light heavyweight crown against Russia's Dmitriy Sukhotskiy.
The native of Blainville, Que., will be making his fourth defence since becoming champion when he knocked out Chad Dawson in the first round in 2013.
Stevenson (24-1, 20 KO) will be facing an opponent who lost his previous title bout, a 2009 unanimous decision against Germany's Juergen Braehmer for the World Boxing Organization light heavyweight title.
Sukhotskiy (22-2, 16 KO) has never been knocked out or even knocked down. Stevenson had to pick himself up off the canvas in an unexpectedly difficult win by decision in his last outing in May against Andrzej Fonfara.
"He's not here as a tourist," Stevenson, 37, told a news conference Tuesday in Quebec City, where the fight will take place.
"He's a tough guy who's trained for 12 rounds. He's in top condition and I'll definitely have to be careful."
But the Haitian-born Stevenson, a power-punching lefthander, remains optmistic he'll send the Russian to the canvas even if it's not in the early rounds.
"I'm not going to rush in, I'm going to take my time to work him over and then finish him off."
Nicknamed The Hunter, Sukhotskiy said he's looking forward to the chance to dethrone his opponent.
"I feel in great shape and I'm glad I have the opportunity to fight for a world title," he said through an interpreter. "The light heavyweight class is full of solid boxers and I feel solid."
Sukhotskiy doesn't feel concerned by the presence of up to 6,000 pro-Stevenson fans at the Pepsi Colisee.
"The better boxer will win and anything can happen," he said.
The bout is the main event on a card to be aired on the U.S. specialty channel Showtime.
By Martin Ouellet, The Canadian Press