Lasting longer than most people expected, tough talking Brownsville Brooklyn native Curtis “Showtime” Stevens (25-4, 18 KO’s) would give a decent account of himself this past Saturday night. This in what amounted to a title bid against Kazakhstan’s heavy handed and still undefeated middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (28-0, 25 KO’s) inside the Theater at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
Miraculously rising off the canvass after being separated from reality in round 2 the result of a Golovkin left hook, Stevens once returning from orbit would in ensuing rounds cause the WBA World and IBO titlist to suck wind during portions of the fight. If from nothing else this was commendably due to the fact that Curtis would last 5 rounds more than each of Gennady’s previous two opponents.
And for what it’s worth, “Showtime,” who via bravado initially talked his way into the HBO telecast showdown, he would expose Golovkin as less than a defensive prodigy, landing hard in many a spot only to reveal “GGG” besides packing a punch has excellent whiskers.
Speaking of excellent, I would rate the stiff jab of the much lengthier Kazakh fighter as nearly that, a controlling factor which set up pummeling combinations against the compactly built Stevens, as well as prevented the challenger from getting off, especially as the bout progressed.
All told Golovkin would prove to be the superior fighter, repeatedly cracking the challenger to the body in the late going which no doubt ushered in the decision by the Stevens corner to call it a day after eight complete.
Post fight Gennady, who destined for stardom in the eyes of many, would get backed into a corner by HBO commentator Max Kellerman who questioned him as to who he’d like to fight next. The names uttered from the lips of the scarcely proficient English Speaker were that of Sergio Martinez and Peter Quillin.
Over Quillin “GGG” seem’s to have an edge, while if the slick, hard hitting, and quick fisted Argentinian Martinez can find his stride, he may be the man to cause Gennady fits. Time will tell.
Perez better than Abdusalamov
With the heart of a lion, a beat swollen but competitive Russian born Magomed Abdusalomov (18-1, 18 KO’s) who kayoed everyone he faced coming in would after ten rounds of boxing suffer his first professional defeat to the more technically skilled Cuban heavyweight now residing in Ireland, “Irish” Mike Perez (20-0, 12 KO’s). This via unanimous decision verdict with the final tallies rendered at 97-92 twice, and 95-94.
In a hail of punches to open a seldom seen bout between two undefeated heavyweight southpaws, things didn’t look like they’d last, as Perez put it on his much slower opponent. But slowing himself in the following rounds, Mike Perez, who would on occasion be on the receiving end, was simply the better man, using his higher level of skill to mainly avoid turmoil, while landing crunching shots throughout to pile up the points.
An entertaining bout for certain, it was somewhat riveting as well by way of Abdusalamov swinging for the much needed home run hit up until the final bell, weathering many a storm along the way.
But that crucial blow never came against a man who direct from “The Farm,” a boxing breeding ground if not sanctuary for those destined to become Cuba’s best boxers, was simply in command in by far the majority of the rounds.