You must hand it to Curtis Stevens; the Brownsville boxer talked his way into a bout with a guy that is seeing more and more fighters talk their way OUT of getting into the ring with him, Gennady Golovkin. But it must be asked: will Stevens exit the ring at the Madison Square Garden Theater in NYC on Nov. 2 ruing the day he banged the table to get a faceoff against the Bieber-faced bomber? Will Curtis Stevens come to regret asking for, and receiving this “opportunity?”
Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, seems to think so.
I reached Sanchez on the phone Tuesday and asked him if he thinks Stevens will present a problem for boxing’s newest star, Golovkin.
“None whatsoever,” said Sanchez (pictured above, giving Golovkin advice during a training session), who trained Hall of Famer Terry Norris back in the day, but has told people for years that Golovkin is an even bigger talent than Terrible Terry.
“In the Derrick Findley fight (on April 20), I saw what I needed to see from Stevens,” the trainer continued, speaking of Stevens’ UD8 win over the survivor specialist Findley.
Sanchez said he won’t be preparing Golovkin (age 31; 27-0 with 24 KOs) to exploit Stevens’ weaknesses, because he prefers to train to his guys’ strengths. But Sanchez did say he thinks the 28-year-old Stevens (25-3 with 18 KOs; last fight a KO1 win over Saul Roman on Aug. 3) “is a clubber,” a la an early George Foreman, who neglects the basic adage that the straightest distance between two points is a straight line. “I think Stevens will end up being a decent fighter, but it’s too early for him,” Sanchez said.
I am looking forward to seeing if Stevens’ brash trash talk, his menacing wordsmithery leading up to the scrap, which will be promoted by K2, and Stevens’ promoter, Main Events, and televised on HBO, affects GGG at all. Sanchez thinks not. He said that Stevens’ yapping will be helpful for promotion, but he hopes the boxer will be as effective with his gloves as with his mouth. “I hope everything that he’s talking about doing, he at least tries to do it. I think of the dog that barks a lot, but don’t bite.” He said that Golovkin had 350 amatuer fights, and “I don’t think there is anything Gennady hasn’t seen. With Stevens’ trash talk, I think he’s wasting his time and breath.” Sanchez seems to be hoping Stevens doesn’t fold the tent quickly…”For all of us fans, and I’m a fan too, we want to be treated to a great fight.”
And, are we going to see anything new from Golovkin? I mean, it’ll be pretty hard to be more impressive than he was in his last outing, against Matthew Macklin on June 29 (a KO3 win). “I’m trying to get him to be more precise and exact, he’s already very relaxed in the ring, but to be more assertive,” Sanchez said. “It’s hard when guys don’t fight back. I’d like Stevens to give us rounds, we’ll need that when we get to top guys like Andre Ward, and Carl Froch and Sergio Martinez if he ever comes up. We need to practice, these guys keep falling down, so it’s difficult to practice that.”
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