Mark E. Ortega

Stevens stops Roman in one round on NBC Sports Net

Making up for what was otherwise a long night on NBC Sports Net’s Fight Night, middleweight standout Curtis Stevens scored a YouTube-quality first-round knockout of veteran trial horse Saul Roman in the main event on Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn.

Stevens (25-3, 18 knockouts) and Roman exchanged early on, and it wasn’t long before Stevens hurt Roman. Roman did a good job staying on his feet before going down from a left hook. Roman, of Culiacan, Mexico, took the count to eight and got back on his feet.

Roman (37-10, 31 KOs) did a decent job holding Stevens as he tried regaining his composure, but New Yorker went for it and landed an absolutely devastating left hook that separated the rugged gatekeeper from the consciousness of the Earth for a minute or so.

The knockout resembled something fellow former Brownsville, Brooklyn resident Mike Tyson was an often dispatcher of.

Roman had previously been stopped six times in nine defeats, but only once in the first round. The perpetrator? Jesus Soto Karass in a 2002 bout at welterweight.

Stevens is trying to establish himself as a legitimate contender in the deep middleweight division, and though Roman wasn’t a top contender, the way in which he was dispatched was very impressive. The fight came to an end at 2:26 of the round.

Ring announcer Joe Antonacci announced Stevens as the most explosive middleweight in the world. Fan favorite Gennady Golovkin and the WBA titleholders followers would have something to say about that. One thing is for certain, a Golovkin-Stevens fight would be fireworks for as long as it lasts. You’d have to think based on the way he fights, Stevens would at least be willing to go after Golovkin, with previous opponents being gun shy.

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In the co-featured bout of the broadcast, Tomasz Adamek easily outpointed former prized American prospect Dominick Guinn in a heavyweight crossroads fight. 

Guinn (34-10-1, 23 KOs) got off to a good start in the first before Adamek started picking up the pace. In the third round, Guinn suffered a bad cut outside the right eye following an Adamek headbutt. 

As is usually the case with Guinn, he fell into a tentative offense, letting Adamek dictate the fight. Adamek (49-2, 29 KOs) started working his jab often, which set up combinations on the inside. Guinn was content to put his guard up but rarely counter.

When the Arkansas-born Guinn did let his hands go, he was pretty effective. But this was usually relegated to once a round. Guinn was able to land big left hooks that would get Adamek’s attention, but never tried following it up.

Adamek, a Pole who resides in New Jersey, kept working his rapid fire jab and occasional combinations on the inside. Guinn’s cut also began to swell pretty bad towards the end of the fight, causing the ringside doctor some concern.

In the tenthm, Adamek opened up his offense a bunch more as he tried to become the first to stop Guinn. The always durable Guinn made it the distance without issue.

The scores properly reflected the closeness of the fight, with the judges turning in 99-91 and 98-92 twice as the outcome.

In his first appearance as a cruiserweight, former heavyweight title challenger Eddie Chambers suffered an upset against little known South African Thabiso Mchunu, losing a wide unanimous decision.

Chambers (36-4, 18 KOs), of Philadelphia, looked lackadaisical for much of the fight, never throwing more than one punch at a time. Mchunu got his attention right away, putting together a few powerful combinations.

Mchunu (14-1, 10 KOs) showed impressive defensive skills, avoiding much of Chambers offense and then landing some speedy counters in return. Chambers never was able to work himself into the fight and Mchunu cruised to a victory, winning 99-91 and 97-93 twice on the cards.

Mchunu becomes a new player in the shallow cruiserweight division. It was his first fight outside his native South Africa, and his first against a legitimate contender.

Chambers is only 31, but has fewer options. He didn’t benefit from the weight drop the way he thought he would have. His opponent was the much faster fighter and seemed to have the heavier hands. Perhaps heavyweight is where Chambers belongs, where he can still outbox the plodders and make good money against mid-level contenders.

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