David Lemieux Puts Curtis Stevens to Sleep in Three
David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens promised action, both with their words and thanks to their reputations.
“You’re going to get knocked out,” Lemieux told Stevens.
“Tell the doctor to bring smelling salts. They’re going to need to wake your [butt] up,” Stevens responded.
What actually happened:
These two middleweights promised action, and they delivered it. Only one man’s threat came true, however. It was Lemieux who scored the knockout, landing a left hook that left Stevens unconscious.
Lemieux came forward at the outset. Stevens tried to stand his ground, winging hard shots and landing hooks. Lemieux’s chin held up, and he soon tested Stevens’ beard with a big overhand right that had Stevens retreating to the ropes.
Stevens wanted to stand and trade with Lemieux. The problem is he couldn’t stand up to his power.
The end came soon after Lemieux forced Stevens back to the ropes in the third. He let loose with a right hand between Stevens’ gloves. Stevens took it, turned his body and threw a left hook. Lemieux threw a hook of his own.
Stevens landed first. Lemieux landed in a better spot and with more force. Stevens began to throw a right hand as his faculties left him, and he teetered limply to the canvas, his head crashing against the mat, his body winding up underneath the ropes.
Lemieux is now 37-3 with 33 knockouts. He has won three in a row since his technical knockout defeat to Gennady Golovkin in 2015. His style could make for more fun fights, particularly against Chris Eubank Jr., Avtandil Khurtsidze or Andy Lee. He also could be an option for Canelo Alvarez if Canelo and Golovkin are unable to reach a deal to fight later this year. Of course, Canelo also needs to get by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. first.
Stevens is now 29-6 with 21 KOs. He was taken from the ring on a stretcher and brought to the hospital for precautionary measures. It may be time for his team to have a long talk with him. Stevens can be out-boxed and he can be overpowered. He can dish out punishment, but he’s also taken plenty of it. His three most recent losses have all come against good fighters — Golovkin, Hassan N’Dam and now Lemieux. It would be better to leave the sport to early, though, rather than too late.
Demetrius Andrade Beats Jack Culcay in Unimpressive Performance
Demetrius Andrade hasn’t done his career many favors in the past few years. His victory over Jack Culcay this past Saturday didn’t help matters much.
Andrade wanted to send a message to the rest of the 154-pound division. Instead, anyone watching saw him having an off night with Culcay, failing to impress and leaving Germany with a split decision victory.
Andrade threw a lot of punches — 953 over the course of 12 rounds, according to CompuBox — but he missed with an overwhelming majority of them, going just 66 of 434 with the jab (a 15 percent connect rate) and 180 of 519 with power shots (35 percent). Culcay threw less often. That didn’t keep him from coming forward, though he also used movement to dodge Andrade’s shots by ducking them or stepping away.
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All of that made some rounds seem close, though not as close as the one judge who somehow had Culcay ahead, scoring it 115-114. The other two judges rightly had Andrade the victor, seeing it 116-112, or eight rounds to four.
Andrade moved to 24-0 with 16 KOs. He also picked up the World Boxing Association’s “regular” world title — a secondary belt given that Erislandy Lara is the WBA’s “super” titleholder.
That means Andrade is now the mandatory challenger for Lara. That’s a tough fight for him. Meanwhile, he doesn’t return home with much momentum toward fights with some of the other top junior middleweights — guys like Jermell Charlo (who will soon make his first title defense against Charles Hatley) and Jarrett Hurd (who just won a belt).
Andrade beat Vanes Martirosyan to win a world title in late 2013, then dominated Brian Rose in his first defense. A fight with Charlo was expected to come next, but Andrade pulled out over money. There was also a dispute with his promoters, which kept him out of the ring for 16 months and led to him being stripped of his belt.
An impressive win over Willie Nelson on Showtime last year seemed to put him back on track toward big things. Instead, he chose to challenge Culcay overseas and off American television. Andrade’s talented and deserves a shot in the spotlight. He deserves better than this, but he’ll need to do better than this — and make wiser choices than this.
Culcay is now 22-2 with 11 KOs. This defeat ended an eight-fight win streak.
Yuriorkis Gamboa Takes Forgettable Decision Over Rene Alvarado
The good news for fight fans who watched Lemieux-Stevens this past Saturday is that their night ended with a bang. The bad news is many wound up watching a junior lightweight bout between Yuriorkis Gamboa and Rene Alvarado in order to get there.
Lemieux-Stevens ended with Stevens being put to sleep. Gamboa-Alvarado may have put everyone else to sleep first. It was a snoozer of a 10-rounder with too few exciting moments. Gamboa won a unanimous decision. He likely didn’t win anyone over.
For all of his talent, he opted to skate by on the minimum. Gamboa knew he was too quick and skilled for Alvarado to be able to land much on him. Gamboa largely chose to box from a distance, scoring enough points to take the lead without taking many chances. Alvarado, meanwhile, was hesitant against someone who clearly outclassed him.
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The crowd in the arena began to boo in the third round. They woke up in the fifth when Gamboa let loose with a flurry, though many of those shots missed. The fight immediately settled back into the same pattern as before.
Alvarado was able to land a good right hand in the seventh, followed by two more punches. That emboldened Alvarado to pick up the pressure, which allowed Gamboa to land while Alvarado was coming forward.
The best sequence came in the ninth. Gamboa scored with a good combination, throwing a right and a left as Alvarado was sending out a left hook of his own. Gamboa opened up with more and ate some shots on his way in. Alvarado was soon on the canvas. It wasn’t a knockdown, though. Gamboa had put his forearm on the back of Alvarado’s neck, forced him down and then landed two shots while Alvarado was on his knees.
Gamboa took his own trip to the mat in the 10th and final round. Alvarado had landed a good right hand and left hook, and Gamboa tried to retaliate but put himself off-balance in the process. A left from Alvarado landed while Gamboa was teetering backward. The referee ruled it a knockdown. Gamboa was fine, and it didn’t make much of a difference on the scorecards.
Two judges had it 97-92, giving Gamboa eight rounds and docking him an extra point for the knockdown. The other judge had it 97-93, giving Gamboa seven rounds with no penalty and awarding Alvarado three.
Alvarado is now 24-8 with 16 KOs. He’s lost three of his last four, and six of his last 10.
Gamboa is now 26-1 with 17 KOs. This was his first fight in 15 months. He’s back with a new promoter, but he’s still not doing much to market himself. It’s been a long time since his title run at featherweight between 2009 and 2011. He scored good victories back then, outpointing Orlando Salido in one defense and taking a technical decision over Daniel Ponce De Leon in a non-title fight.