Curtis Stevens:”I Have Nothing to be Ashamed Of” (FULL REPORT)
Jerry Glick reporting from ringside: Gennady Golovkin, 159.6, stopped Brooklyn’s Curtis Stevens, 159.2, at the end of the eighth frame after dishing out a brutal beating as the eighth came to a close. Stevens never stopped trying. He brought out cheers from his fans among the 4618 people who paid to watch this championship fight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on a K2/Main Events show that was televised on HBO.
Stevens, 25-4 (18 KOs), mostly counterpunched, with many landing. A left hook from Golovkin, 28-0 (25 KOs), from Kara Ganda, Kazakhistan, to the head dropped Stevens heavily in the second. Stevens was wobbly when he got up but it near the end of the round and he was able cover up until the bell rang finishing it in his own corner. Golovkin targeted the body, tossing quick combinations to the head then whipping over a left hook to the Challenger’s side.
After getting up from the knockdown it took Curtis a round to completely revive from the punch that put him down, but he did and fought back bravely until the punches accumulated and he suffered a bloody nose. He was stopped after the eighth when trainer Andre’ Rozier told referee Harvey Dock to end the fight.
After the fight ended Golovkin said that he was prepared to face any middleweight in the world including Sergio Martinez.
For Stevens it was a bitter defeat, but he knew that he performed well and said, “I have nothing to be ashamed of, I’m better than what I have been given credit for. I showed more in losing than most people show in a win. This is not the end for me. I will learn from my mistakes and I will be back.”
In grueling ten Magomed Abdusalamov 231.6, suffered damage on both sides of his face; a bloody mouth, a cut over the left eye courtesy of Mike Perez, 235, who won a unanimous decision and the vacant WBC USNBC heavyweight belt.
Perez started off with a left that momentarily stunned Abdusalamov who recovered quickly. Perez remained cautious even when he had hi mas hurt. These are two big bangers and both displayed respect for the other. In the fourth round Abdusalamov landed some uppercuts, but it was the stocky Perez who was the busier fighter to take the round. By the end of the ten rounds Abdusalamov’s face was a swollen mess, but Perez suffered only minor swelling around the eyes.
Abdusalamov, 18-1 (18 KOs), who lives in Hallandale, Florida, USA, and born in Russia, landed some hard uppercuts early but could not finish the tough Perez, 20-0 (12 KOs), who lost a point for low blows in the ninth frame. Perez, a Cuban living in Cork, Ireland, dominated the last half of the fight to catch the Judges eye with scores of 97-92 twice, and 95-94. Benji Estevez refereed.
At the press conference a few days before their fight for the vacant IBO Cruiserweight Championship, Ola Afolabi, 194, and Lukasz Janik, 197.8, laughed when Afolabi decided to hug Janik during their face-off. With few well placed shots during the twelve rounds of mostly sloppy boxing, the hugging seemed to be more exciting than the fight itself.
That is not to say that they each didn’t have their moments. Janik was cut over the left eye in the sixth stanza and over right eye in round ten but his corner did a good job of containing the bleeding. Afolabi appeared to be setting the pace, and Janik did a lot of lunging in trying to either land something or clinch; he was ineffective with that tactic and it added to the sloppiness of the fight.
Afolabi, from London, England, now residing in Los Angeles, CA won the belt with a majority decision of the Judges as follows; 114-114, even, and 117-111, and 115-113 for Ola who improved to 20-3-4 (9 KOs), while Janik, from Jelenia Gora, Poland, fell to 26-2 (14 KOs). Earl Brown refereed.
Tall, lanky Dusty Hernandez Harrison, 146.4, remained undefeated at 18-0(10 KOs), when he outfought rugged Josh Torres, 145.6, from Albuquerque, NM, over ten hotly contested frames for the vacant WBC Youth World title. In most rounds Torres tried to put pressure on Harrison, 17-0 (9 KOs), but the cleaner, faster, punches from Harrison, which at times seemed to hurt Torres, 12-3-1 (5 KOs), earned the Washington, DC resident the decision and the title with scores of 100-90, and 98-92 twice. Torres’ wide punching appeared to only land effectively in the fourth, otherwise he missed many of his punches. Gary Rosado refereed.
Joel Diaz Jr., 132.3, dominated Bryne Green, 131, for six rounds, decking him in rounds three with a left hook to the body, and a left hook/right combination to the head in the fifth frame. All three Judges had Diaz ahead, 60-52. Diaz, from Palmdale, CA, is now 13-0 (11 KOs), and Green, who resides in Vineland, NJ, goes even at 7-7-1 (3 KOs). Rosado refereed.
Isa Akberbayev, 192.6, and Brian Clookey, 189, traded mostly wide shots, few landed, but it was the eventual loser, Clookey, who twice stunned Akberbayev, once each in rounds two and four. The Judges agreed 40-36 for Akberbayev, but the fight seemed much closer than that. Clookey’s left eye was cut in the fourth and last round. Rosado refereed.