Adonis Stevenson had something to prove this past Saturday night, and that something was his worth as a light heavyweight champion. He proved his worth in dominating fashion, while having some fun at the same time.
Stevenson stopped Cloud when Cloud's corner stopped the bout immediately following round seven. By that point, Stevenson had not only drawn blood from Cloud, not only outboxed him, but had embarrassed him. Using a combination of his big left hand and some on and off body work, Stevenson did not lose a round while handing Cloud a defeat that could be compared to Cloud's loss to Bernard Hopkins, albeit with a bit more flash than the bout with Hopkins.
With the win, Stevenson successfully defended his WBC light heavyweight title and is now is in a position where it seems impossible that he won't have a title bout with Hopkins or Sergey Kovalev next year in an attempt to unify the light heavyweight title. Hopkins is currently slated to defend his IBF light heavyweight belt against Karo Murat on October 26 while Kovalev recently TKO'd Nathan Cleverly while defending the WBO light heavyweight title.
Stevenson added some charisma and swagger to his win over Cloud, taunting his opponent at various moments during the bout.
The first instance came in round two when Stevenson did his version of the Ali Shuffle early in the round. Through the rest of the bout, it was Stevenson who would lean his head in now and then or let his arms down on purpose, daring Cloud to hit him. This was among other bits of taunting and bravado that Stevenson laid on Cloud. The only time Cloud clearly showed that Stevenson was getting to him was in round five when things got chippy during a clinch, both men throwing punches against referee Michael Griffin's instructions.
Stevenson set the tone for the bout right away, landing a big left early in the opening round. The punch in question hit cloud in the left eye, cutting him. Though the cut wouldn't be a dominant factor in the fight's outcome, Stevenson's left would continue to land both to Cloud's face and his body.
Another way Stevenson kept Cloud off balance was to go back and forth from working his jab to working Cloud's body. The fact that Cloud wasn't landing anything of significance made it even harder for him to have a chance since he had to go even more on the defensive due to Stevenson changing up what he was focusing his punches on.
The end almost seemed near in round six when another big left by Stevenson sent Cloud into the ropes, and the round turned into a rout. This coming after Cloud finished round five strong.
Round seven was the end. Two big lefts landed by Stevenson in the round were likely what convinced Cloud's corner that the bout should be stopped. Stevenson landed one big left and then another less than 30 seconds later. The cumulative damage of these two shots was that they cut Cloud badly above his right eye; the immediate damage was Cloud getting sent into the ropes by the first shot and then being staggered by the second.
At the end of round seven, even before Cloud got back to his corner, the fight was being called off by those in his corner.
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