Photo Credit: Dave Nadkarni
QUEBEC CITY — No matter what you think of WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, one thing is an indisputable fact — the man is a murderous puncher. Last night at the Centre Videtron, game challenger Thomas Williams Jr. brought the fight but couldn’t handle the return fire, falling in the fourth on a dynamite short counter left hook.
HURT EARLY AND REBOUNDING: Things looked dire after round one when Stevenson put Williams down with a clubbing left on top of the head. Instead of being broken, Williams mouthed to his corner “my fault” and got focused in round two. The challenger started to coming forward behind the high guard and landed multiple hard shots on the chin. Williams took the second on my card by making Stevenson give ground and hold throughout the three minute stanza.
Unfortunately for Williams, he got too cocky (evident by his little dance at the end of the second) and made the fatal mistake of underestimating Stevenson’s power.
DESTROYING THE BODY, THEN THE HEAD: Because of his second round success, Williams got a lot more reckless when he engaged the champion. Instead of countering and getting off first, he tried to outslug Stevenson on the inside. Stevenson had the power and speed advantage and hurt Williams with a left cross. Williams never truly recovered and spent the rest of the fight moving backward, allowing Stevenson to punish him with hooks to the body and guard-splitting uppercuts to the head.
For the first time, we saw Williams begin to mentally wilt. Stevenson’s offense included fouls (low blows, uppercuts) which opened cuts and swelling on the challenger. Williams wore a look of resignation as Stevenson continued the pressure.
CONSCIOUS BUT DOWN FOR THE COUNT: Williams tried to halt Stevenson’s attack with a counter left downstairs. Once again, he was too slow and Stevenson’s sniper-like left got there first. Williams sank to his knees before sliding onto his face. He mouthed another “my fault” to his corner, but this time his body would not cooperate with his attempt to beat the ten count.
PBC’s BEST at 175: While a few might give Artur Beterbiev the nod, most would agree that Adonis Stevenson is still the best light heavyweight that fights under the PBC banner. But until we see him face the winner of Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward’s November fight, a cloud will continue to loom over Stevenson’s title reign.