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Lemieux Brutally Finishes Stevens With A Single Shot


Lemieux Brutally Finishes Stevens With A Single Shot
By: Sean Crose

New York’s Turning Stone Casino hosted HBOs Boxing After Dark on Saturday, featuring a bout between middleweights (and GGG victims) David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens. First, though, was a ten round lightweight fight between once promising – now essentially part time -slugger Yuriorkis Gamboa (25-1) and Rene Alvarado (24-7). Keeping his distance throughout the first, Alvarado essentially ceded the round to Gamboa.

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Round two showed Gamboa to simply be the more seasoned fighter. Sadly, there wasn’t much more to say regarding the first half of the fight other than the fact that Gamboa was dominant. It was a rather stagnant affair.

And it continued to be so throughout. Sure, Gamboa hit the mat in the 10th, but he got right back up. In fact, some things just can’t be sugar coated. The fight was horrible. How horrible? I actually felt bad for HBOs broadcast team. Criticize Lampley, Jones and Kellerman all you want, they had to WORK to come up with things to say for those ten rounds. Needless to say, Gamboa walked away with a unanimous decision win.

After a nice ten bell tribute to the recently deceased Lou Duva, it was time for the main event. Lemieux (36-3) came out jabbing in the first while Stevens (29-5) looked to counter smartly. By round’s end, it was bombs away. Stevens landed hard. Lemieux even harder. Stevens held up, though. Would Lemieux gas? The Canadian began the second like he wasn’t worried about it, slugging away at the Brooklyn native. Stevens, however, took the shots and effectively went to the body.

By the third, Stevens was confident enough to lower his stance. It was a brutal mistake. Stevens was knocked completely unconscious seconds later. It was scary to see. The man was thoroughly asleep on the canvas. Minutes later, he was still on the canvas, completely unconscious. It wasn’t until he was placed on a stretcher that Stevens seemed to be regaining cognizance. It was a disturbing sight. Boxing can be a disturbing sport, but such things never cease to be jarring.

“I told you what I was going to do tonight,” Lemieux said afterwards. “And I did it.”

Indeed.

Talk soon went around to Canelo Alvarez, Billy Joe Saunders, and, yes, GGG (again) as future Lemieux opponents. Still, Max Kellerman wrapped up the broadcast with genuine concern for Stevens. It was the right note to take. Stevens may as well have been hit with a bat.

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HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Lemieux vs. Stevens, Gamboa vs. Alvarado


HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Lemieux vs. Stevens, Gamboa vs. Alvarado
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens will meet in the main event of an HBO Boxing After Dark card in the active and exciting middleweight division. This bout will take place at the Turning Stone Resort Casino live in Verona, New York.

Yuriorkis Gamboa, and recent Golden Boy Promotions signee, will be fighting in the co-main event of the night and will be facing Rene Alvarado in the junior lightweight division.

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Several other high level prospects will be fighting on the untelevised undercard, including boxers such as Zachary Ochoa, Diego De La Hoya, and Damon Allen Jr.

The following is a preview of both of the televised bouts.

Yuriorkis Gamboa (25-1) vs. Rene Alvarado (24-7); Junior Lightweight

Gamboa has been very inactive since he left Top Rank Promotions to sign with the short lived boxing promotional company ran by 50 Cent. He only fought once in 2015 and did not fight at all in 2016. He’s since signed with Golden Boy Promotions and looks to get his career back on track, and Golden Boy has picked the perfect opponent for him to shake off the ring rust.

Alvarado is seven years younger than Gamboa and will have an inch and a half height advantage as well as a seven inch reach advantage. He also fought twice in 2016 and five times in 2015 and has been considerably more active than Gamboa. However, his advantages stop there.

Gamboa has seventeen knockout victories while Alvarado has sixteen. Gamboa went 4-1 in his past five fights with only one stoppage victory while Alvarado went 2-3 in his past five fights.

Gamboa clearly has the better professional and amateur resume. He’s a former Olympic Gold Medalist and has defeated the likes of Hylon Williams Jr., Darleys Perez, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Jorge Solis, Orlando Salido, Jonathan Victor Barros, and Jose Rojas.

The only big win of Alvarado’s career was against Jayson Velez. He has losses to the likes of Manuel Avila, Andrew Cancio, Joseph Diaz, Eric Hunter, Rocky Juarez, Jezreel Corrales, and Orlando Rizo.

The inactivity would be a bigger concern for Gamboa if he was facing a tougher opponent, but Alvarado lost to nearly every big name opponent he has ever faced and Saturday will be no different.

David Lemieux (36-3) vs. Curtis Stevens (29-5); Middleweight

Lemieux and Stevens are both hard hitting middleweights with knockout power who put on exciting fights for their fans. They both also suffered stoppage defeats to the current middleweight kingpin, Gennady Golovkin.

This is a must win fight for both boxers if they want to fight for a world title in the near future. Lemieux will have about a two and a half inch height advantage but will be giving up an inch and a half in reach to Stevens. Lemieux is three years younger than Stevens and has been more active. Lemieux fought twice in 2015 and twice in 2016 while Stevens fought twice in 2016 and zero times in 2015.

They both has successful amateur careers as Lemieux was a three time Canadian Amateur Champion while Stevens was the 2002 US Amateur Light Heavyweight Champion.

Lemieux and Stevens are both known for their power, but Lemieux has to be given the edge in this department. He has stopped thirty two of his opponents while Stevens has stopped twenty one. They both can be stopped as Stevens was stopped twice in his career while Lemieux has two stoppage losses.

Lemieux has beaten the likes of Glen Tapia, Hasan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gabriel Rosado, Hernando Guerrero, Jose Miguel Torres, Elvin Ayala, and Hector Camacho Jr. His losses were to Gennady Golovkin, Jachim Alcine, and Marco Antonio Rubio.

Stevens has defeated the likes of James De La Rosa, Patrick Teixeira, Tureano Johnson, Patrick Majewski, Saul Roman, Elvin Ayala, and Darnell Boone. His losses were to losses to Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Gennady Golovkin, Jesse Brinkley, Andre Dirrell, Marcos Primera (later avenged).

This could be a very entertaining fight, but Lemieux has the stronger amateur background, appears to be the stronger puncher, and has been considerably more active than Stevens recently. Stevens could win by stoppage, but momentum is on Lemieux’s side.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Chavez, Haye, Bellew, Stevens, Lemieux, and more…


Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Chavez, Haye, Bellew, Stevens, Lemieux, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 21st to February 28th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

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Photo Credit: Rich/Golden Boy Promotions

Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. New York City Press Conference Quotes

Two-division world champion Canelo Álvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) and former WBC World Middleweight Champion Julio César Chávez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) today hosted a press conference in New York City, the second stop on their four-city press tour. The fans for both fighters came out in throngs and lined up early to get close to Canelo and Chávez, Jr. at the event. Canelo and Chávez, Jr. will meet on Cinco de Mayo weekend, Saturday, May 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.

Below is what the fighters and their teams had to say at today’s press conference:

CANELO ÁLVAREZ, Former Two-Division World Champion:

“Every time I come to NYC, the fans show me a lot of love. Thank you for that. I want to tell everyone that I am going to prepare 100 percent for this fight and train well. This is going to be a very hard fight, a difficult fight because it will be at a new weight. You are going to see a great fight on May 6.”

JULIO CÉSAR CHÁVEZ, JR., Former WBC World Middleweight Champion:

“Thank you to Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo for this opportunity. I will see you May 6 in Las Vegas.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions:

“You have the biggest star in boxing today with Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez and then you have Julio César Chávez, Jr., the son of one of Mexico’s greatest fighters ever. We took a poll and there is a 99.9 percent chance this fight will end in a knock out. That’s what fans want to see, that’s why we made this fight, for the fans.”

PETER NELSON, Executive Vice President of HBO:

“We have here a fight that has been talked about for years, possibly even a decade. The culmination of two lengthy journeys for JC, Jr. and Canelo has all been leading to a moment where they have a pivotal fight in their careers. This fight is about legacy and the pride of Mexico. Out of all the fights on the calendar this year, this is the biggest fight of them all.”

GUADALUPE VALENCIA, Representative to Julio César Chávez, Jr.:

“I think Julio wants to win this fight. There is a big size difference. People have underestimated Julio in his career. Julio César Chávez, Jr. is going to win on May 6.

EDDY REYNOSO, Head Trainer to Canelo Álvarez :

“I want to thank Golden Boy, Canelo and the Chávez’s for the opportunity to bring another great fight. This fight represents Mexican pride. It’s always a pleasure to be a part of these fights. It’s going to be a war in the ring, and I have full confidence that we will get the result we are training for. Mexico versus Mexico is one of the greatest fights you can see in the world.

JOSE “CHEPO” REYNOSO, Manager and Co-Trainer to Canelo Álvarez :

“We are so thankful for all the support we have received. We have to recognize the sacrifices that both fighters have made to make this fight possible for all the fans who have been asking for it. Julio will have to drop to a weight and Saúl will have to go up to a weight he hasn’t fought at. What will happen on May 6 is an arena filled with thousands of Mexicans who will come together to sing the Mexican national anthem together, and show the U.S. that we are more unified than ever before.”

“Viva Mexico! Viva Canelo!”

Tickets priced at $1,500, $1,250, $1000, $800, $600, $400, $300, $200, $125 and $75, not including applicable service charges and taxes, with a total ticket limit of 12 per person (a limit of 10 per person at the $1,500, $1,250, $1000, $800, $600, $400 price levels and a limit of two [2] per person at the $125 and $75 price level) are on sale now. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849). Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com.

David Haye and Tony Bellew Interview Quotes

David Haye and Tony Bellew recently spoke to betsafe (https://www.betsafe.com/en/blog/sports/boxing) about their upcoming heavyweight clash. Below are some select quotes from their conversation.
Haye

•”I’m glad the fans were let in, they got an opportunity to see their boy Bellew up there and cheer him, because come March 4th, there’s not gonna be much cheering”

•”I’ve come all the way to Liverpool to say my piece, and these morons…they’re just like him they’re all idiots. Ignorant idiots. So let them yap all they want”

•”The last guy I had the most beef with was Dereck Chisora. As I promised everybody, I knocked him out in 5 rounds. Before that he hadn’t been knocked out, hadn’t even been knocked down. Exactly as I predicted I knocked him out in 5. And he’s never been knocked down since”

•”I’m telling you now, I’m knocking out Tony Bellew. As soon as my right hand connects with his chin, he’s going to sleep. I’m going to hit him with something he’s never dealt with before”

•”Ignorance is an interesting thing, he doesn’t understand the power, he doesn’t understand what it feels like to be hit, and he won’t know what it feels like because he’ll go straight to sleep”

•”I don’t have to defend myself, I prove myself in the ring. They get their confidence from perceived insufficiencies of mine. I get my confidence from looking at his best nights, I look at him on his best day and get my confidence from there”

•”Nothing about him frightens me whatsoever. He’s coming to a gunfight with a dildo in his hand”

Bellew

•”That was just scousers showing their passion. We’re passionate people and I’m the same as them, so I would never say they were wrong, I thought the fans were fantastic today and gave their 10 pence didn’t they?”

• “It’s disgusting the things he’s saying. He’s a clown, he’s a pratt. I can’t fit in one sentence all the things he is but he’s just a distasteful scumbag in all honesty. But this is boxing, and he’s just an absolute idiot, a first-
class helmet”

• “I’m not that wound up to be honest with you. I’ve never seen him like that. This is a man who’s fought Vladimir Klitschko on a global stage. Have you ever seen him that riled up?”

• “Labelling people retards its absolutely disgusting, but this is the mark of the man. We’re dealing with an absolute scumbag here, but soon enough it’s going to come back to bite him on the backside”

•”I can see why they’d think he’d beat me. He’s very fast, a fantastic athlete, but I know boxing, I’ve been in this game a long time, I’m an established name in my own right”

•”I’m going to win Saturday night, I couldn’t tell you how. It’s gonna be tough, it’s gonna get hard, it’s gonna get brutal at somestage. And when it does I’m gonna take over. The fat guys gonna get him”

•”If I hit him with the same left hit I hit Ilunga Makabu with he’s going to be asleep for a lot longer than 10 seconds”

•”I understand I’m going in with a very fast, dangerous, world class-gifted fighter. But, he has a very short time span on how long he’s that good for. And I believe I’ll see out that time span and see the best of it”

•”You can only lie to yourself so much, and the closer the fight gets the more fear I see in his face. He’s not prepared”

Stevens and Lemieux to Fight on HBO Boxing After Dark

It has been announced that middleweights David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens will fight on an edition of HBO Boxing After Dark. This bout will take place on Saturday, March 11th at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York for the WBO Intercontinental, WBC Continental Americas and IBF North American Middleweight Titles.
The lead promoter for this fight will be Golden Boy Promotions.

Vargas Wins WBC Super Bantamweight Title with a Decision Over McDonnell

Rey Vargas walked into enemy territory and won the WBC Super Bantamweight title with a 12-round majority decision over Gavin McDonnell at Ice Hall in Hull, England.

The championship bout, which took place this past Saturday, headlined a card that was streamed live on www.klowdtv.com

It was a competitive fight with Vargas using his length and landing his jab, that would open up combinations. McDonnell was willing, but did not seem to be able to get in a groove, yet he was able to fight even on a card at 114-114. while two other cards had the right winner at 117-111 and 116-112.

Vargas of Mexico is now 29-0. McDonnell, was trying to join his twin brother Jamie (IBF Bantamweight) as current world champion, drops to 16-1-2.

“I am happy, we were able to win the world title in his backyard,”said Vargas. “It is an honor to bring this title back to my people in Mexico.”

“It was his long arms, I just could not pin him,” said McDonnell. “He beat me fair and square. I just fell short. I felt alright in there, it was just his long arms that were the difference. I showed that I belong at this level after just 18 fights, and I will be back in the gym and I will be a world champion.

Luke Campbell took out Jairo Lopez in the 2nd round of their scheduled 10-round lightweight bout.

Campbell hurt Lopez in the 1st round with a right hand. Campbell was patient and then dropped and stopped Lopez with a right hand and the fight was over.

Campbell is 16-1. Lopez is 21-7.

Tommy Coyle stopped Rakeem Noble in round three of their scheduled ten-round super lightweight bout.

Coyle hurt Noble with a right at the end of round two, and finished him with a booming right in round three, that sent Noble down. Noble got to his feet, but the referee stopped the fight.

Coyle is now 23-4. Noble is 11-2.

Greg Cohen Promotions Inks Turkish Super Middleweight Cem Kilic

Greg Cohen Promotions proudly announces the signing of super middleweight prospect Cem “Champ” Kilic.

22-year-old Kilic (7-0, 4 KOs) was born in Frankfurt, Germany, to Turkish parents. Kilic was a decorated amateur boxer on the international level, where he won the European Silver Medal for Turkey in 2012.

Upon meeting his manager Shane Shapiro, he moved to America and turned professional in 2014. He currently lives in Sherman Oaks, California.

Kilic has gained invaluable experience serving as sparring partner for several high-profile fighters including multiple world champions Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley, as well as well-known names like Montreal’s Jean Pascal, and South Africa’s Chris van Heerden.

“I am excited to sign with Greg Cohen Promotions,” said Kilic. “Greg has a strong history of building his fighters correctly and giving them the chance to fight for world titles. I left my family behind to pursue my dream of becoming a world champion and to make the people of America, Turkey and Germany proud. With my manager, Shane Shapiro, in my corner and GCP guiding me, I know there is No Limit to my success!”

“I am excited to bring Cem over to GCP,” said Shane Shapiro. “Cem is an extremely talented young fighter. His style is fan-friendly, he is always in a good fight and he is beyond dedicated to his craft. I’m very comfortable knowing that GCP will help move Cem along the right way that will ultimately lead him to a world title shot.”

Promoter Greg Cohen says he should have no problem moving Kilic up the ladder quickly.

“He’s such a crowd-pleasing fighter, people will want to see him,” said Cohen. “Cem has a natural ability to generate excitement in his fights, which will put him in a good position with the television networks. I’m excited to be working with him and Shane Shapiro.”

Philly Fight Night March 10th in South Philly

Peltz Promotions recently announced that they will be hosting Philly Fight Night on Friday, March 10th at the 2300 Arena in Soth Philadelphia. The main event will be between Anthony Burgin and Avery Sparrow.
Peltz Promotions announced in a press release:

We have 11 fights and 22 fighters on our March 10 card at the 2300 Arena in South Philly. Out of the 22 fighters, only one is under exclusive promotional contract to us. Two are with Top Rank, one is with Main Events and the other 18 are free agents so far as promotion is concerned. We went back to our roots, going all the way back to 1969 when promoters promoted fights, not fighters. We are not in the protection business. People pay good, hard-earned money to watch boxing. They are entitled to see good fights at every level.

The Burgin-Sparrow fight tops a full bout card at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. First fight is 7.30 pm. Tickets are priced at $40, $50 and $75 and they are on sale at the offices of Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) and at www.peltzboxing.com or www.2300Arena.com. The card is being promoted by Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc., BAM Boxing and Joe Hand Promotions. It will be streamed live by www.glf.com and televised on delay by Comcast Sports Net.

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HBO PPV Undercard Results: Curtis Stevens and Oleksandr Gvozdyk Emerge Victorious, Hooker Draws with Perez


HBO PPV Undercard Results: Curtis Stevens and Oleksandr Gvozdyk Emerge Victorious, and Hooker Draws with Perez
By: William Holmes

The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s HBO PPV card featuring a main event betweenSergey Kovalev and Andre Ward for the Light Heavyweight Championship.

Three bouts were featured on the undercard, and the opening bout was between Curtis Stevens (28-5) and James De La Rosa (23-4) in the middleweight division.

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De La Rosa was rocked by a rising left hook from Stevens in the first round and he was on the defensive for most of the opening round. Stevens was able to land a left hook that knocked De La Rosa in the last thirty seconds of the round, but De La Rosa was able to get back to his feet.

De La Rosa had a cut by his left eye in the second round and took heavy shots to the body. However, he was able to start to land his jab in the last minute of the round.

Both fighters let it all fly in the third round and both landed several hard combinations. Stevens got the better of De La Rosa and landed the stronger shots, but he may have spent all of his energy.

De La Rosa began to relay on his jab in the fourth round and was able to keep Stevens at bay, and that jab continued to be successful for De La Rosa in the fifth and sixth rounds and even had Stevens trapped in a corner at multiple points.

De La Rosa looked like the fresher fighter in the seventh round and Stevens was short with most of his punches. Stevens crowded v in the eighth and was able to land some heavy hooks to the body, but he was deducted a point by the referee for landing a low blow.

The announcers felt Stevens may have hurt his left hand in the ninth round since he wasn’t throwing his patented left hook counter like he usually does. The HBO cameras were able to capture Stevens telling his trainer he hurt his left hand in the fourth round

Stevens pressed the action in the final round and landed some heavy shots over the top of De La Rosa’s guard which reopened the cut of De La Rosa, but it was De La Rosa who was raising his hands in the air at the final bell as if he won the fight.

The final scores were 98-90, 96-92, and 96-92 for Curtis Stevens.

The next bout of the night was in the light heavyweight division between Isaac Chilemba (24-4-2) and Oleksandr Gvozdyk (11-0).

Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Gvozdyk was backing Chilemba up early with his contant jab. Chilema was able to land his check left hook near the end of the round, but it could have been scored either way.

Chilemba was missing with his hooks in the second round while Gvozdyk was finding a home for his right cross. Gvozdyk was landing at a higher clip than Chilemba in the third round, and he had Chilemba covering up in a defensive shell with his back against the ropes while Gvozdyk unleashed several combinations on him.

Chilemba had a strong fifth round and was able to land some short uppercuts on the inside, but Gvozdyk took back over in the sixth round and looked like he was wearing his opponent down.

Gvozdyk outworked Chilemba in the seventh round and Roy Jones Jr. threatened to stop the fight if he didn’t pick up the action in the eighth round. Chilemba was able to catch Gvozdyk by surprise in the opening thirty seconds of the eighth round, but Gvozdyk took back over in the final minute and had Chilemba’s nose bleeding badly.

Chilemba told his trainer, Roy Jones Jr., before the start of the ninth round that he was done and couldn’t fight anymore, and Jones told the referee the fight was over. Chilemba believed his right hand was broken.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk wins by TKO at the end of the eighth round.

The final fight on the undercard was between Maurice Hooker (21-0-2) and Darleys Perez (33-2-1) in the junior welterweight division.

Hooker was a lot taller than Perez and used it to his advantage by keeping a jab in the face of Perez in the opening round. However, Perez looked comfortable with Hooker’s power in the second round and was able to catch Hooker by surprise with some well timed hooks, and he had him hurt in the opening minute of the third round with a clean looping right hook.

Perez appeared to score a knockdown in the fourth round when he tagged Hooker with a right cross and sent him tumbling backwards and to the mat, but the referee ruled it a slip.

Hooker had a good fifth round with an active jab, but Perez again caught Hooker with looping right hooks in the sixth round.

Perez remained the aggressor in the seventh round and took some of Hooker’s best punches but kept on moving forward. Perez remained the aggressor in the eighth round and had Hooker circling away from his opponent and moving backwards.

The final two rounds played out like the earlier rounds, with Perez pressing forward and landing an occasional right hook or right cross while Hooker would land a number of jabs while moving backwards.

A lot of rounds could have been scored either way, but the judges appeared to agree by scoring the fight 97-93 Perez, 97-93 Hooker, 95-95 making the bout a draw.

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HBO PPV Preview: Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward, Hooker vs. Perez, Chilemba vs. Gvozdyk, Stevens vs. De La Rosa


HBO PPV Preview: Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward, Hooker vs. Perez, Chilemba vs. Gvozdyk, Stevens vs. De La Rosa
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Roc Nation Sports and Main Events Promotions will team up to deliver one of the best fights that could be made in boxing on HBO Pay Per View. The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will be the host site for the WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight Title fight between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward.

Ten fights total are featured on this card, including the highly anticipated debut of two time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields.

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HBO appears to be ready to televise four fights on the pay per view, and the following is a preview of all four bouts.

Curtis Stevens (28-5) vs. James De La Rosa (23-4); Middleweights

This bout is on the pay per view card despite the fact it’s highly unlikely that either participant will be fighting for a world title in the near future.

Curtis Stevens is a fan favorite and shocked many in his last bout when he beat undefeated prospect Patrick Teixeira.

He’ll be giving up ½ inch in reach and about three inches in height to De La Rosa. However, he has faced significantly better competition and has a deep amateur background than his opponent.

De La Rosa lost his last two fights and only has thirteen knockout victories. Stevens has twenty one knockout victories and is known for delivering exciting bouts.

Both boxers only fought one time in 2016, zero times in 2015, and three times in 2014.

Stevens has beaten the likes of Patrick Teixeira, Tureano Johnson, Patrick Majewski, Saul Roman, Derrick Findley, and Elvin Ayala. He has lost to the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Andre Dirrell and Jesse Brinkley. De La Rosa has defeated the likes of Alfredo Angulo but has lost to the likes of Jason Quigley, Hugo Centeno Jr., Marcus Willis, and Allen Conyers.

Stevens has been inconsistent throughout his career, but this is a bout that he should win in a fan pleasing fashion.

Isaac Chilemba (24-4-2) vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk (11-0); Light Heavyweights

Not many boxers can claim to have lasted twelve rounds with Sergey Kovalev, and Isaac Chilemba is one of them.

However, he’s facing a highly decorated Ukranian amateur that is managed by Egis Klimas, who has an impressive stable of boxers under his control, and many consider Gvozdyk to be future world champion material.

Gvozdyk has nine stoppage victories in only eleven professional bouts and is a 2012 Summer Olympics Bronze medalist. Chilemba has ten stoppage victories in thirty professional bouts, so Gvozdyk has a clear edge in power. Chilemba also does not have the amateur experience of Gvozdyk.

Gvozdyk will be the same height as Chilemba but will also have a two and a half inch reach advantage. They are of the same age. Gvozdyk has also been considerably more active than Chilemba. He fought three times in 2016 and four times in 2015, while Chilemba only fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Gvozdyk has already defeated the likes of Nadjib Mohammedi and Tommy Karpency before he has faced his twelfth opponent. Chilemba has defeated the likes of Doudou Ngumbu, Maksim Vlasov, Edison Miranda, Denis Grachev, and Vasily Lepikhin; but he has also lost to the likes of Sergey Kovalev, Eleider Alvarez, Tony Bellew, and Willbeforce Shihepo.

Chilemba is a tough opponent with a strong chin, but he’s not on the same level of technique as Gvozdyk and he doesn’t have the power to score an upset knockout.

This should be a good showcase fight for Gvozdyk to show off his skills.

Maurice Hooker (21-0-2) vs. Darleys Perez (33-2-1); Junior Welterweights

Maurice Hooker is one of the most intriguing prospects on the undercard, as his reach and height has many people comparing him to Paul Williams.

Hooker will have a four inch height advantage as well as an amazing ten inch reach advantage over Perez. He’s also six years younger than Perez.

Hooker is known for being a hard puncher and has stopped sixteen of his opponents. Perez has twenty one stoppage victories, but his best days appear to be behind him.

Hooker fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2016 while Perez fought one time in 2016 and three times in 2015.

Perez has the edge in amateur experience. He represented Columbia in the 2008 Summer Olympics while Hooker’s biggest claim to fame in the amateurs was when he won the Dallas Regional Golden Gloves Championship.

This bout is a big step up in competition for Hooker. He has defeated the likes of Ty Barnett, Wilfrido Buelvas, and Eduardo Galindo. Perez has beaten the likes of Argenis Lopez, Jonathan Maicelo, and Jaider Parra. His losses have come to Anthony Crolla and Yuriorkis Gamboa.

Perez was the former WBA Lightweight champion, but he’ll be competing at a higher weight class on Saturday and will be facing a good opponent with a ridiculous reach advantage.

The ten inch reach advantage will be too much for Perez to overcome.

Sergey Kovalev (30-0-1) vs. Andre Ward (30-0); WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight Title

The main event of the night is one of the best fights that could be made in boxing today and the winner will likely have a claim to the top pound for pound spot on the mythical list.

Kovalev, at the age of 33, and Ward, at the age of 32, are nearing the end of their physical primes but neither have shown signs of slowing down inside the ring.

They both are six foot tall, but Kovalev will have a slight one and a half inch reach advantage when they are both inside the ring.

Ward has the deeper amateur background of the two as he won the Olympic Gold Medal in 2004. Kovalev also had success as an amateur and was a former Russian Champion as an amateur, but he never competed in the Olympics and was engaged intense competition with two other Russian amateur standouts, Matt Korobov and Artur Beterbiev.

Kovalev has the edge in power. He has stopped twenty six of his opponents while Ward has only stopped fifteen. However, Ward is a gifted defensive boxer and is excellent with his counters, and Kovalev often leaves himself open for counters after he throws one of his heavy combinations.

Kovalev has defeated the likes of Isaac Chilemba, Jean Pascal, Nadjib Mohammedi, Bernard Hopkins, Blake Caparello, Nathan Cleverly, Ismayl Sillah, Cedric Agnew, and Gabriel Campillo. He has fought twice in 2015 and once in 2016.

Ward has fought twice in 2016 and once in 2015. He has defeated the likes of Alexander Brand, Sullivan Barrera, Paul Smith, Edwin Rodriguez, Chad Dawson, Carlo Froch, Artur Abraham, Sakio Bika, Allan Green, Mikkel Kessler, and Edison Miranda.

This is a tough fight for many to pick, mainly because Ward has never faced a power puncher like Kovalev and Kovalev has never faced a slick boxer like Ward.

However, Ward’s jab is his best weapon and he’ll likely use it often to keep Kovalev at bay. History has shown that a slick boxer will usually beat a power puncher if everything else is reason, and Saturday should be no different.

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Money Woes Reportedly Not The Reason Lemieux Won’t Be Facing Stevens


Money Woes Reportedly Not The Reason Lemieux Won’t Be Facing Stevens
By: Sean Crose

Many in the boxing community have been frustrated with reports that came out this weekend claiming middleweight David Lemieux would not be facing Curtis Stevens because HBO’s budget couldn’t support such a matchup. Stevens himself appeared particularly perturbed, via his Twitter page. “Money wasn’t even spoken about,” he Tweeted. Yet Camille Estephan, the president of Eye of the Tiger management, which represents Lemiex, offered another take entirely. “It would be erroneous to say that HBO could not afford to pay the fighters,” Estephan claimed via email.

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Indeed, Estephan, who responded to a query from Boxing Insider quickly, went on to provide more details. “It was really more a matter of timing,” he stated, “as Lemieux who was supposed to initially fight at the end of September had to be operated on his right knee which delayed his capacity to fight.” All of this, Estephan went on, led to problems related more to the calendar than to finances. “The October 22nd date was the only date available at the Bell center,” Estephan went on. “So essentially it was a matter of timing.”

And, sure enough Lemiuex will be facing Cristian Rios on the 22nd of October, at the Bell Center in Montreal, Lemieux’s stomping grounds, and a contemporary boxing hotbed. The 35-3 Lemiuex will be fighting for the second time this year. Last autumn the Canadian slugger met and was stopped by middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin in a New York City based pay per view event. Although Argentina’s Rios isn’t well known at 21-7-3, he apparently is able to face Lemiuex at the designated time and place.

Having said that, many were hoping to see Lemieux face the exciting Stevens, who himself was stopped by GGG a few years back. Both Stevens and Lemieux are world class tough guys, after all, and few believed a bout between the two would ever be a snooze fest – and for good reason. Needless to say, both men want to make themselves be heard at middleweight once again. What’s more, both Lemieux and Stevens are held in high regard by fans, as neither one was afraid to face Golovkin, a man who many feel is currently being avoided by some of the middleweight division’s top players.

As for HBO, it has been far from a banner year for its boxing programming. Reputed budged cuts have been blamed for its recent slump, with some even feeling the network has lost interest in boxing altogether. With that in mind, HBO will be airing a major card in just a few days featuring Golovkin and Kell Brook battling for the middleweight title. Time, as always, will tell the tale as to where HBOs relationship with the sweet science will ultimately go.

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Get a Grip, Billy Joe Saunders


Get a Grip, Billy Joe Saunders
By: Brandon Bernica

​Billy Joe Saunders reminds me of Gollum from The Hobbit. Just as with Saunders’ belt, Gollum’s ring infatuates him with illusions of grandeur. Both are so committed to their prized possessions that their sanities hinge on protecting their gold at all times.

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​Truthfully, Saunders rejecting big-name fights is indicative of this nature. In fact, it isn’t lofty to suggest that he masquerades as a false champion with delusional sensibilities.

​First, Gennady Golovkin offered him a lucrative deal to unify titles – even ceding home turf advantage to Saunders for the fight. That wasn’t enough money for Billy Joe. Soon after, Golden Boy presented him with contracts to fight Golovkin victims Curtis Stevens and Willie Monroe. Both were turned down for unknown reasons.

​At this point, you’d probably assert that nothing could top these levels of avoidance from a “champion”. Think again. After reviewing terms to fight middleweight journeyman Gabe Rosado on the Canelo vs. Smith undercard, Saunders passed on the bout because Rosado is not a strong enough name to add to his resumé. While shocking, Saunders’ decisions signal bad news for the outlook on the rest of his career.

​Saunders’ career can fall into one of two directions from this point. One outcome of his stingy micromanagement could be a refusal of any big names to fight with him. While Saunders appears content to guard his belt against heavily outmatched opponents, he’ll eventually need a star fighter to bring him money and public respect. As they say, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

​But what if an inverse scenario is true? What if big names prey on him, sensing the fear underlying his steady diet of match rejections? At some point, either public pressure or a sanctioning organization will force him into one of these fights, which could leave him exposed and stripped of marketability. By then, it will be too late to return to the negotiating table with the big boys with his career heading towards a sharp descent, leaving him little more than a cautionary tale.

​Sadly, Saunders’ unwillingness to fight only points to a common trend in today’s boxing world: fighters search for the highest reward while incurring the lowest risk. Floyd Mayweather made a career off of maximizing his earning potential without consistently challenging himself against the best. Mayweather utilized a bevy of excuses in rationalizing his behavior, and now other fighters are following suit. Note to the boxing world: you are not entitled. You made your name off of cutting your teeth and dedication; to give up this edge is a lead-in to disaster.

Saunders didn’t start out the tepid fighter he is now. His road to notoriety crossed through fellow up-and-comer Chris Eubank Jr and former world champion Andy Lee, winning both of his fights impressively en route to prominence. But the road to respect in boxing doesn’t end overnight. It endures night after night of painstaking work. Saunders will never win the adulation of boxing fans until he embraces this grind. Here’s hoping that that happens soon.


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HBO PPV Undercard Results: Gomez Dominates Herrera, Lemieux and Stevens Win by Stoppage


HBO PPV Undercard Results: Gomez Dominates Herrera, Lemieux and Stevens Win by Stoppage
By: William Holmes

The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada held its first ever boxing event as Golden Boy Promotions put on a WBC Middleweight Title bout between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Amir Khan.

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Three bouts were on the televised portion of the undercard, and the first fight of the night was between Patrick Teixeira (26-0) and Curtis Stevens (27-5) in the middleweight division.

Teixeira bumped up to the middleweight division from the junior middleweight division for this bout. He intends on going back down to the junior middleweight division.

Teixeira’s height and reach advantage was evident immediately, but Stevens was able to work around that by showing a lot of head movement and being the more active puncher. He was able to hurt Teixeira with a quick jab, and was able to land his left hook several times. Teixeira had to hold on several times and was outworked by the older Stevens.

Teixeira was moved back by a straight right hand from Stevens in the opening seconds of the second round, and Stevens followed it up with a hard left hook. Stevens was able to block most of the punches of Teixeira, and then landed a right hook that sent Teixeira down. Teixeira got back to his feet but was still wobbly, and the referee waived off the bout.

Curtis Stevens wins by TKO at 1:04 of the second round.

After the fight Stevens stated, “The name of the game is to knock people out and that’s what I did tonight. I feel great to get back into the game after my one and a half year break. I really want Lemieux, but I will take whatever I can get. My head is right, and I’m ready to take on whoever.”

The next bout of the night was between Mauricio Herrera (22-5) and Frankie Gomez (20-0) in the welterweight division.

Gomez was the more aggressive boxer in the first round and found a home for his lead left hook several times. Herrera looked a little rusty in the opening round and tied up with Gomez whenever he got in close.

Gomez controlled the action in the second round and was able to land and connect with his punches before Herrera could fire off his. Herrera had a cut under his left eye by the end of the round and Gomez was able to punctuate a strong round with a quick combination.

Herrera looked visibly frustrated at the start of the third round, and he came out more aggressive than the previous rounds and was able to land a few body punches. But, Gomez was sharper with his counter punches and still remained in control.

Gomez’s power punches were landing with regularity in the fourth round, and he had Herrera backing into a corner and taking some hard power shots. Gomez’s aggression continued in the fifth round and he had caused a small mouse to swell up under the right eye of Herrera.

Gomez dominated the sixth and seventh rounds while Herrera was able to offer little offense in return. By the eighth round Herrera looked exhausted and looked defeated in the ring.
Herrera clearly needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the bout, but that knockout never came.

Frankie Gomez wins a clear decision with scores of 100-90 on all three scorecards.

Afterwards Gomez stated, “It feels good to get this victory. I trained really hard and it paid off. I’m ready to take on my next challenge and take on the best at 140. I want to thank my fans, and I’m glad I was able to put on a good show for them.”

The final bout on the undercard was in the middleweight division between David Lemieux (34-3) and Glen Tapia (23-2).

Glen Tapia bumped up in weight to take on the toughest opponent of his career, and he may have regretted it immediately. Lemieux was banging hard shots to the body and head of Tapia in the opening round and was ripping hard punches into the body of Tapia.

Lemieux had a very strong second round and had Tapia hurt several times. Tapia’s punching power paled in comparison to Lemieux, and Lemieux looked like he was close to scoring a knockdown.

Tapia was able to land a few straight right hands in the third round, but Lemieux still landed the harder shots and his left hook was giving Tapia problems.

Lemieux finally scored a knockdown in the fourth round from a hard left hook followed by a right hand to the top of the head. He was able to beat the count, but Tapia’s corner stopped the fight and did not allow the fight to continue.

Lemieux protested the stoppage, but he was taking a lot of hard shots.

David Lemieux wins by TKO at 0:56 of the fourth round.

Afterwards Lemieux stated, “This victory means the world to me. It proves all the doubters that Lemieux is back. When I first got offered the fight, I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy. We made sure to have the best training camp possible and within the first round I knew I was dominating. I knew after the first round that I would knock him out. I’m ready to be among the best in the middleweight division and become a world champion again.”

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Curtis Stevens Interview: “I just gotta let go of my hands and do what I do”


Curtis Stevens Interview: “I just gotta let go of my hands and do what I do”
By: Matthew N. Becher

Curtis Stevens (27-5 20KO) is a hard hitting Middleweight from Brownsville, NY, who on May 7th, will return to the ring after a 2 year layoff to take on undefeated Patrick Teixeira. This is a great opportunity for both men to showcase their skills on the Canelo v. Khan HBO Pay per View, especially for Stevens, who looks to right the ship and get back into title contention. Curtis was nice enough to take some time out of his training schedule and sit down to answer some questions for Boxing Insider.

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Boxing Insider:
Your last fight was in October 2014. Why has it taken you so long to get a fight and what have you been doing in that time?
Curtis Stevens: Nobody wanted to fight me, to tell you the truth. I’ve been training, that’s about it. Just training and working, can’t really do nothing else.

Boxing Insider: Recently, you started training with John David Jackson. What has he been able to add or change to your style of fighting?
Curtis Stevens: Getting me back to moving my head. Not blocking too many shots with my hands or my arms. Going back to the body and just being more relaxed.

Boxing Insider: You are represented by Main Events Promotions and they have had trouble matching you up with other fighters. Do you see that as a promotional problem or do you see anywhere else you could go to get more fights in your weight class?
Curtis Stevens: I’m not gonna say, necessarily, that it is a promotional problem. I believe I’m high risk. People know that I hit hard and I’m high risk and low reward. Nobody wants to get into it and waste their time.

Boxing Insider: In between regular boxing matches, you participated in a BKB pit style match. What are your thoughts on that format and would you do it again?
Curtis Stevens: BKB is cool, it’s different, and it’s more fighting than anything. It’s very different than boxing. I’d do it again, I liked it. The first time I got in there it was a little unusual, because it doesn’t have ropes like a ring. It was a little different, but cool, I’d do it again.

Boxing Insider: Changing gears to the fight on May 7th. What do you know about your opponent Patrick Teixeira?
Curtis Stevens: From what I’ve seen of him, he throws a lot of punches. He comes forward, and it seems like he likes to fight. His work rate is cool, and that’s what I can see.

Boxing Insider: Do you have to make a big statement in this fight to get to where you want to be, as a title contender?
Curtis Stevens: I believe I just have to go in there and beat him in general. I’m not the one with no losses. I believe it’s more on his shoulders then on my shoulders. I just got to go in there and win. I’m the one that’s been in the ring the longest, so he is the one coming up. They are giving him this pedestal to overcome me. The pressure is on him. I just gotta let go of my hands and do what I do.

Boxing Insider: Finally, who do you have winning in the main event on May 7th, Canelo or Khan?
Curtis Stevens: This is boxing, Canelo is very strong, and Khan is very fast. It only takes 7 ounces of pressure to put you down or get knocked out in general. If you don’t see it coming, it could hurt you, or if you see it coming it could hurt you. I have Canelo winning. He is strong and he’s versatile. He’s the champion, to beat the champion, you have to beat him convincingly. I’m not saying I can’t see Khan beat him convincingly, but his chin is not too great.

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