Oleksandr Gvozdyk scored an 11th-round knockout of Adonis Stevenson on Saturday night at the Videotron Center in Quebec City to become the new WBC light heavyweight champion.
Gvozdyk (16-0, 13 KO's), 31, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic games representing Ukraine, knocked down Stevenson in round three but referee Michael Griffin ruled it a slip, despite picking Stevenson up off the canvas.
Stevenson (29-2, 24 KO's), 41, a Haiti native based in Quebec, was outclassed for most of the fight, but his best moment came in round 10 when he rocked Gvozdyk with a massive left hand to the temple. The ropes held up Gvozdyk, which should have been ruled a knockdown. However, Griffin missed yet another call. On the other hand, Gvozdyk rallied at the end of the round to buzz Stevenson.
With 32 seconds remaining in the 11th round, Gvozdyk hurt Stevenson with a powerful one-two combination and went on the attack. Stevenson tied him up, but Gvozdyk kept on charging, and knocked out Stevenson, who could barely crawl out of the ring.
The bout ends one of the most disappointing title reigns in recent memory. Stevenson earned the WBC belt in June 2013 with a first-round knockout of former world champion Chad Dawson, and concluded a Fighter of the Year campaign in 2013 with a seventh-round stoppage of ex-titlist Tavoris Cloud in September. But he did virtually nothing of note after, often bypassing mandatory challengers with step-aside money.
Stevenson was coming off of a hard-fought draw against Badou Jack back in May, in which Jack had Stevenson seriously hurt late in the fight.
Gvozdyk, who refused to accept to step-aside for Stevenson, is now the champion.