SAN DIEGO, March 11, 2017 – Yes, we know it’s only March. But it would be nearly impossible to picture a better Knockout of the Year for 2017 than the left hook to the chin from David Lemieux that ended Saturday’s bout with Curtis Stevens.
Lemieux (37-3, 33 KOs) stopped Stevens (29-6, 21 KOs) at 1:59 of Round 3 Saturday in Verona, New York in his best performance of his career. It could not have come at a better time.
See the highlights including the knockout here.
Lemieux and Stevens have some serious bad blood between them, and they trash talked each other right up to the opening bell. Lemieux went straight at Stevens and never let up. Although Stevens landed several good punches, his output was nothing like Lemieux, both to head and body.
The fight ending knockout was perfectly placed. Stevens was out cold before he hit the canvas. It resembled the breath-taking knockout punch by Juan Manuel Marquez of Manny Pacquiao in 2012. Stevens was taken out of the ring on a stretcher as a precaution, but he was conscious.
Lemieux landed 93 of 283 punches (35 percent), with 67 of 120 power punches (56 percent); Stevens only landed 36 of 105 total punches (34 percent), with 32 of 82 power punches (38 percent).
After the bout, Lemieux told HBO’s Max Kellerman, “I told you before I did it, I told you what I was going to do tonight, and I did it. I see checkmate, it’s a perfect connection. It’s what we’ve been practicing for, and what we wanted to do,” said Lemieux.
Lemieux expressed concern about Stevens’ health in the aftermath, but admitted in the post-fight news conference he wanted to make an example of Stevens because of all the trash talk leading up to the fight. “I wasn’t emotional in the ring; I knew what I wanted to do,” said Lemieux. “Obviously I’m not here to hurt anyone long term, I hope he will be OK and go back to his family.”
Main Events issued a statement, reporting Stevens was in a local hospital: “Curtis is talking, he seems to be OK. They are doing a couple of tests and we are waiting for the results.”
Based on a single punch, suddenly Lemieux is a viable opponent for the top names. Who would he like to face next?
“We want to face the best fighters out there, whatever name is out there,” said Lemieux. “There is (Billy Joe) Saunders who has a title, there is Canelo (Alvarez), a solid fighter, great fighter, and there is the kingpin (Gennady) Golovkin who I would love to defeat.”
Boxing may be the only sport where a single moment and a single punch can change the course of an athlete’s career. Golovkin wants to unify the titles in the middleweight division. If Saunders continues to avoid Golovkin as he has been, Lemieux can get a rematch with Golovkin by taking Saunders’ belt from him.
If Alvarez wants one legitimate middleweight bout after he fights Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. in May before facing “the kingpin” Golovkin as Lemieux called him, Lemieux is a solid choice. They share a promoter and Alvarez can learn more about how he’d stack up against Golovkin by fighting Lemieux, who Golovkin dominated in 2015.
The opening event sent much of the audience at Turning Stone and at home out for refreshments. Cuban lightweight Yuriorkis Gamboa (26-1, 17 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Rene Alvarado of Nicaraugua 24-8, 16 KOs). It was an uninspired, uninteresting effort. Even considering that Gamboa had been out of the ring after a 15-month absence, it was not a good performance. If Gamboa had hoped the fight would launch him back into the heart of the division with opportunities to fight opponents like Miguel Berchault, Takashi Miura, or even Vasyl Lomachenko, he needs to adjust his ambitions.
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 in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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