ATLANTA -- Shakur Stevenson has heard all the criticism loud and clear: Not entertaining enough; not aggressive enough; not mean enough.
So, Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs), 24, peeked his head through the ropes at perhaps his loudest skeptic, former champion Timothy Bradley Jr., with the knowledge the narrative can now be laid to rest for good.
In a star-making performance, Stevenson finally displayed the kind of violence boxing fans were dying to see from the ultra-talented boxer. He came through with a two-fisted beating of Jamel Herring (23-3, 11 KOs), 35, to capture the WBO 130-pound championship via 10th-round TKO on Saturday at State Farm Arena in an utterly one-sided victory.
Zayas demolishes Karpency for TKO win
Junior middleweight Xander Zayas, on the heels of an uninspired win last month, remained unbeaten with a fourth-round TKO of Dan Karpency in the ESPN co-feature.
Karpency, the brother of former title challenger Tommy Karpency, didn't come out for the start of Round 5 of a fight he never was remotely competitive in.
Zayas (11-0, 8 KOs) laid a two-fisted beating on Karpency from the opening bell in an utter mismatch meant to showcase the 19-year-old's skills. Zayas is already a prolific offensive fighter able to string together combinations while changing levels to the body and head. The Puerto Rican fighter was ranked No. 19 on ESPN's list of the top 25 boxers under 25.
He could return Dec. 11 in New York on his way to what he hopes are prospect of the year honors.
"I stopped a guy who was never stopped in eight years," Zayas said. "I just want to keep improving."
Karpency (9-4-1, 4 KOs), a 30-year-old from Pennsylvania, has now lost two fights in a row.
Ali Walsh dominates, stops Westley in Round 3
After Nico Ali Walsh scores another knockdown, James Westley's corner throws in towel in the third round.
Nico Ali Walsh, the grandson of Muhammad Ali, scored a third-round stoppage of James Westley II in his second pro fight.
Ali Walsh (2-0, 2 KOs) dropped Westley with a stiff right hand in the second round and then scored another knockdown in the third round. Westley beat the count again, but his corner came to the apron to stop the fight.
Ali Walsh, 21, from Las Vegas, made his pro debut in August with a first-round KO; and after an abbreviated amateur career, he is learning on the job. He outlanded Westley 42-20, per CompuBox.
"I know the crowd got excited seeing him land a punch, but I did not feel the punch," Ali Walsh said after the fight. "Maybe it was my energy, my adrenaline, but my hat's off to him and his team.
"I'm blessed that I'm following the legacy of my grandfather ... I love this legacy that I'm continuing."
Westley (1-1, 0 KOs), a 36-year-old from Toledo, Ohio, also was fighting for the second time as a pro.
Holyfield stops Stanford in Round 2 to stay unbeaten
Evan Holyfield, son of legendary boxer Evander, wins his fight in Round 2 via knockout in incredible fashion.
Evan Holyfield, the son of former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, scored his biggest win yet with a highlight-reel KO of Charles Stanford in Round 2.
Holyfield (8-0, 5 KOs), of Atlanta, Georgia, connected flush with a left hook followed by a right cross that sprawled Stanford flat on the canvas, where he lay for a few minutes before finally making it to his feet. The ref reached the count of 10 at 30 seconds of the second round.
Stanford (6-4, 3 KOs) of Cincinnati had Holyfield pressed on the ropes and let his hands go wildly but missed with his shots, and instead, left himself wide open for the counterpunching opportunity.
"I'm very proud," the elder Holyfield said of his son, who celebrated his 24th birthday on Saturday. "I know that he's good but ... it's a beautiful thing every time."
Isley overwhelms Navarro in first-round victory
In his first pro bout since representing the United States at the Olympics in Tokyo, Troy Isley scored a first-round KO of Nichols Navarro in a middleweight bout.
Isley (3-0, 2 KOs) overwhelmed his overmatched opponent with a barrage of punches from the opening bell. Navarro (2-2, 2 KOs) showed little interest in the punishment and turned his back on Isley, who continued to dole out a beating. Finally, Navarro, a 37-year-old from Denver, fell in a heap as the referee immediately waved it off at 2:48.
Isley, a 23-year-old from Alexandria, Virginia, won one fight at the Olympics before he was eliminated in the round of 16.
Palmer upsets Livsey in split decision win
Eric Palmer, a boxer with a losing record, handed hometown favorite Roddricus Livsey his first professional loss.
One judge scored the bout for Livsey, 59-55, which was overruled by two tallies of 58-56 in favor of Palmer.
Palmer (13-14-5, 1 KO) pressured Livsey and was able to time him with overhand rights. The 30-year-old from Pennsylvania was coming off a first-round TKO loss in August.
Livsey (8-1-1, 5 KOs), 38, was fighting for the fourth time this year.
Brady outpointed Negrete for decision win
Haven Brady Jr., was tested in his fourth pro fight and ate plenty of clean right hands from Roberto Negrete; but somehow, all judges scored the fight a shutout for Brady (40-36).
The 19-year-old featherweight from Georgia sought to outbox Negrete (3-1, 1 KO) from the outside while the Corpus Christi, Texas, native applied nonstop pressure. While Brady (4-0, 3 KOs) was effective with his jab, Negrete, 22, seemed to land the cleaner, harder shots.
Cobb scores KO of the year candidate against Campbell
Antoine Cobb has the Top Rank announcers excited as he sends opponent Jerrion Campbell into the ropes with just one punch.
Antoine Cobb made his pro debut in sensational fashion with a brutal first-round knockout of Jerrion Campbell.
Cobb, 25, of Chicago, Illinois, unleashed an overhand right that sent his foe to the canvas sprawled out with his head resting on the bottom rope. Time of the stoppage was 58 seconds.
Campbell (2-2, 0 KOs) was stopped for the first time as a professional. The 29-year-old native of Germany has lost two in a row.
Mederos wins, doesn't shine
Harley Mederos defeated Deljerro Revello via unanimous decision over four rounds to kick off the Herring-Stevenson undercard.
All three judges scored the fight a shutout, 40-35. The lightweight prospect scored a first-round knockdown but otherwise failed to impress in his second pro fight. Mederos, 21, from Brooklyn, New York, recklessly head-hunted during the bout but surely gained valuable experience.
Mederos (2-0, 1 KO) scored a first-round TKO in his pro debut in August. This fight was expected to be quick work, as well, but Mederos seemed to make little adjustments when it was clear he wasn't going to score the KO.
Revello (0-2), a 25-year-old from Colorado, was knocked out in his pro debut in July.