by David P. Greisman
Some fighters aren’t willing to discuss too much in the way of specific future opponents, not when they have a bout already set and coming up and are being asked about who they would like to face afterward.
Curtis Stevens isn’t one of those fighters. He knows what he wants — and who — after his upcoming fight with Saul Roman on the Aug. 3 episode of NBC Sports Network’s “Fight Night.”
“If it’s up to me, I’d fight a champion right now,” Stevens said during a July 25 media conference call. “The question is, ‘Are they willing to give me a shot?’ It ain’t necessarily ‘Am I ready?’ Are they ready and willing to give me a shot? But like I said, I’m high risk.”
He said nobody wants to be in there to get hit by him. His ideal choice of opponent, however, is a middleweight whose power has been making waves.
“If it was up to me, I’d take Gennady Golovkin,” Stevens said. “I’m calling him out. People are scared to fight him. I’m asking to fight him, but his trainer is saying I’m not ready. I don’t understand how I’m not ready if I’m asking to fight. … He’s fighting 154-pounders, so I don’t understand what’s the big problem with me. Abel Sanchez, he’s smart. He’s not going to put Gennady in there with me, because he’s going to get his first loss of his career and he’s going to get knocked out.
“From what I’ve seen, Gennady likes to fight. I like to fight, too. He’s a power puncher. I’m a power puncher. Why not? I’m strong. I have a lot of knockouts. And I have one-punch knockout power.”
First he has to take out Roman, a 33-year-old with a record of 37-9 and 31 knockouts. Stevens is 28 and is on his fourth fight back since returning to the sport last year from a two-year layoff. He is now 24-3 with 17 knockouts.
“Even though I have Saul Roman, I still brainstorm and think about the other people,” Stevens said at one point. “After Saul, I’ve got to always determine what’s going to be next. I feed off of that. I always keep that in the back of my mind.”
“I just got to wait my turn,” he said later. “I got to wait. I’m anxious to get it, I got to wait. It’s not going to go on my time. If it was going to go on my time, I probably would’ve had a shot already. They the champs. They determine who they want to give the shot to. So I just got to wait, and hopefully they give me the shot.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org