Oleksandr Gvozdyk stops Adonis Stevenson in the 11th Round to win the WBC Light Heavyweight Title
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: December 03, 2018
QUEBEC, CANADA – At the Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada the Ukraine’s Oleksandr Gvozdyk (16-0, 13 KOs) put an end to one of boxing’s most controversial title reigns in stopping Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (29-2-1, 24 KOs) in the 11th round. With the victory, Gvozdyk is now the WBC Light Heavyweight (175) champion. Stevenson was looking to make his 10th successful title defense of his championship with his previous bout resulting in a controversial draw against Badou Jack in May of this year.
The first two rounds of the bout were tentative for Gvozdyk who looked out of rhythm as Stevenson played the role of the aggressor. The Canadian southpaw was outworking Gvozdyk by constantly throwing his left hand in an attempt to end the fight as quickly as possible. At the beginning of the third round, Gvozdyk landed a right hand that put Stevenson on the canvas. Referee Michael Griffin ruled the knockdown a slip, however, on replays it was clear that a punch was landed causing Stevenson to go down.
In the middle rounds, the age gap between the two men took precedence as Gvozdyk found his rhythm using lateral movement with a consistent counter right hand. At 41-years of age, Stevenson fought in spots relegating himself to fight for 90 seconds a round. There were points in some of the middle rounds where Gvozdyk, 31, boxed circles around Stevenson giving viewers the impression that he was well ahead in the fight. Gvozdyk’s trainer Teddy Atlas kept the Ukrainian in check by continually reminding him in the corner that Stevenson was dangerous and that he could not fall asleep against the southpaw.
In the 10th round, Stevenson reminded Gvozdyk that he is always dangerous and has impeccable timing by landing a straight left hand that sent the Ukrainian to the ropes. If the ropes were not there to hold up Gvozdyk, it is likely that he would have gone down. Gvozdyk was able to rebound from the punch and win a majority of the rest of the round.
The 11th round saw the fight come to an end with Gvozdyk landing a right hand and then cornering Stevenson with a brutal attack putting him down for the count forcing the referee to stop the bout.
The victory was seen as a celebration for boxing fans as Stevenson has played the role of a boxing villain since 2014. A fight between Stevenson and former light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev never materialized, and most fans and pundits blame Stevenson for it never taking place. The Canadian’s title reign was also highly scrutinized for his level of competition. The fights ending, however, would not be cause for celebration, but a reminder of the danger each person faces when they step inside a boxing ring.
Following the bout, Stevenson was taken to a local hospital and put into intensive care for a brain hemorrhage (bleeding of the brain). On Sunday morning, Stevenson was placed in a medically induced coma to help reduce swelling. Stevenson’s promoter Yvon Michel last updated that Stevenson’s condition has gone from critical to stable. Hopefully, Stevenson makes a full recovery.
No matter whom you choose to cheer or boo in the boxing ring, there is a sense of respect that everyone should have for anyone who steps inside the squared circle. The hatred towards Stevenson showed through his career should not impact how someone feels about him outside of the ring. The goal for everyone who steps inside the ring is to leave the ring with his or her health as intact as possible.
Frontproof Media would like to wish Adonis Stevenson and his family with a safe and quick recovery.
(Featured Photo: Amanda Westcott/Showtime)