By Cliff Rold & Bill Emes at ringside
28-year old Middleweight Curtis Stevens (26-4, 18 KO) of Brooklyn, New York, rebounded from a stoppage loss to Gennady Golovkin in his last outing with a sparking first round knockout of Polish 34-year old Patrick Majewski (21-3, 13 KO) of Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Friday night at the Resorts International in Atlantic City.
Both men came in slightly over the division limit of 160 lbs., Stevens at 160 ½ and Majewski at 161 ½. The referee was Lindsey Page.
Majewski was in trouble almost at the sound of the opening bell. A stiff, straight left jab put Majewski on the seat of his trunks just ten seconds into the fight and Majewski, up right away, had a shocked expression. When action resumed, Stevens was all over him. Stevens backed him the ropes, stunning him with a right high on the head and then a left that sent him towards the floor. Stevens landed two more blows before the referee could step in to begin the count for the second knockdown.
Majewski, clearly dazed, was up by four and nodded to go on. Stevens backed him to the ropes again, dropping Majewski with a left hook and the referee ended the slaughter.
It did not last one minute, the official time recorded as :46 seconds of round one.
Interviewed after the fight, Stevens “I let my hands go and you see what happens.” Asked about his last contest, a failed title attempt against undefeated WBA Middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin, Stevens said he felt he thought too much in the fight. Asked about future opponents, in particular New York-based WBO titlist Peter Quillin, Stevens said, “Kid Chocolate? Send a contract and I can make his ass milk chocolate.”
Perhaps Nestle could sponsor such a contest.
The loss was Majewski’s second straight after a decision defeat to undefeated Patrick Nielsen last September.
In the televised opener, 25-year old Cruiserweight Thabiso Mchunu (15-1, 10 KO), 198 ½, of Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, scored a debatable knockdown in round two en route to a fairly dominant unanimous decision victory 33-year old Nigerian Olanrewaju Durodola (17-1, 16 KO), 199 ½, of Kansas City, Kansas. The referee was David Fields.
After a feeling out in the first, Mchunu seized the scoring advantage in the second with a ruled knockdown. Replays showed a tangle of feet aided a stiff left hand and Durodola fought on with no ill effects. While considerably taller, it was Durodola often forced to lead. Giving up his height, Mchunu was able to use lead right hooks and straight lefts to maintain an edge.
After five rounds, Durodola may not have won a single frame and didn’t appear to have any answers forthcoming. Some solid right hands may have snared the seventh for Durodola but Mchunu remained a difficult target.
By the final round, Mchunu was fighting for the cards, slipping away and holding between counters. There were brief moments of two-way contact down the stretch but Mchunu wisely refused full engagement. Mchunu complained about a blatant rabbit punch but still didn’t take the bait and walked confidently to his corner at the bell.
His confidence was well place. Mchunu won by scores of a surprisingly close 96-93, 97-92, and 98-91. The win marks Mchunu’s first since an upset of former Heavyweight title challenger Eddie Chambers last August and his fifth win in a row overall. Durodola sees an eight-knockout win streak halted.
The card was broadcast on NBC Sports as part of its “Fight Night” series, promoted by Main Events.
A four round heavyweight battle went to a draw. A East vs. West Pennsylvania grudge match, between Mark Rideout (4-0-2, 1KO) and Fred Latham (4-0-1, 2KOs) was scored down the middle, with all the judges having 38-38 tallies.
Junior welterweight Hasan Young (4-1-1, 2KOs) dropped Justin Johnson (6-6-4) four times to win a wide six round unanimous decision. The scores were 60-51 and 60-50 twice. Johnson went down twice in the second and two more times in the fifth.
In a battle of undefeated junior welterweight prospects, Dominican Olympian Wellington Romero (2-0, 1KO) stopped Ismael Serrano (1-1) in the first round. Serrano was dropped hard and then battered along the ropes
In a shocker, Roberto Acevedo (8-1, 5 KOs) took out previously undefeated light heavyweight prospect Ilshat “The Sheriff” Khusnulgatin (10-1, 6 KOs) with a first round knockout. Ilshat was recently signed by Main Events.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]