Adonis “Superman” Stevenson predictably stopped Tommy Karpency and he needed barley 3 rounds to do it. Stevenson successfully defended his lineal light heavyweight championship in front of his adopted Canadian fans at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto.
Karpency came in charging after the opening bell and it was clear he was trying to prove to Adonis that he wasn’t scared, perhaps he thought it was his best effort to prevent from being bullied. Stevenson was not thrown off of his game by Karpency’s sudden rush, which he followed up with moments later.
The one positive note for Karpency in the first round is that he proved he could at least handle a power punch from Stevenson. The southpaw Stevenson landed a hard left hand straight down the pipe. The punch landed square on Karpency’s jaw and he didn’t go anywhere, despite the punch coming from pretty far away and gaining some decent momentum.
It was a quick win, but he would fail to hang on to it as Stevenson landed a quick counter left on Karpency which caused his knee to buckle slightly. Just before that shot, Karpency was finding some brief success and landed the cleanest punches to that point, by his own offensive production.
Karpency was less willing to come forward at that point and even if the punch didn’t hurt him severely it certainly settled him down a bit. Stevenson kept his jab out there and tried to find his working range. He was a little trigger happy and instead of keeping his composure in an effort to gain a workable distance, Stevenson worked smartly before trying to violently seize an opportunity.
The 2nd round was much better for Karpency as he came right out of the gate and seemed composed, allowing Adonis to come to him more as opposed to his previous tactic. He continued to do well as he countered with his left hand. Both fighters being southpaw, I’m not sure but it seemed like Stevenson was finding it vaguely difficult to gauge the left hand coming back at him, especially after firing his own.
Stevenson continued to keep his jab out there, like he tends to do in his fights, but he had yet to truly find his working distance. With his jab out, Karpency dropped his level and lopped his right hand underneath Stevenson’s extended right hand and tagged him on the chin. The punch knocked Stevenson back into the corner, although he was more off balanced than hurt. Still, it was a clean punch in a round that Karpency was gaining momentum in and Stevenson was fighting as though he had full control.
What was hurting Karpency’s chances of taking over in the fight was the same thing that was allowing him brief moments of success. Karpency was picking off shots and being methodical with his punches; not necessarily taking inventory of his offense, but he remained vigilant of his offense in order to quickly transition back to defense. Karpency did not display great defense and his output was low – those two aspects rarely help a fighter to institute an advantageous tempo.
Even though Karpency was in the fight and Adonis had yet to take full advantage in the fight, the fighter nicknamed “Superman” was fighting his fight and displayed the mannerisms of a fighter in complete control.
In the closing moments in the 2nd, Stevenson landed a hard right hook and followed it up with a straight left on Karpency’s chin which wobbled his legs and sent him into the ropes. Karpency, already on wobbly legs, bounced off the ropes and was caught with a right hand that sent him to the canvas.
Karpency beat the count and the round was over before Stevenson got an opportunity to finish him off.
The 3rd round started and Karpency did not seem like he was fully recovered as Stevenson came after him aggressively. Stevenson threw a right hand upstairs that opened up the left to the body which landed and opened up Karpency for another right to the head before Stevenson landed a hard left hand to the chin. The barrage sent Karpency to the canvas and even though he beat the count the referee knew he was a beaten fighter.
Stevenson celebrated like he’d pulled off some unbelievable win. It was impressive to watch in the same way it is impressive to watch an unguarded LeBron James do a 360 dunk. Karpency was never going to beat Stevenson, and yet Stevenson celebrated the win in a theatrical manner.
A coach will often tell a player to “act like you’ve been here before” when something is accomplished but it isn’t appropriate over celebrate. You can cry when you win the Super Bowl, you can throw your glove in the air when you throw a no-hitter, but when you beat a guy you were supposed to beat you should refrain from trying to convince us in your celebration that the feat is something we should be impressed by.
A win is a win, but when you are being sold as one of the premier fighters in the sport you have to push yourself to prove it. I’m tired of the fans and media trying to push Stevenson to greatness. If he is content with racking up meaningless wins then he should come out and say it – obviously, it would be a terrible move from a marketing standpoint, but I for one would refrain from criticizing his opposition and would just watch his fights for the pure enjoyment of seeing knockouts.
Stevenson said he was proud to defend his title in front of his Canadian fans, and he said he plans on keeping the belt in Canada. I don’t doubt Stevenson’s ability to keep the titles in Canada considering he isn’t likely to fight anyone dangerous enough to challenge him.
He did mention Sergey Kovalev’s name, but he took a somewhat vague shot at him, claiming the time was right for a unification. Well, the time has been right, it was already right, and it will remain right as long as both men continue to win. At this point, the blame can be shifted back and forth, but Stevenson was the first man responsible for the fight not happening and it will continue to be on his shoulders until it does.
Stevenson is the lineal champion, and he may be a bigger draw in Canada than Kovalev is anywhere else, but Stevenson might want to consider conceding some major points in negations to right the wrong. He will always be responsible for the fight not happening with Kovalev, now the responsibility is his to ensure this fight happens in 2016.