Former light heavyweight world champion Adonis Stevenson underwent emergency brain surgery following his knockout loss Saturday night and remains in a medically induced coma, his doctor confirmed Wednesday.
"Mr. Stevenson underwent surgery on the night of Saturday to Sunday and has since been admitted to the intensive care unit," Dr. Alexis Turgeon, an intensive care specialist and anesthesiologist, said on Wednesday during the first official news briefing since Stevenson's injury. "He suffers from severe traumatic brain injury. His situation is still stable under the circumstances, but critical."
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.
According to the hospital, Stevenson's family asked for the doctor to provide an update because it has been inundated with requests, as has Yvon Michel, Stevenson's longtime promoter.
"His condition requires mechanical respiratory assistance, deep sedation and specialized neurological monitoring," Turgeon said. "It is too early to comment on Mr. Stevenson's long-term prognosis. I urge the media to be very cautious about distributing medical information that does not come from an official medical source."
On behalf of the Stevenson family, the hospital also issued a statement.
"Mr. Stevenson's family thanks supporters for their many messages of empathy and support over the past few days," the statement said. "They want to be at the bedside of Mr. Stevenson and ask everyone to respect their privacy. As agreed with Mr. Stevenson's family, please note that no further comments will be made."
Stevenson, 41, of Montreal, was admitted to the hospital shortly after the fight and after surgery he was placed in a medically induced coma, a method used to allow time for swelling on the brain to go down.
He was making the 10th title defense of his 5 1/2-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), who 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. He was able to eventually get to his feet and sit down 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.