The long reign WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson has ended.
Stevenson was knocked out by Oleksandr Gvozdyk in the 11th round of their WBC light heavyweight world title fight in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. That fight ended Stevenson's world title reign, which was one of the longest in the sport up to that point.
Gvozdyk's right hand was the key to his victory after he managed to sustain early shots from Stevenson's heavy left hand, which knocked out many opponents throughout his long career. Gvozdyk hurt and seemingly knocked down Stevenson at the start of the third round with a big counter right hand, but the referee did not rule it a knockdown. Although Gvozdyk did not get the knockdown, he was starting to take control of the fight. As the fight got deeper, Stevenson's power shots landed less on Gvozdyk as the challenger was pressing forward on Stevenson.
But once the fight entered the ninth round, Stevenson finally got his second wind and started to land his punches more often. Stevenson hurt Gvozdyk in the 10th round thanks to a left hand that had the challenger heading to the ropes but never touched the canvas. Gvozdyk recovered from that heavy shot and scored a combination of punches that also hurt Stevenson.
In the 11th round, Gvozdyk hurts Stevenson once again and pressures the champion to the corner. Stevenson is dropped by Gvozdyk and nearly went out of the ring as the referee stopped the fight. At the time of the stoppage, Stevenson was actually up on two of the three official scorecards with scores of 96-94 and 98-92 with the third judge having the fight a draw.
The 41-year-old Stevenson had been the WBC champion since 2013 when he knocked out Chad Dawson to win the title. Stevenson made nine successful defenses with his last one being against Badou Jack back in May, a fight that ended in a draw. The fight took place on a special telecast on Showtime that aired live before the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury pay-per-view event started in Los Angeles.