Adonis Stevenson Gets — What Else? — A Brutal KO

Thomas Williams, Jr. gave light heavyweight champ Adonis Stevenson several of his toughest rounds in forever. But in the end on Spike Friday, Stevenson turned out the lights, spectacularly, as is his wont.

It didn’t look like it would necessary last very long after Stevenson scored a knockdown in the 1st with his trademark left hand. But Williams has a habit of surging back after getting in trouble.

And in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, well, Williams gave as good as he got. He made an adjustment, walking forward with his gloves up and making Stevenson back away, a posture he’s rarely in. He might’ve wobbled Stevenson slightly at the end of the 2nd, but either way, we now had a fight on our hands.

The 3rd round got a bit messier for Williams, though. Stevenson landed a head butt that affected Williams. He’d later land another head butt and low blow. That helped turn the tide back, but the other thing was that Stevenson reacted to Williams changing the distance by hammering Williams to the body. For a fighter thought of as one-dimensional, it was nice to see he had extra moves.

When the end came, it was because Williams wound up to throw a left and Stevenson threw his faster, shorter and crisper. Williams landed face first, looking like he was out entirely. He said to his corner, “My fault.” Somehow he made an effort to rise, but didn’t manage.

Williams put up a bold effort, but the problem was, as we forecasted earlier this week, that he was the lesser of two sloppy, power-punching southpaws.

The PBC broadcasters were talking up a Canadian showdown for Stevenson with Eleider Alvarez, which, after his showing on the undercard, wouldn’t thrill much of anyone. Stevenson keeps talking up how he wants to face Sergey Kovalev (or, this time, the winner of Stevenson-Andre Ward) but he keeps not doing it, and promotional differences mean we’ll see the champ at 175 keep fighting lesser opponents. It’s too bad. At least for Friday night, it was a little fun.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.