Stevenson (26-1, 21 KOs) dropped Bika twice, once in the sixth round and again in the ninth, on his way to a unanimous decision victory.
The judges scored the fight 115-111, 116-110, and 115-110.
Bika was a game competitor throughout the encounter despite Stevenson being almost always in control and dictating the action from the opening bell. He took numerous big straight lefts and uppercuts for the 12 rounds but keep pressing forward and coming back for more.
“I got caught with a right and slipped the first time I went down,” Bika said after the fight. “When he caught me with the left and I went down later on it didn’t really affect me that much actually. He’s the champ though and he fought a great fight today.”
Stevenson came out tentative in the first round, measuring and observing. But after establishing his jab and his distance in the second round, the champ’s speed, six-inch reach advantage, and accuracy were too much for Bika to overcome.
“[Bika is] a tough fighter. He has never been knocked out. I dropped him but he still came. He’s a tough contender,” Stevenson said after the bout. “I won the fight. I know Sakio Bika’s tough, but I prepared for 12 rounds.”
Stevenson fought a smart, patient, and controlled fight– relying heavily on his jab and not allowing himself to be drawn him into a brawl by the tough veteran.
CompuBox had Stevenson landing 229 punches of the 635 thrown; Bika landed 113 of 390.
With the win Stevenson extends his winning streak to 13 straight victories. The 37-year-old Haitian was last in action pummeling Dmitry Sukhotsky with a fifth-round knockout in December 2014. Prior to the Sukhotsky fight, Stevenson had outpointed Andrzej Fonfara and kayo’ed Brit Tony Bellow.
Bika (32-7-3, 21 KOs) of Cameroon was coming off back-to-back fights against rival Anthony Dirrell. The two fought to a draw in their first encounter; Dirrell took the August 2014 rematch by decision.
Bika, 35 years old, had campaigned exclusively in the super middleweight division; Saturday was the Cameroonian’s first foray into the 175-pound light middleweight division. He has had notable encounters against top-level opponents Markus Beyer, Joe Calzaghe, Lucian Bute, and Andre Ward.
Next for Stevenson? Fans hope to see the knockout artist step up his opposition and tackle Jean Pascal or, even more tempting to observers, a showdown with the ever-dangerous Sergey Kovalev. But for now, Adonis Stevenson and his team can celebrate putting together great show for a network television audience.
“As far as what’s next, I’ll wait and see what Al (Haymon) has for me,” Stevenson said. “I’ll be ready to go again by June or July.”
In the co-feature fight, Arthur Beterbiev stopped Gabriel Campillo with a vicious fourth-round TKO.
Adonis Stevenson vs Sakio Bika (scores are unofficial)
Refresh this page throughout the fight for round-by-round updates.
Round 1: Here we go! The two meet in the middle, Stevenson from a southpaw stance. Jab from Stevenson. Bika watching. Bika pumping the jab. They tie up. Break, Stevenson eats an elbow. Pace picking up. Nothing meaningful lands Feeling out round. Bika 10-9
Round 2: The two meet in the middle again, pumping the jab, measuring the distance. Big right Stevenson. Bika misses right hand. Stevenson jabs. Jabs again. Right from Stevenson. Another right. Stevenson finding his distance. 19-19
Round 3: Stevenson working the jab. Left uppercut. Stevenson in control. Left from Stevenson. Bika with a jab, Stevenson answers with shots to the body and then head. Stevenson in corner, they clinch. Minute left in round. Bika big right hand. Bika wonky but ends the round 29-28 Stevenson
Round 4: Stevenson jabbing. Bika eats an uppercut. Left had hurt Bika. Bika gets countered after landing right hand. They clinch…and break. Right hand from Bika misses. Tempo of the fight going down. Stevenson 39-37
Round 5: Stevenson jab jab jabbing and looking good. Left hand Stevenson, hurts Bika. Bika falls…..ruled a slip. Looks wobbly. Huge left Stevenson, he’s overwhelming Bika. Stevenson keeps following. On the hunt. Big left at end of the round from Stevenson. 49-46 Stevenson.
Round 6: They meet in the middle, vying. Combo from Stevenson. 1-2 from Stevenson. Bika moving forward. Left hand from Stevenson KNOCKS DOWN Bika. Bika looks ok. Left from Stevenson. Another left. 59-54 Stevenson (replay looks like a slip, not a knockdown)
Round 7: Stevenson jabs, then to the body. Left hand land for Bika as he presses forward. Minute into the round. Left hand, Stevenson. Bika eats a combination, but looks ok. They clinch, and break. Left Stevenson. Big right by Bika. End of round. Still a Stevenson round. 69-63 Stevenson
Round 8: Bika comes out looking sprite, but they clinch. Stevenson jabbing. Two rights from Bika land nicely. Left from Stevenson. Stevenson jabs. Bika closing in more, getting inside more and looking good. Better round for Bika. 78-73 Stevenson
Round 9: Stevenson on hunt at the start of the installment, lands a hard combo. Working the body. Left from Stevenson. And another huge right….KNOCKS DOWN Bika. Bika survives the round. 88-81 Stevenson.
Round 10: Bika looks ok, but not great. Tough dude, though. Stevenson continues jabbing and landing left hands. Has Bika on the ropes. Stevenson works the body. Nice stiff jab from Stevenson. His range is too much for Bika. Now a nice jab from Bika. Big left from Adonis, but Bika takes it. Stevenson in control, though Bika still game. 98-90 Stevenson
Round 11: Stevenson still working that jab, looking to win on points at this time? Stevenson hunting Bika, pumping the jab. Big left from Adonis. More jabbing Adonis. Big left, then right from Bika. Where have you been all night, Bika? Left hand uppercut from Adonis at the end of the round. Better round for Bika, but still: 108-99 Stevenson
Round 12: Ok, final round. More of the same from Adonis as he works the jab. Bika throws to the head and body. And they clinch. Back at it. Adonis jabs. Big right from Bika. Stevenson takes it. Left Adonis. Only have a round left. Bam, Adonis eats a big right. Careful, champ. They clinch. And……fight is over. Too late Bika. Final: 117-109