Monday, March 17, 2014
Curtis Stevens staying active
By Dan Rafael
Middleweight banger Curtis Stevens quickly put his one-sided eighth-round knockout to Gennady Golovkin in their world title bout in November behind him.
Stevens returned from that loss quickly as he crushed Patrick Majewski, dropping him three times in 46 seconds for a first-round knockout on Jan. 24.
Less than three months later, Stevens (26-4, 19 KOs) will be back again for his second fight since the loss to Golovkin when he faces Tureano Johnson (14-0, 10 KOs) on April 4 (NBC Sports Net) at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia. It is the co-feature of the heavyweight main event between Steve Cunningham (26-6-0, 12 KOs) and Amir Mansour (20-0-0, 15 KOs).
Stevens, who turned 29 on March 10, is planning for a busy year.
"This is my life and my job,” the New Yorker said. “I like to fight and I don't want to have a break too long. I could get a little bit too relaxed. Hopefully, I can go six times this year."
He was 3-1 with two knockouts in 2013 and kicked off 2014 nicely with the smashing knockout of Majewski.
"I am back to the old Curtis,” he said. “It looks like [Johnson] likes to fight. He likes to stay in the paint, in the dog house and get it on. He looks like a more aggressive Derrick Findley [a 2013 opponent] so this fight I might just stay toe-to-toe."
Johnson, 30, a native of the Bahamas, doesn’t have a lot of experience and has never faced a name opponent, but in his last fight on Feb. 22, he won an eight-round shutout decision against previously undefeated Willie Fortune. The fight with Stevens will be Johnson’s first scheduled 10-rounder. He plans on making a splash.
“On April 4, the world will be introduced to Tureano Johnson. This has been a long, hard road for me filled with blood, sweat and ruthless determination,” he said. “I have been begging for this opportunity to pit my skills against the so-called best in my division. However, it is easier said than done in this world of boxing. No one would fight me until now. I respect Curtis Stevens. He is a strong, hard-punching fighter who has been in with the best. But he can't and won't beat me.”
“I'm sure it is going to be a throwback fight. It has been said that I'm not the most technical fighter out there. Well it's true. I like to mix it up, throw hard punches, and get a little barbaric in the ring. I'm coming to fight, win impressive, and after April 4, I know I will get the fights I deserve."
Also on the card in a six-rounder will be light heavyweight Mike Lee, the Notre Dame graduate who got a big push from Top Rank after turning pro in 2010. Top Rank later released Lee (11-0, 6 KOs), who has not fought since September 2012. Chicago’s Lee will face Michael Sawyer (3-3, 2 KOs) of Culpeper, Va.