A few years ago, Brownsville boxer Curtis Stevens found God, with the help of pound-for-pound ace Andre Ward. But that hasn't presented an impediment for Stevens, a 28-year-old middleweight, when he steps into the ring looking to beat down his foe.
He did just that on Aug. 3 at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, when he delivered a nasty left hook that sent down Saul Roman in Round 1 like he'd been Tased. The ref didn't bother starting a 10 count, as Roman was on his back, in la-la land, on a Main Events card.
That win and his finishing mindset have Stevens believing he's deserving of a crack at another more heralded hitter, Kazhkstan's Gennady Golovkin. The 30-year-old Golovkin (27-0 with 24 KOs) has become an HBO golden boy this year, and word of his pop in both hands has made it hard for promoter K2 to secure fights for him. (An offer is supposedly out for him to fight Martin Murray in November). But Stevens says he wants that test, and wants to give the fans a bout between two men who are show-closers.
"People want to see KOs," the 25-3 (18 KOs) hitter told NYFightblog. "They want to see knockout artists fight each other. He's a power puncher. I'm a power puncher. It just makes sense."
Naysayers are going to note that the 33-year-old Roman is no stranger to being stopped early, as this is the seventh time that has occurred in his 10 loesses. But Stevens counters that argument. He said that it took contender Vanes Martirosyan seven rounds to stop Roman in 2011, and title challenger Gabriel Rosado only beat Roman via split decision, in 2010.
"He's been stopped, but never like that," Stevens told me. "What happened on Saturday, nobody did it like that."
Stevens said he hasn't heard on the grapevine whether Team Golovkin is keen on accepting his challenge: "They might not want it now, not after that."
Stevens said that after his career hit a lull, following losses to Andre Dirrell (in 2007) and Jesse Brinkley (in 2010), he got lifted up by a meeting with Ward, in camp for his May 2011 fight with Arthur Abraham. "Ward showed me different things, and God has been a big part of my life since," Stevens said.
But don't start thinking the Brownsville has been smoothed off this kid.
"Do I worry about wanting to knock your head off? No," he said. "God understands what I'm doing here. He's the one who gave me the talent. You've got to be humble with it. It's war ... but it's nothing personal."
If and when he does get Golovkin to put up his WBA middleweight crown, Stevens said he will stop HBO's pride.
"I'm gonna take him out," Stevens said. "It's my time. My time is now. I'm gonna shine. I'm not saying he doesn't have power, but when I touch them, they react. How is he gonna react? They don't act too good after they get touched.
"I'm from Brownsville, I'm a different-type animal. I'm gonna go in there and take what I want."
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