PBC on Spike brought about a brutal knockout Friday night, as WBC Light Heavyweight champion Adonis "Superman" Stevenson laid out challenger Thomas "Top Dog" Williams Jr. with a vicious left hand late in the fourth round to retain his belt for the 7th time.
As anticipated, neither man was expecting this fight to fulfill anywhere near the scheduled 12 rounds. The two fighters squared off in the middle of the ring from the opening bell and traded blow after blow. Thomas threw wild haymakers that were barely missing the champion's chin, while Stevenson (28-1-0 23 KO) began with a more tactical approach to placing his huge power shots.
Towards the end of the first, Stevenson caught "Top Dog" (20-2-0 14 KO) with a short left hook towards the back of the head that forced the challenger to the canvas. Williams was slightly off balance, which led to the knockdown, but the shot did some obvious damage that stuck with him.
Having felt "Superman's" immense power, the underdog changed his game plan in the second round, keeping his hands up and stalking Stevenson around the ring, even landing the occasional thudding shot past Stevenson's defense. The third round saw more of the same to open the stanza, however it appeared as if the WBC champion was finally starting to time Williams, as Adonis began to open a cut and raise swelling around the right eye of "Top Dog".
The fourth round saw an incredible amount of back and forth action, with both men laying it all on the table to see who would leave the ring with the status of lineal champion. Towards the end of the frame, Stevenson caught Williams flush with a short left hand to the chin, sending him flailing face first to the ground. Referee Michael Griffin awarded the the challenger a 10 count, although that proved to be completely unnecessary, as Williams was out cold before even hitting the ground. He gained his senses and started to rise as the 10 count escalated, but was well beyond being in any shape to continue, giving "Superman" the stoppage at 2:58 of the 4th round.
While everyone would love to see Adonis truly test himself again fellow Light Heavyweights Sergey Kovalev or Andre Ward, it is much more likely we saw Stevenson's future opponent on the undercard in Eleider Alvarez (20-0 10 KO). The Colombian, fighting out of Montreal, took apart late-replacement Robert Berridge with ease, taking home the victory on score cards of 99-90 and 98-92 twice.
Alvarez is the WBC mandatory challenger for Superman's title, and many expect to see the two square off later this fall. The fight will be billed as a big all-Canadian fight, however die-hard boxing fans know, especially after how underwhelming Eleider looked last night, the real showdown will be when he finally steps up to face one of the other top contenders in the divison.
By Darrin Doyle