James Stevenson Vows To Put Roberto Garcia To Sleep

By Jake Donovan

The last time James “Keep ‘Em Sleepin’” Stevenson was seen on air was his sensational war with Sammy Vasquez last August. The pair of unbeaten welterweights exchanged bombs for nine rounds, but the night ended with Stevenson dropped and eventually stopped in the 9th round of their Fox Sports 1-televised slugfest.

The hard-hitting welterweight from Baltimore returns to the airwaves this weekend, as he takes on the challenge of gatekeeper Roberto Garcia. The bout serves as the opening leg of the latest edition of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions series on Spike TV (Friday, 9:00pm ET/8:00pm local time).

Also on the show, cancer survivors-turned-major titlists Anthony Dirrell and Daniel Jacobs make the first defense of their titles versus Badou Jack and Caleb Truax, respectively.

While the stakes are high in the evening’s main event and co-feature, Stevenson is fighting for his career against a house favorite. Garcia is based out of Texas but fights in Chicago for the third time in his last four starts. His last appearance saw Garcia surviving a late knockdown to edge out Breidis Prescott in their ESPN2-televised bout last summer.

Stevenson (22-1, 15KOs) rebounded from his lone career loss with a confidence-building 1st round knockout at home in Baltimore last November. That fight came well off the radar, with his valiant-in-defeat effort versus Vasquez presently serving as his last impression left on the boxing public.

He has a chance to change that perception this weekend.

“I get to show the world what I can really do,” insists Stevenson of the televised opportunity. “I'm not stressing or worrying about anything this time around. My last fight, I was real stressed out.”

Stress has been a habitual part of Stevenson’s career, and for good reason. The knockout artist sprinted out to a 15-0 start to his promising career before suffering a series of setbacks in his personal life, all of which were beyond his control.

A dog attack in 2011 left the unbeaten prospect hospitalized and requiring stitches, forcing the first layoff in his career. The untimely passing of his father and mother-in-law further extended his ring hiatus before returning in September '12.

Six water-treading wins followed before running into Vasquez. In order to climb back towards contention, he’s been asked to take on a fighter in Garcia (36-3, 23KOs) who has designs on returning to the junior middleweight division after spending his last two fights shrinking down to welterweight.

A maximum catchweight of 151 lbs. is in place for Friday’s fight, with both combatants easily making weight. Garcia tipped the scales at 150 lbs., while Stevenson was considerably lighter at 146¾ lbs.

“We could've fought at 200 lbs. and I'll still whoop his butt,” assures Stevenson, who fully expects a tough but winnable fight on Friday. “I know he's gonna come at me. I'm just going to adjust and be ready for him. I promise in the end, he’ll be sleeping.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

Tags: Roberto Garcia image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by boxing maniac on 04-24-2015

Stevenson better wake up from his sleep cuz ain't no way he's gonna KO Garcia !

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Photos: Jorge Linares, Pable Cesar Cano - Go Face To Face Photos: Chris Algieri, Danny Gonzalez - Go Face To Face Photos: Demetrius Andrade, Artur Akavov - Go Face To Face Broner: Pacquiao, Roach Underestimating A Lot Of What I Can Do Anthony Dirrell Confident of Beating Yildirim For WBC Title Luis Ortiz To Face Christian Hammer, March 2 At Barclays Ellerbe: Mayweather-Pac Talk Premature, Broner Can Win Broner: Me & Pacquiao Did VADA Testing 'After I Made Some Noise' Keith Thurman vs. Josesito Lopez - Undercard Information News: Ceylan, Otha Jones, Kem Ljungquist, Alejandro Jimenez Ray Beltran-Hiroki Okada Announced For Ramirez-Zepeda Card Wilder-Fury Rematch: Purse Bid Set For February 5, 60-40 Split Boxeo Telemundo Returns on February 22 In Kissimmee Daniel Dubois, Nicola Adams Returns Confirmed By Warren Pablo Cesar Cano To Impose Will on Aging Jorge Linares Jarrell Miller Tabs Joshua as 'Turd' - Gives High Praise To Hearn Arum: Haymon Only Promoter Who Won't Work With Others Zerafa Warns Jeff Horn: I'm No Faded Old Man Like Mundine Amanda Serrano: Things Much Better Now For Female Boxers Nathan Gorman Aims For Spectacular KO on February 23 Photos: Manny Pacquiao Continues To Grind in Las Vegas Amir Khan: Hearn is Pissed Off, But I Control My Own Destiny Jarrell Miller Will No Longer Appear on Jan. 18 DAZN Show Kambosos Details Lessons Learned as Pacquiao Sparring Partner Crawford: I'm Better Than Anyone Amir Khan Has Ever Faced Photos: Andrade, Algieri Visit South Bronx Middle School Photos: Badou Jack, Browne, Warren - Las Vegas Grand Arrivals Photos: Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner - Las Vegas Grand Arrivals Arum: Crawford is Best Welterweight Since Sugar Ray Leonard Amir Khan To Return To Trainer Virgil Hunter For Crawford Fight Andrade 'Don’t Wanna Hear' Saunders’ Excuses For Akavov Fight Vergil Ortiz could fight for 140-pound title in 2019, Says Gomez Espinoza: Mayweather 'Up In the Air' About Pacquiao Rematch Plant-Uzcategui PBC on FS1 Card Peaks at 986,000 Viewers Dmitry Bivol Makes Promotional Pact With Eddie Hearn Official Photos: Adrien Broner Putting in Work in Las Vegas Dmitry Bivol-Joe Smith To Land on DAZN on March 9, Site TBD Photos: Terence Crawford, Amir Khan - Face To Face in London Derevyanchenko-Culcay Title Eliminator: DIBella Outbids AGON Joe Smith Jr. Finally Moves On From Artur Beterbiev

Latest Active Forum Threads