SAN DIEGO, May 7, 2016 – Two of three televised undercards ended in TKO wins whlle a surprise boxing match broke out in the third Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Curtis “Cerebral Assassin” Stevens (28-5, 21 KOs) of Brooklyn didn’t think twice in his assault on Patrick Teixeira (26-1, 22 KOs) of Brazil, scoring a TKO at 1:04 of the second round and handing Teixeira his first professional defeat. Stevens picks up the vacant WBC De Las Americas middleweight title as a result. Stevens was sharp and the looping counter right hook he threw to Teixeira’s head was beautiful to watch. Teixeira got to his feet, but the fight was over.
Stevens only landed 16 total punches, but 14 were power punches; Teixeira landed 15 punches but nine were jabs, and this tells the story.
“The name of the game is to knock people out and that’s what I did tonight,” said Stevens. “I feel great to get back into the game after my one and a half year break. I really want Lemieux, but I will take whatever I can get. My head is right, and I’m ready to take on whoever.”
“Throughout the fight, I didn’t know if I was winning or losing,” said Patrick Teixeira. “This fight was not how I expected it to go.” This reporter stood next to Teixeira and his team as they waited outside the MGM Grand Hotel for a shuttle to take them to the T-Mobile Arena at 2:30 p.m. local time. The shuttle never arrived. The team finally decided they’d waited long enough and hailed a cab. It was an unseasonably cool day with rain threatening. It was Teixeira’s first fight in Las Vegas, and watching their frustration, it’s my opinion it may have affected his mindset and the fight.
The next fight flipped the predicted script as Frankie “Pitbull” Gomez (21-0, 13 KOs) of East Los Angeles gave a boxing lesson to the master himself, Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera (22-6, 7 KOs) of Riverside, California in a shutout unanimous decision, 100-90 on all scorecards.
“It feels good to get this victory,” said Gomez. “I trained really hard and it paid off. I’m ready to take on my next challenge and take on the best at 140. I want to thank my fans, and I’m glad I was able to put on a good show for them.”
Herrera, who is just a few weeks shy of his 36th birthday on May 24, came off a 10 month layoff. He may have suffered the fate of aging overnight. He seemed rusty and fuzzy headed throughout the fight. Instead of using his superior ring IQ and experience, it seemed he couldn’t get out of the way of the hard changing Gomez.
The CompuBox numbers tell the story of this fight. Gomez landed 183 of 475 total punches (38.5 percent); an impressive 174 of 413 were power punches, double the number Herrera landed. Herrera landed 108 of 410 total punches (25.9 percent), with 84 power punches (34 percent).
“It wasn’t my night,” said Herrera. “I never give up and my fans know that. I hope to be back in Vegas soon because I’ll go anywhere for a fight.”
For those who have always appreciated Herrera’s drive and tenacity in all his fights win or lose, it was hard to watch. Herrera will need to think seriously about his future. But don’t discount the effort of Gomez who showed patience and skill in an excellent performance.
Middleweight David Lemieux had a strong performance, scoring an 8th round TKO over Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia after his corner waved off the fight, a figurative throwing in the towel after being knocked down by a cuffing right hand from Lemieux. Lemieux showed patience, stalking Tapia in the opening rounds. When he determined he could attack Tapia without risk, he got to work.
“This victory means the world to me,” said Lemieux. “It proves all the doubters that Lemieux is back. When I first got offered this fight, I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy. We made sure to have the best training camp possible and within the first round I knew I was dominating. I knew after the first round that I would knock him out. I’m ready to be among the best in the middleweight division and become a world champion.”
Trainer Freddie Roach confirmed it was his call after the bout. “He was getting hit too much. He wasn’t doing what we planned to do and when I saw him go down, I knew what I had to do to protect my fighter. He was taking too many punches,” said Roach.
Tapia said he would be back. “This wasn’t my day at all. He got me from the first round. I kept thinking that I’d get started but I never did. I’m ready to come back. I took a big chance and it didn’t go my way but I’m not done yet.”
Lemieux landed 50 percent of his power punches in the bout (71 of 142), to Tapia’s 43.5 percent (30 of 69). Lemieux’s 18 power punches per round was 30 percent above the middleweight average.
Lemieux may now be in line for a late summer bout with Stevens after their strong performances tonight. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya said, “There’s a reason why we put Stevens, why we put Lemieux, why we put Quigley on the card. Our plan is to make sure the best fight the very best.” If not a Canelo vs. GGG fight, De La Hoya said an Alvarez vs. Lemieux fight is a fight he wouldn’t mind making either.
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.
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