Oleksander Gvozdyk vs. Adonis Stevenson – RESULTS
By Mike Smith: Oleksander Gvozdyk (16-0 13 KOs) ended WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson’s five-year reign as the World Boxing Council 175 lb champion in stopping him in the 11th round on Saturday night on Showtime at the Centre Videotron, Quebec City. Gvozdyk, 31, hurt a tired looking Stevenson with a right hand in the 11th. At the time of the stoppage, the judges had Stevenson up by the score 98-92, 96-94 and 95-95. Boxing News 24 had Stevenson ahead 98-92. Gvozdyk just wasn’t throwing enough punches for him to be given a lot of rounds. He was giving ground to Stevenson virtually the entire fight, and not fighting the way a challenger should fight.
Gvozdyk then unloaded with a flurry of shots that sent the exhausted 41-year-old Stevenson down. The referee Michael Alexander then stopped the contest with Stevenson still on the canvas. There was no chance of Stevenson beating the count, as he was hurt.
Gvozdyk was hurt in the 10th round after getting hit with a solid left hand from Stevenson that sent him into the ropes. The referee failed to call it a knockdown despite the fact that the ropes had held the 2012 Olympian Gvozdyk up.
Earlier in the fight, Gvozdyk knocked Stevenson down with a counter right hand to the head. Again, the referee blew the call by failing to score it as a knockdown when it was clear that Stevenson was down.
Stevenson landed the better shots in the majority of the rounds. Aside from the 3rd, Stevenson was landing the better punches in rounds 1,2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Gvozdyk appeared to be giving away most of the rounds by dancing around on the outside, giving ground and not throwing enough punches to win the rounds. Stevenson was using mostly his left hand throughout the fight. His corner implored Stevenson to start using his right, but he continued to focus on throwing single left hand pot shots. Although Stevenson was having success using his left, he was missing a lot because Gvozdyk was constantly going backwards and side to side to keep from getting hit.
In round nine, Stevenson started throwing body shots, and he had a lot more success in finding the Ukrainian. The body shots were very powerful looking, and Gvozdyk appeared to be hurt late in the round. Stevenson did look like he was fading, but Gvozdyk couldn’t take advantage of it because he was so timid and hesitant to let his hands go.
All in all, it was a good performance from Gvozdyk. He got the win by coming on late in the contest to stop a tired and old looking Stevenson. It’s unclear where Gvozdyk will from here. He’s promoted by Top Rank, which means that they might opt to match him against one of their fighters rather than having him defend against his #1 challenger, which is Badou Jack. The boxing public would likely enjoy seeing Gvozdyk fight Badou, but that might not be what Top Rank wants.
As for Stevenson, he still looks very dangerous for anyone in the light heavyweight division. His stamina isn’t what it once was, and he struggles in the later rounds. Tonight, Stevenson had problems getting to Gvozdyk due to the constant movement. Gvozdyk was willing to give up the majority of the rounds in order to get Stevenson deep into the fight.
In other action on the card, undefeated heavyweight Oscar Rivas (25-0, 17 KOs) defeated Fabio Maldonado (26-1, 25 KOs) by a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision. The scores were 99-90, 100-89 and 99-90. The victory for Rivas sets up a fight between him and Bryant Jennings on January 18.
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