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Canadian southpaw Adonis Stevenson retained his World Boxing Council light-heavyweight world title Saturday with a sixth-round technical knockout of Britain’s Tony Bellew.
Stevenson dropped Bellew in the sixth with a heavy left to the jaw. Bellew beat the count, but Stevenson landed another left that sent the challenger staggering into a corner. The champion was unloading again on the defenseless Bellew when referee Michael Griffin called a halt at 1:50 of the round.
Haitian-born Stevenson improved to 23-1 with 20 knockouts. He was plainly pleased to have made his point against Bellew after an ill-tempered build-up to the bout.
“He said I’m a dwarf, and the dwarf knocked him out,” Stevenson said. “I told him, when he’s going to feel my power, I’m going to drop him out.”
Bellew, who turned 31 on Saturday, fell to 20-2 with one draw and 12 knockouts. His only other defeat came in his only prior world title fight, a majority decision loss to Welshman Nathan Cleverly two years ago.
Stevenson, 36, posted his fourth knockout in four fights this year. That included a one-punch first-round knockout of Chad Dawson in June to take the WBC belt.