BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania – David Stevens never stopped pressing the action and trying to score a knockout Friday night.

The super middleweight prospect’s perseverance paid off just in time. He dropped previously unbeaten Sean Hemphill twice late in the eighth and final round, and knocked out the previously undefeated fighter with only two seconds to go in the main event of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” tripleheader at Wind Creek Event Center.

A right-left-right combination first floored a fatigued Hemphill near his own corner. Hemphill barely beat referee Shawn Clark’s count, but he was badly hurt.

Stevens knew he didn’t have much time, so as soon as Clark allowed him to continue he drilled Hemphill with a left hook that sent Hemphill down again. Clark immediately waved an end to the action at 2:58 of the eighth round.

All three judges – Adam Friscia, Dewey LaRosa and Steve Weisfeld – had Stevens in front by the same score, 68-65, entering the eighth round.

The 22-year-old Stevens, of Reading, Pennsylvania, improved to 12-0 and produced his ninth knockout. New Orleans’ Hemphill fell to 14-1 (8 KOs).

Hemphill and Stevens were supposed to fight October 21, but Hemphill withdrew from their bout the previous week due to an injury. That marked the second time Hemphill had to pull out from what would’ve been his nationally televised debut due to injury in 2022.

A couple minutes before Stevens emphatically ended their nationally televised bout, Stevens’ right uppercut landed early in the eighth round. They stayed on top of each other later in the final round and each boxer connected to the head and body.

Hemphill and Stevens were in each other’s chests throughout the seventh round. Hemphill landed to Stevens’ body consistently in that round and didn’t box off his back foot nearly as much as he had done in prior rounds.

Stevens, who hadn’t boxed beyond the sixth round before Friday night, also appeared tired by that point in their fight.

Stevens landed a chopping right hand to the side of Hemphill’s head with just under a minute to go in the sixth round. Hemphill had some success by landing short shots on the inside in the sixth round, but Stevens got his attention with a left hook several seconds before the sixth round ended.

A right by Stevens knocked Hemphill into the ropes with and made him retreat with just over 1:50 to go in the fifth round. Clark warned Stevens for hitting Hemphill behind his head early in the fifth round.

A right-left combination by Hemphill briefly stopped Stevens from coming forward with about 1:10 to go in the fourth round. Stevens landed a thudding left to Hemphill’s body later in the fourth round.

Stevens’ right hand got Hemphill’s attention early in the third round, when he tried to tie up his aggressive opponent. Stevens pressed the action throughout that round and landed several right hands as Hemphill fought off his back foot.

Stevens also caught Hemphill with a right uppercut just before the third round concluded.

Stevens landed a left hook with just under 1:40 on the clock in the second round. Another left hook by Stevens connected with just under 30 seconds to go in the second round.

A left to the body by Stevens moved Hemphill into the ropes early in the first round, but Hemphill fought from his preferred distance during most of the opening three minutes of action, pumped his jab and stayed out of Stevens’ punching range.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.