Middleweight puncher Curtis “Showtime” Stevens, of Brownsville, Brooklyn, is 4-0 with three first-round knockouts since dropping a unanimous decision to super middleweight Jesse Brinkley in January of 2010. Two of Stevens’ comeback victories took place in New York.
Kazakhstan-born Gennady Golovkin has earned 14 straight knockouts, a run that includes stoppages of Grzegorz Proksa and Gabriel Rosado in the fifth- and seventh-rounds respectively last September and in January at the Turning Stone in Verona, N.Y. and at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
WBO titleholder Peter Quillin, a Chicago-born Brooklyn resident, has scored a combined 10 knockdowns over the course of his past two victories at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Given the New York-based success and popularity of the three middleweight power hitters, why not feature Stevens against one of the two beltholders at Barclays or Madison Square Garden?
“They both sound great, but somebody has to make an offer for either of those to happen,” Kathy Duva of Main Events, who promotes Stevens, told RingTV.com. “Those fights make all the sense in the world but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen.”
Quillin has also knocked out Jesse Brinkley and Craig McEwen in the third and sixth rounds, respectively, and scored a fifth-round knockdown during a decision victory over former 154-pound titleholder Ronald “Winky” Wright last June.
But it was during an interview 10 days prior to Saturday night’s first-round stoppage of 160-pound gatekeeper Saul Roman that Stevens (25-3, 18 KOs) called out Golovkin (27-0, 24 KOs), targeting him over Quillin, RING and WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and IBF beltlholder Daniel Geale.
Stevens’ words caught the attention of Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, of K2 Promotions, who said that Stevens “might get his wish.” Loeffler reiterated his thoughts on a Golovkin-Stevens clash after Steven’s triumph.
“After all of the talk this past weekend, we haven’t gotten any phone calls or any offers from anyone, so I’m not so sure that the other side is as willing to fight Curtis as he is to fight them,” said Duva of Stevens, whose last loss was to Brinkley by unanimous decision in January of 2010.
“Curtis couldn’t have looked better, that’s for darned sure, but at this point, all that I can tell you is that we have not heard from anyone. So who knows?” said Duva. “We’re going to accept whatever offers come in, and if they do, then we’ll see. If they don’t, then he’ll be back on NBC, no problem.”
Stevens twice dropped Roman to the canvas with perfect left hooks, the last of which left him lying senseless on his back at the 2:26 mark.
“I think that the fans just love it. People come because they love to see people get knocked out. I believe that that last knockout, with him laying on his back the way that he was, everyone just loved that,” said Stevens.
“The knockout came the way that I wanted it to come, but at the same time, I got a little sloppy because I wanted to take him out. Overall, I thought that it was good. It was a great performance.”
Golovkin is coming off of his 14th-straight knockout in June against Matthew Macklin, who floored Martinez in the seventh of an eventual 11th-round stoppage loss in March of last year.
Prior to Macklin, Golovkin had scored successive knockouts over Proksa, Rosado and Nobuhiro Ishida, the latter in the third round in March. Golovkin’s accomplishments motivated Stevens for Roman and his 10th career first-round KO.
“For Golovkin, I didn’t really see too many other things that I need to work on. I believe that I got a little sloppy and a little reckless but I would probably just need to start off a little bit faster,” said Stevens.
“I hit too hard to be in there and play around with these guys. I could have been the first to punch, but I was a little slow on that. I’m going to go back to the tape and see what I can improve on.”
Stevens rebounded from the loss to Brinkley with a first-round stoppage of Romaro Johnson in March of 2012 before coming up with January’s 70-second knockout of Elvin Ayala. In April, Stevens earned an eight-round unanimous decision over Derrick Findley.
“I’m a one-punch knockout guy. I have that type of power. One punch can put you out. I don’t need to wear you down. I can touch you just one time, and it can be lights out. But at the same time, every fight, you’re not generally going to get a knockout,” said Stevens.
“Some fights will go the full distance. It depends on who you’re fighting and what type of style they have. I can box also, as I showed in the Findley fight. But, yes, I have one-punch knockout power. But am I a first-round KO artist? Each fight is different. I can’t knock everyone out.”
Photos by Rich Graessle, Main Events
Photo by Valery Hache-AFP
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org