SAN DIEGO, October 1, 2014 – Boxing skills and good ring generalship laid the foundation and a solid right hook sealed the deal for Hassan N’Dam of France via Cameroon in his IBF middleweight fight against Brooklyn native Curtis Stevens.
With Sylvester and Frank Stallone, Dustin Hoffiman, and Cuba Gooding Jr. looking on at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, N’Dam earned himself mandatory challenger status against the winner of next Wednesday’s bout between Sam Soliman of Australian and Jermain Taylor of Little Rock, Arkansas.
N’Dam (31-1, 18 KOs) was unhappy before the fight about the small size of the ring. It made no difference. N’Dam was in charge early in the fight, dictating the rhythm and speed of the fight, using movement and defense to remain out of Stevens’ range while landing his own shots without having to trade with the power puncher.
In the eighth round, N’Dam put Stevens on the canvas with a no-frills right that was textbook solid. It confirmed the confidence and control N’Dam showed during the majority of the fight, winning most rounds on the observers’ scorecards. The official scorecards had it unanimously for N’Dam, 116-111 by Jack Reiss and Glenn Trowbridge, and 119-108 by Barry Druxman.
N’Dam is the winner less because of what he did, and more because of what Stevens didn’t do. Stevens (27-5, 20 KOs) didn’t get busy enough in the fight until it was too late. Stevens has the power to do real damage and it was frustrating to see him letting loose only in the final minute of the fight, when for the previous 11 rounds Stevens couldn’t get out of second gear.
With the knockdown under his belt, N’Dam simply needed to be careful enough not to get into a brawl in the final rounds with the increasingly anxious Stevens.
In the televised undercards, featherweight Miguel Marriage of Colombia (19-0, 17 KOs) made a positive impression in his American debut with a sixth round stoppage of Chris Martin of San Diego (28-4-3, 9 KOs). In a close decision between welterweights from Ghana, Fredrick Lawson (23-0, 20 KOs) beat Ray Narh (26-6, 21 KOs) in a unanimous ten-round decision.
The event was an enjoyable novelty because of the Wednesday night booking, and a net positive all around. If this bout and next week’s Soliman vs. Taylor fight draw decent ratings, fans may be rewarded with more midweek action.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat coverage in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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