TORONTO — Leaving a wobbly Tommy (Kryptonite) Karpency in his wake, WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis (Superman) Stevenson is going on vacation.
But the Montreal fighter’s ultimate destination remains a unification bout with WBA-IBF-WBO title-holder Sergey (Krusher) Kovalev.
“I believe the eventual winner between Adonis and Kovalev will be one of the two, three top stars in boxing,” said Yvon Michel, Stevenson’s promoter. “So that fight has to happen.”
Michel plans to have Stevenson (27-1-0) fight again in December.
“We hope after December that will be the time (for Kovalev),” he added.
Time is not on Stevenson’s side. He turns 38 on Sept. 22. Kovalev, an American-based Russian, is 32.
Yuniesky Gonzalez (16-1) could be the possible opponent for December. He’s coming off a disputed loss by decision to former champion Jean Pascal of Laval, Que.
“Maybe the guy who beat Pascal. Well, he didn’t get the decision,” Michel said with a laugh. “That could be a good opponent.”
Pascal (30-3-1) won by a 96-94 margin on all three scorecards in July when he met Gonzalez in Las Vegas. The decision drew boos and Gonzalez had to be restrained in his corner after it was announced.
Pascal, who left Michel to form his own promotion company before signing a deal with rival InterBox, was stopped in March by Kovalev in Montreal.
Arranging a fight between Stevenson and Kovalev (28-0-1) is complicated by the fact that they are connected to different networks. Kovalev is under contract to HBO while Stevenson is managed by Al Haymon, who stages fights on rival Showtime or on the Premier Boxing Champions series on other networks.
Asked whether he could knock out Kovalev, Stevenson smiled.
“Why not? … He’s not indestructible,” he said in French. “I’m Superman.”
Karpency came into Friday’s fight ranked ninth by the WBC but valued lightly by bookmakers.
The fighters felt each other out in the first round, with Stevenson landing a couple of solid blows late in the round. Karpency got Stevenson’s attention with a right to the face in the second.
But Stevenson’s power quickly turned the tide.
Stevenson wobbled Karpency (25-5-1) with a left to the chin and then put him down at the end of the second. The challenger got up, with some difficulty, with the bell ending further hostilities.
Stevenson wasted little time clubbing Karpency down again in the third. Karpency struggled to his feet but Panamanian referee Hector Afu had seen enough, calling the fight 21 seconds into the round.
It was Stevenson’s sixth successful title defence.
The Ricoh Coliseum bout was billed as the first world boxing title fight in Toronto in more than 30 years — Hall of Famer Aaron (The Hawk) Pryor beat local favourite Nicky Furlano for the IBF welterweight title at Varsity Stadium in June 1984. Friday’s card drew 4,300 fans, according to promoters.
In the co-main event, former U.S. Olympian Errol (The Truth) Spence Jr. (18-0-0) pummelled South-African-born, American-based welterweight Chris (The Heat) van Heerden (23-2-1) en route to an impressive eight-round TKO.
Canadian heavyweight champion Dillon (Big Country) Carman (9-2-0) knocked out 51-year-old Donovan (Razor) Ruddock (40-6-1) in the third round.
Michel, Montreal’s top promoter, joined forces with Global Legacy Boxing, headed by former world champion Lennox Lewis and Toronto promoter Les Woods, and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to put on the Toronto card.
It aired on U.S. TV as part of the Premier Boxing Champions series. The eight-fight card was available in Canada on pay-per-view.
Michel hopes to stage three or four cards a year in Toronto.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press