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About the Bouts: The Counterpunch

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A recap of some of the most high-profile fights of the weekend.

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Adonis Stevenson's thunderous left hand made it a short night for Chad Dawson. (AP Photo)

Adonis Stevenson's thunderous left hand made it a short night for Chad Dawson. (AP Photo)

One-punch power

It was a long road for Adonis Stevenson from turmoil and despair to redemption.

But his championship moment was short and sweet.

Stevenson (21-1, 18 KOs) landed a huge left hand that crumpled Chad Dawson, taking Dawson's WBC light heavyweight title Saturday night in Montreal with a knockout at 1:16 of the first round.

It was a stunning outcome for the 35-year-old Stevenson, who didn't turn pro until 29 because of a sordid, ugly past that derailed his career before turning his life around.

It was the kind of impressive, star-making performance that forces fans to take notice. Stevenson's ferocious punching power was one of the most intriguing story lines entering the bout and he quickly legitimized that his reputation was well-deserved. He now joins the ranks of the active punching pantheon that includes Lucas Matthysse, Gennady Golovkin and Marcos Maidana, who knocked out Josesito Lopez on Saturday night in a fight-of-the-year candidate.

For Dawson (31-3, 17 KOs), well, it's hard to say where he goes from here. He has now been knocked out in back-to-back fights, and he has lost three of his last six bouts. Over that six-bout span, his biggest win was a majority decision over a then-47-year-old Bernard Hopkins in April 2o12. There's not a lot of compelling evidence for Dawson to continue fighting, but that's never stopped a fighter before.

What's next? Dawson is only 30, but he may be done. That' just how it goes sometimes. Stevenson, even though he is just breaking onto the scene, is late into his career so he needs some serious paydays. He called out some big names in the post-fight interview so it's obvious he's eager to get the ball rolling. Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute are slated to fight in December. Might the winner want a crack at Stevenson? Perhaps, but the question remains: Who in the heck wants to step up and face that kind of power?

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Yuriorkis Gamboa earned yet another workmanlike victory Saturday night, this time against Darleys Perez. (AP Photo)

Yuriorkis Gamboa earned yet another workmanlike victory Saturday night, this time against Darleys Perez.

The undercard: Lightweight Yuriorkis Gamboa did his thing against previously unbeaten Darleys Perez (28-1, 19 KOs), winning a technically proficient yet boring unanimous decision. Gamboa (23-0, 16 KOs) is talented, strong, has blazingly fast hands but is utterly uncompelling. You know exactly what you are going to see every time he fights. At 31, he kind of is what he is at this point in his career, even though, stylistically, he doesn't have a true identity. Adrien Broner looms on the horizon and that might be the one opportunity where a fighter of immense talent might be able to pull out the best from Gamboa.

The last words: "You know why? Why people don't want to fight me now? You understand now? You know why [Mikkel] Kessler, Carl Froch don't want to fight me?" -- new WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson. Yeah, Adonis, I think we get it now.

Other boxing content on Yahoo! Sports:
Chad Dawson calls loss to Andre Ward an “HBO set-up,” but Dawson sought the fight
Kery Davis drops a bombshell and resigns from HBO Sports
Erislandy Lara wins after Alfredo Angulo quits in 10th

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