It was a big year for Adonis "Superman" Stevenson, who moved up from 168 to 175 pounds and knocked out Chad Dawson in one round, then dominated Tavoris Cloud in September in his first title defense. Tonight, he stamped his breakout campaign with a TKO-6 win over a tough Tony Bellew, who was simply too slow to avoid Stevenson's powerful straight left hand.
Stevenson (23-1, 20 KO) was able to win the early rounds mostly on activity, but Bellew (20-2-1, 12 KO) was boxing smart and not getting hit clean too often, and when he did, he did seem to take the shots well. Bellew also found openings for his right hand early, but once Stevenson made some adjustments defensively and started cutting off the ring more, Bellew didn't have the hand speed to land that punch any longer, and it was about all he seemed to have that could trouble Stevenson, too.
In the sixth, Stevenson put Bellew down on a left hand, but the referee let the fight go on, and fairly so. But Bellew didn't survive much longer, as he was knocked out standing by another pair of left hands before the referee could get in and put a stop to the bout. Defenseless, it even seemed as though Bellew was somewhat spared by Stevenson, who probably could have gotten more shots in.
It's a solid win for Stevenson, who took care of a mandatory challenger with this victory. It's nothing but a missed opportunity for Bellew, who is probably still a top 10 sort of fighter at 175 pounds. He gave it a shot, seemed to have good scouting early on even if it wasn't winning him rounds, and then Stevenson just proved the better fighter.