By Derek Bonnett
The Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York, just a stone throw away from the International Boxing Hall of Fame, played host to the HBO broadcast of David Lemieux’s showdown with fellow puncher Curtis Stevens on a bout that capture the imagination of fans since the contracts were signed. The scheduled twelve round middleweight bout did not disappoint and came nowhere near the scheduled distance and proved the perfect remedy for the fugue state imposed upon fans during the ten round match-up between Yuriorkis Gamboa and Rene Alvarado.
Lemieux and Stevens left nothing to the imagination as the two began exchanging hooks from the opening bell. Each man landed effectively over the first frame and had his footing re-adjusted courtesy of the other’s hooks in the early goings of the round. Lemieux appeared the sharper of the two in spite of sporting an almost fleshy mid-section while Stevens came in with his typically chiseled physique. It was an obvious talking point, but observers of the Sweet Science known that a waist line is not an accurate indicator of cardiovascular prowess. Lemieux did not tire under his typically high punch rate nor from the thunder laid upon him from Stevens. Over the first six minutes, boxing fans observed a contest well disputed by two top twenty middleweights, but Lemieux’s pedigree was more obvious as he landed better in combination and showed greater timing with his hooks. Stevens did have his moments in round two and certainly wobbled Lemieux with an overhand right. The bout came to an end at 1:59 of round three after Lemieux partially landed with a right cross to set up a massive left hook to the chin of Stevens. Stevens, aptly chin-checked, went to sleep, prompting a waiving of a count. Stevens remained prostrate on the canvas, motionless for about a round’s time.
Lemieux upped his record to 37-3-0 (33) and provided some stern competition for KO of the Year. HBO commentator Max Kellerman praised Lemieux work as one of the scariest KOs he had observed. Stevens crashed to 29-6-0 (21).
In the opening bout, Yuriorkis Gamboa won a less than scintillating ten round unanimous decision over Nicaragua’s Rene Alvarado. Gamboa controlled the action for most of the ten rounds using greater speed and athleticism to overwhelm and elude Alvarado. However, the action was far from impressive from either man and the Cuban boxer’s stock certainly did not rise in the realm of bigger fight propositions. As fans have become accustomed to seeing, Gamboa was dropped in the final round once he himself lost interest in the bout. The lapse in focus did not shift any real change in momentum as Alvarado did little to capitalize on the knockdown.
Gamboa prevailed by scores of 97-93 and 97-92 twice. The inactive Cuban star lifted his dossier to 26-1-0 (17). Alvarado fell to 24-8-0 (16).