Egis Kavaliauskas lived up to the hype tonight in a step-up bout on ESPN, stopping veteran David Avanesyan in the sixth round of a scheduled 10-round bout. Kavaliauskas (19-0, 16 KO) wasn’t a whirlwind throughout the fight or anything, fighting smart in the early rounds.
But in the sixth, he caught Avanesyan (23-3-1, 11 KO) with a right hand, timed excellently, then caught him in a flurry, landing a clean left hook that sent Avanesyan stumbling. Kavaliauskas stayed on the attack, throwing punches in bunches, before Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at 1:55.
Kavaliauskas retained the NABF title with the win, and moved closer to a potential world title opportunity, something he addressed in the ring.
“I see myself fighting Terence Crawford for the world title, because he will beat Jeff Horn,” Kavaliauskas said after the fight.
In the televised opener, 2016 Olympic silver medalist and current top featherweight prospect Shakur Stevenson improved to 5-0 (2 KO) with an eight-round shutout decision win over Juan Tapia, who fell to 8-2 (3 KO).
Stevenson won on scores of 80-72 across the board, totally dominating the fight and showcasing accurate punching and strong defense. He outlanded Tapia 128-29 overall, and 104-26 in power shots, landing 43% of his power shots compared to just 14% for Tapia.