Canada’s Adonis Stevenson retained his WBC light heavyweight title with a third-round stoppage of Tommy Karpency in the first world title fight in Toronto in more than three decades.
Southpaw Stevenson wobbled the US challenger at the end of the second round, then closed the deal early in the third on Friday night at the Ricoh Coliseum.
Stevenson, who improved to 27-1, hopes the win puts him in line for a unification title fight with undefeated WBA and IBF champ Sergey Kovalev.
It was the first world title fight in Toronto since June 1984, when Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor beat Nicky Furlano for the IBF welterweight title at Varsity Stadium.
The card was promoted by former Canadian Olympic gold medalist and former heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis, who along with Montreal-based promoter Yvon Michel is trying to bring championship boxing back to Toronto.
Karpency, a former nurse in a psychiatric hospital, had fought once before for a world title, when he lost to Nathan Cleverly in 2012 for the WBO light heavyweight crown. Karpency dropped to 25-5-1.
Not surprisingly, Stevenson entered the ring to the theme from “Superman,” which is also his nickname.
Stevenson slammed a left to the chin of Karpency at the end of the second round, knocking down the American, who was eventually saved by the bell.
He wasted no time getting back to work in the third, finishing off the challenger just 21 seconds in.
Also on the card, Errol Spence pounded South-African-born welterweight Chris van Heerden en route to an eighth-round technical knockout.
Canadian Donovan “Razor” Ruddock, who is trying to make a boxing comeback at age 51, was given a reality check as he was impressively knocked out by Dillon Carman in the third round of their heavyweight bout.
The former world title contender Ruddock retired in 2001, but returned to the ring earlier this year, winning two straight fights.
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