By Cliff Rold
It looked like a mismatch going in and lived down to the billing. At least when it was over, the right name came out of the champion’s mouth.
37-year old Haitian World Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis Stevenson (27-1, 22 KO) of Blainville, Quebec, Canada, scored second and third round knockdowns of 29-year old challenger Tommy Karpency (25-5-1, 14 KO) of Adah, Pennsylvania, en route to a third round stoppage on Friday night at the Rico Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
After it was done, Stevenson called for a long awaited showdown with unified titlist Sergey Kovalev.
Stevenson weighed in at the division limit of 175 lbs. while Karpency scaled 174 ½. Karpency suffered the second knockout loss of his career and saw a four-fight win streak halted. Karpency positioned himself for a shot with an upset of former Light Heavyweight Champion Chad Dawson.
The referee was Hector Afu.
It was the second battle of southpaws on the televised card Karpency took a massive counter left in an otherwise tentative first round, his knees buckling. The challenger stayed up and didn’t seem much worse for wear, continuing to come forward. Karpency was having a good second round early, rocking Stevenson towards the ropes early on.
The second didn’t end so well.
A left hand from Stevenson badly hurt Karpency. The follow up from the champion largely missed until a grazing right caught a wobbly Karpency as he toppled to the floor. The bell rang during the count but could not save him. Karpency forced himself up and made it to the corner with glazed eyes.
A right to the body and left to the chin dropped Karpency to his face seconds into round three. Karpency again rose at nine but Afu waved him off at :21 of round three. Stevenson retained the WBC and lineal Light Heavyweight crowns for the sixth time.
“He tried. I expect that.” Stevenson said, nonplussed. His energy went up when asked about the only other fighter in the division who matters. “Kovalev...You know you have the purse bid and you disappeared. It’s time now to unify the title.” Sergey Kovalev (28-0-1, 25 KO) holds the WBA, WBO, and IBF titles in the class.
Kovalev’s promotional team at Main Events maneuvered him into position as a mandatory WBC contender despite holding those belts, a rare move from a major sanctioning body. However, when the WBC called for the two to go to a purse bid, Main Events withdrew, in part claiming it could risk their relationship with HBO.
@AdonisStevenson, 50/50 offer to fight #Krusher on HBO PPV is still on the table. Has been all year. Call us anytime.”
Time will tell if the fight fans want comes to fruition.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.