Middleweight Curtis Showtime Stevens Interview: I Want The IBF World Title Belt!
By Robert Brizel, Head RCM Boxing Correspondent
World ranked middleweight contender Curtis Stevens, currently in training for his October 1, 2014 middleweight eliminator bout with 30-1 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam of France, stated his willingness to fight Sam Soliman for the IBF World Middleweight belt later this year-if ESPN2 breaks its current agreement with former world middleweight champion Jermain Taylor.
Taylor was arrested yesterday. The circumstances are grey. Taylor pleaded not guilty and was released on twenty thousand dollars bail arranged by a bail bondsman-after shooting his cousin Tyrone Hinton five times at the Taylor home in Little Rock, Arkansas, a family domestic dispute, putting his October 8, 2014 ESPN2 title bout with Australian Sam Soliman, the defending IBF champion, in jeopardy. Soliman might not have an opponent if ESPN does not want to work with Taylor, or if Taylor’s legal troubles interfere with the bout.
Stevens, now 27-4, 20 knockouts, Brownsville, New York, is committed to fighting his upcoming eliminator bout of N’Jikam, and expects to get a rematch for the world middleweight title with Gennady Golovkin or a shot WBO champion Peter Quillin.
Real Combat Media: “Would you step in and fight Sam Soliman if Taylor pulled out?”
Curtis Stevens: “Of course! I have a contract to fight Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam.That’s the match we’ve (my team has) got. Of course I would fight Sam Soliman. I want that title belt! These fighters like Sam Soliman and Jermain Taylor are getting these title shots for no reason. I don’t know. It’s because Al Haymon is a powerful influence in the boxing world. He set Soliman versus Taylor up. Nobody possesses the power in boxing. Al Haymon has now. Why do Soliman and Taylor have to fight each other for me to get a shot? Taylor gets a straight title shot, and I am ranked higher than he is.”
Real Combat Media: “What would you do to Sam Soliman in the ring?”
Curtis Stevens: “They call me the legend killer.”
Real Combat Media: “Can you beat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.”
Curtis Stevens: “Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is a straight shooter who fights coming forward. Curtis Stevens versus Chavez Jr. would be a great matchup. He knocked Sergio Gabriel Martinez down in the last round of their title bout. However, we (the boxing public) hasn’t seen Chavez Jr. get hit by a puncher with power like me yet. Chavez Jr. cannot make the middleweight limit anymore, I think. He is really a super middleweight.
Real Combat Media: “Tell me about Peter Quillin.”
Curtis Stevens: “He’s a friend of mine. He hasn’t really fought anybody yet. His fight with N’Jikam was a great fight, he did what he has to do in the ring. Peter is a good fighter, but without the knockdowns of N’Jikam (twice each in rounds 4, 6 and 12), Peter would have lost to N’Jikam on points.”
Reader’s Note: Stevens lost by 12 round decision to Jesse Brinkley in 2010, who Quillin subsequently stopped in three rounds for the USBO Super Middleweight title in 2011.
Real Combat Media: Quillin next fights 24-0 Matt Korobov in November 2014 in defense of his WBO World Middleweight title. What about Curtis Stevens versus Miguel Cotto?”
Curtis Stevens: “Cotto is a very good boxer, but he’s in the wrong weight class. Miguel fought a washed up Sergio Gabriel Martinez, who is injury prone. He caught Martinez at the right time. It would have been a better fight a couple of years ago.”
Real Combat Media: “Can Sergio Gabriel Martinez fight again, versus you or anybody else?”
Curtis Stevens: “Sergio’s old (age 39) and he’s messed up (due to injuries). he’s over. I have always fought my best at middleweight. Martinez fought his best at light middleweight. Martinez is not a natural middleweight. A natural middleweight would give Martinez trouble.”
Real Combat Media: “Can Marco Antonio Rubio give Gennady Golovkin trouble in their upcoming bout.”
Curtis Stevens: “Rubio has a little bit of power. In the middleweight division, it all depends on how much power you have.”
Real Combat Media: “Assess Gennady Golovkin. You fought a great with Gennady into the later rounds. You could have gone the distance with GGG if you wanted to.”
Curtis Stevens: “GGG is a great fighter. My uncle stopped my fight with him because I was taking too much punishment, and he didn’t want me to get hurt. With me, GGG had a game plan. TO me, GGG has wear you down power, but not one punch knockdown power. We are gonna fight again ( I predict), after GGG gets past Marco Antonio Rubio.”