Two knockdowns were scored by Stevenson although after investigation only one appeared legitimate. Replays showed that Bika lost his footing and tumbled to the floor without taking a punch in the sixth, but there could be no disputing the bombs that decked the former super-middleweight boss in the ninth.
Bika – typically crude, ragged and awkward – had some success when he crowded Stevenson in the middle rounds, and he showed ambition down the stretch. But ultimately, like in losses to Joe Calzaghe, Andre Ward, and Lucian Bute, he could not bridge the skill gap.
Stevenson deserved his win, that came via scores of 116-110, 115-110, and 115-111.
Fans hope that Sergey Kovalev comes next for Stevenson, but there was no mention of the Russian destroyer afterwards.