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Stevenson stops Cloud to retain WBC title

MONTREAL – Adonis Stevenson retained the WBC light heavyweight title Saturday night at the Bell Centre when Tavoris Cloud failed to answer the bell for the eighth round after sustaining a cut over his right eye.

Stevenson (22-1) successfully defended the title he won in June with a first-round knockout of Chad Dawson.

Cloud (24-2), the former IBF champion, also was cut on the left eyelid in the opening round.

Stevenson, from Blainville, Quebec, is the only Canadian with a world title. He stung Cloud with a stiff left in the opening round that left the cut and swelling on his eyelid.

Cloud rebounded in the second, but the right-hander rarely used his right hand. That drew taunting from Stevenson, who twice stood before his opponent with his arms stretched out, daring him to throw a punch.

“I’m proud, because I worked hard and I showed I can box,” Stevenson said. “I did everything according to my game plan.

“My corner said to go to the body. I knew the longer it went on it would be in my favor because I was wearing him down.”

Stevenson’s next fight is to be a mandatory defense against England’s Tony Bellew, likely early next year.

“I’m not 5-foot-10 like Cloud and I’m not scared or intimidated by Adonis Stevenson,” said the 6-3 Bellew. “I’ll come with a game plan and execute it.”

On the undercard, former champion Jean Pascal stopped George Blades with three knockdowns in the fifth round in a light heavyweight fight. Pascal (28-2-1) used the fight as a tuneup bout for his scheduled match in January with fellow Montreal fighter Lucian Bute. Blades is 23-5-2.

“This does me an enormous amount of good,” Pascal said after his first knockout since 2009. “I’m a guy with power, but it had been a long time since I knocked anyone out. Now, I’ll go into camp with more confidence.” In a matchup of Colombian light heavyweights, Eleider Alvarez unanimously outpointed Edison Miranda in a 10-round bout to improve to 13-0. Alvarez had winning scores of 99-90, 97-92 and 95-94.

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