by David P. Greisman
When a purse bid was held in mid-July for an elimination bout between middleweights Curtis Stevens and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, the somewhat surprising result was that Main Events (which promotes Stevens) came up short and N’Jikam’s promoter, Michael King, won the right to stage the fight.
King had bid $80,000, while Main Events had bid $62,000, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. Main Events will instead feature other fighters on its Sept. 20 show on the NBC Sports Network.
“When we chose to make our bid we were well aware that we might lose it,” Kathy Duva of Main Events told BoxingScene.com last week. “Budgets dictate things. My feeling about this fight was that we took a strategic approach toward it. I was willing to pay what I could afford for it. I wasn’t willing to pay more because in my view it doesn’t matter where the ring is located — Curtis Stevens will knock him out. Sometimes you have a lot of fighters, you have a lot of opportunities that you have to spread across them. Curtis will get his opportunity. He will get his chance to become the No. 1 contender.”
The winner becomes mandatory challenger to International Boxing Federation titleholder Sam Soliman.
Stevens, 29, has won twice since getting stopped by Gennady Golovkin last year. He scored a last-round technical knockout over Tureano Johnson this past April to move to 27-4 with 20 KOs.
N’Jikam, 30, has won three times since going down six times in a decision loss to Peter Quillin in 2012. His last victory came via unanimous decision against Fulgencio Zuniga this past April, moving him to 30-1 with 18 KOs.
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