We officially have a new Light Heavyweight champion as Oleksandr Gvozdyk (16-0, 13 KOs) knocked out long reigning WBC champion Adonis Stevenson (29-2, 24 KOs) in the 11th round of their bout tonight.
It was an impressive display by Gvozdyk as he was able to box well from the outside while creating angles that made it difficult for Stevenson to land his signature left hand. Although Gvozdyk boxed very well early on, Stevenson still managed to find plenty of success.
In round two Stevenson began to find a home for his power punches. Although they did not necessarily hurt Gvozdyk they did grab his attention. Round three saw Stevenson hit the deck from a right hand from Gvozdyk but luckily for him the referee ruled it a slip.
For much of the fight it was a nip and tuck affair as both men had their moments and boxed well.
The later rounds were where things really heated up. In round 10 Stevenson landed a huge left hand upstairs that nearly knocked Gvozdyk to the canvas. The ropes were the only reason why Gvozdyk was not looking up at the lights. For much of the round Stevenson continued to headhunt. Give credit to Gvozdyk as he was able to weather the storm and make it out of the round.
The momentum seemed to be squarely behind Stevenson but in round 11 everything changed. Gvozdyk came out on fire landing a combination of shots that had Stevenson reeling. He tried his best to survive the onslaught but several more shots sent the champion to the canvas and the referee waved it off.
Adonis Stevenson reign as champion is officially over. Sure he was a belt holder for over five years but he never seemed to be interested in fighting top fighters or taking on the other champions.
With Gvozdyk now in the mix the division gets even more interesting. Tantalizing matchups against the divisions other champions in Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev are fascinating to think about. Bouts against contenders such as Badou Jack and Joe Smith Jr also bring plenty of intrigue. Bottom line is the Light Heavyweight division has a new champion.
Based off of the performance he put on tonight he could turn out to be a nightmare for just about anyone.