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Kovalev vs. Campillo

Stevens stops Ayala in opening round; Kovalev defeats Campillo

Fighting at 160 pounds for just the second time since returning to professional boxing in March, Stevens (23-3, 17 KOs) made an emphatic statement in the nationally-televised co-feature of NBC Sports’ Fight Night series Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Casino, stopping Elvin Ayala 1 minute, 10 seconds into the opening round of a scheduled 10-round bout to claim the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) middleweight title. The event, co-promoted by Main Events and Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports, aired live on the NBC Sports Network.

Stevens, a hard-hitting Brooklyn native who fought most of his career at super middleweight and light heavyweight, dropped Ayala with a hard left hook to the temple in the opening minute.

“I came out jabbing early on – jab, jab, jab,” Stevens said. “At one point, I saw him overcommit. He was trying to set me up. So I ‘stayed in the bucket,’ as my coach put it, and when he threw that right, I found my opening.”

Ayala appeared wobbly as he rose to his feet, but continued to fight. Continue reading