Jerry Glick reporting: Monsters Collide; no this is not the newest Godzilla movie. It is what they are calling this Saturday night’s IBO/WBA World middleweight title fight between two of the hardest punchers, pound for pound, in all of boxing. Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 27-0 (24 KOs), will make his ninth defense since he was able to drop the word “interim” from his championship against the former “Chin Checker”, Curtis “Show Time” Stevens, 25-3 (18 KOs), at the remodeled Theater at Madison Square Garden on a K2 with Main Events promotion
Looking more fit than ever, the challenger talked to the media at the Midtown Refinery Hotel Roof Lounge some thirteen stories above 38th street in Manhattan. “I’m under 160 pounds,” said Stevens. Gone was the bulk that he had when he fought as a lightheavyweight. In its place a lean and mean body.
While many middleweights are avoiding the much feared Kazakhstan native, living Germany, it was Brooklyn, NY’s Stevens who demanded that he be given the chance to fight Golovkin for the title. Golovkin’s KO ratio is the best in boxing among title holders.
“I feel strong, stronger than when I was a lightheavyweight,” said the relaxed challenger. “I always had good hand speed.” He added that he will be ready for anything that Golovkin brings to the ring, “He may come to fight, or he may have another game plan and come to box, you never know. I have to stick to my game plan. Just stay in there and be relaxed.”
Admitting that it was promoter problems that kept him inactive for two years, he said that he stayed busy running his day care center in Queens, NY. He said it’s a good business because “People will always have babies.”
Being off only added to his drive to “Get back in there,” said Curtis. His training with trainer, and uncle, Andre’ Rozier, has gone well, “A little more cardio, a little more hand speed,” explained Curtis to describe how he prepared for the champion.
Pointing to Golovkin’s fight against Gabriel Rosado, Stevens said the champion has not faced a “big” fighter such as himself. A former 175 pounder, Stevens will be about three inches shorter, but will possess the longer reach by an inch.
Golovkin is the favorite, but Stevens said he will be the spoiler, These are two real bangers, so don’t blink. Each has the power to end it at any point. It’s not who punches harder that matters, it’s who punches hard enough.
Stevens’ trainer and uncle Andre’ Rozier said that Curtis will win because, “He’s Faster, and in my opinion, I think he’s the more powerful of the two fighters. And Curtis has displayed one punch knockout power in eight of eleven one round knockouts.”
Rozier added that his power plus speed will be too much for Golovkin. “I do believe that the sharp shooting Curtis is a more skilled fighter than Golovkin, and I believe that that will win the fight.”
“(Golovkin trainer Able) Sanchez is writing checks Golovkin’s ass can’t cash,” said Stevens. “I’m going to f*ck him up!”
**WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MONSTERS COLLIDE?**
Things happen when two power punchers meet. Back in 1976 former heavyweight champ George Foreman faced another bomber, Ron Lyle, and they took turns decking each other until Big George finally ended it in the fifth frame. It was that year’s Fight of the Year.
Both their fights were short, but sweet; Sonny Liston fought huge Cleveland Williams twice, in 1959 and again in 1960. They both had the reputation that follows knockout artists. Fight one went three and the rematch, two with Sonny boy taking both a few years before he became champ. Each had the power to crush the other but Liston who got there first and better.
When the Hit Man, Tommy Hearns, fought Hands of Stone, Roberto Duran, everyone knew there would be fireworks and that if they bought a ticket they could not complain if it went only a couple of rounds when these two started throwing punches. The taller Hearns crushed Duran in two with a big right on the button. Duran fell face forward at which point his corner jumped into the ring to end the fight.
What will happen Saturday night almost for sure, there will be bombs dropping from both fighters. Who lands better and who can or cannot take the other guy’s power will determine the winner.