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Adonis Stevenson vs. Thomas Williams Jr. results

By Jim Dower: In a surprisingly competitive bout, WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) had to take some major shots from #8 WBC challenger Thomas Williams Jr. (20-2, 14 KOs) before knocking him out with a single left hand to the head in the 4th round on Friday night at the Centre Videotron, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Stevenson, 38, also knocked Williams Jr. down in round one. Despite winning the fight by a KO, Stevenson looked very vulnerable in rounds two and three, as he took some major shots to the head from Williams.

Stevenson landed a short left hand to the head of Williams in round 4, sending him crashing down on the canvas. Williams Jr. attempted to get up, but he was too hurt to make it back to his feet. Referee Michael Griffin stopped the contest at 2:54 of the 4th. The 28-year-old Williams made a mistake of backing up against the ropes and making it easy on Stevenson. Williams had previously had success by coming straight at Stevenson with his gloves held high. By fighting like that, Williams was able to take away a lot of Stevenson’s power. Backing up to the ropes was the wrong thing for Williams to do and he paid for it.

In round one, Stevenson knocked Williams down with a left to the head near the end of the round. Williams was leaning forward with his head down low. Stevenson then threw a big left hand that hit Williams on the back of the head to send him down. It’s unclear why Williams was keeping his head low like that because it enabled Stevenson to hit him with uppercuts in rounds three and four. Williams got up off the canvas after the knockdown in round one and made it out of the round after getting hit with one more big left hand from Stevenson.

Williams turned things around in the 2nd round when he nailed Stevenson with a tremendous right hand to the head. The shot whip-lashed Stevenson’s head. Williams followed up with several more blasts and it looked for a second that Stevenson was hurt. Had Williams more punching power, he might have been able to get Stevenson out of there. The second round was definitely Williams’ round, as he did a great job of walking to Stevenson and not letting him get maximum space to get everything he could on his shots. Stevenson mainly punches with his best power when he has a lot of room to throw his punches. By Williams walking Stevenson down, he couldn’t load up the way he normally does.

Stevenson hurt Williams late in round three with a big left uppercut to the head. However, Williams came back strong in the final seconds of the round to land some big shots to the head of Stevenson. Never the less, Williams’ right eye was starting to swell up and looked bad. He had a lump on head from what the referee said was a punch, but it appeared to be from a head-butt. The two fighters had clashed heads in both the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

At the start of the 4th, Stevenson hurt Williams with a low blow. When Williams got back to his feet, Stevenson went after him immediately in throwing shots to the body and head. The body shots seemed to really take a lot out of Williams, because he stopped firing back with power like he’d been doing. There was another head-butt that hurt Williams. After the action resumed, Stevenson went after Williams’ body with hard punches and backed him up against the ropes. Stevenson then knocked Williams down with a short left to the head. Williams looked like he was going to be able to make it to his feet, but he couldn’t get up and the fight was then stopped.

Stevenson, 38, looked a lot heavier than Williams tonight. Judging the size of the two fighters, I wouldn’t be surprised if Stevenson had a 10 to 15 pound weight advantage over Williams. Stevenson looked more like a cruiserweight tonight than a light heavyweight. He must have put on a great deal of weight after he rehydrated. The size of Stevenson was a clear advantage for him, as it was an advantage in his other fights in the last three years. He’s big for the division.

With victory, Stevenson will now most probably face #1 WBC Eleider Alvarez next. Alvarez is heavier than Williams, but not necessarily a step up from him. It’s very likely that Stevenson will have an easier time beating Alvarez than he did Williams.

What we saw tonight is that Stevenson is vulnerable and getting older. He didn’t used to get hit like he did tonight. It’s become easier to hit Stevenson, because he’s not as fast on his feet and his hands are starting to slow down. A fighter that can stand in and take Stevenson’s shots long enough to land their own big bombs would have a great chance of beating him. Williams wasn’t a big enough puncher to put Stevenson in danger tonight. Besides that, Williams was out-weighed by a huge amount. A top fighter like Sergey Kovalev, Artur Beterbiev, Andre Ward, Joe Smith Jr. and Oleksandr Gvozdyk would all be considered threats to Stevenson. Kovalev, Smith and Beterbiev are big enough punchers to KO Stevenson with a single shot if they land something big. Gvozdyk would be a problem for Stevenson due to his shifting punching angles and his good power. Gvozdyk is a bigger puncher than Williams, and a lot more schooled. You wouldn’t see Gvozdyk back up against the ropes. The unfortunate thing is that the boxing world likely will never find out how those other fighters would do against Stevenson, because his management seemed to be content with him just making simple title defenses over and over again and not facing the really dangerous guys. Stevenson brings in good money in Canada with him defending his title against the contenders the WBC has ranked. He doesn’t need to take risks for the money to flow in. I think that’s why we won’t see Stevenson fight any of the above mentioned fighters.

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