The last time we saw Curtis ‘Kryptonite’ Stevens (25-4, 18kos) he was taking a harsh lesson from the dynamic Gennady Golovkin, in his unsuccessful challenge for Golovkin’s WBA world middleweight title. On that night, last November, Stevens found himself powerless to disarm the marauding champion, and after 8 rounds of receiving clinical and often brutal punishment, he was wisely rescued between rounds by his corner.
After finding Golovkin a step too far, Stevens returns to the ring, on Friday night, at the Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey, against the tough Patrick ‘The Machine’ Majewski (21-2, 13kos).
When he was beaten in 2010 by Jesse Brinkley, on points, Stevens responded to that upset defeat by staying out of the ring for over 2 years. This time he seems to have taken his setback much better, and is returning just 2 months after the Golovkin fight. Stevens is looking to bounce back quickly, and get his name right back into the mix of the top fighters in the 160 pound division. His opponent on Friday is a tough Polish native, who has based himself in Atlantic City, and fought almost exclusively in America. There is nothing flash about Majewski, and at first glance he can seem like just an ordinary fighter, with no exceptional skills. However, as his fights proceed he often seems to get stronger and stronger. With just two defeats in his 23 contests, Majewski’s greatest asset is his fitness and heart, and a relentless fighting style, which has worn down the majority of his opponents. Like Stevens, Majewski is coming off a defeat, having been beaten on points last September, by the unbeaten Dane, Patrick Nielson.
With each boxer entering this fight with a loss in their last contest, it becomes even more imperative for both men to score a victory on Friday night. The middleweight division is currently one of the most competitive and popular divisions in boxing at the moment, and the winner of Friday’s fight would put themselves in position for a number of possible lucrative matches.
Stevens enters this fight with the more to lose, despite his defeat to Golovkin, he was not embarrassed or disgraced, and so his viability for some big fights in the near future has not been damaged. Defeat against Majewski however, would be a big setback for ’Kryptonite’ and would end thoughts of another world title opportunity, against one of the other 160 pound ‘world’ champions, for the foreseeable future.
Majewski, on the other hand, goes into Friday’s showdown with less to lose. He is the underdog, who despite his popularity, has a much lower profile than Stevens. Friday’s fight offers Majewski the chance to score the biggest victory of his career so far, and break through into a whole new level if he wins.
On paper this looks like a good fight for Stevens to use as a comeback vehicle. Majewski is tough, but not exceptional enough it would seem, to really have a chance of pulling off an upset. Other than his points defeat to Patrick Nielson in his last fight, Majewski’s only other career blemish is a 6th round knockout defeat to Jose Miguel Torres, in late 2011. Torres is an aggressive big punching Columbian, who is physically and stylistically of a similar mould to Curtis Stevens.
The Torres result might well be a good guide as to how Majewski will fare against Stevens.
The key for ’Kryptonite’ in this fight seems to be to get on the inside of the long armed Majewski, and try to overwhelm him before he has got going. Despite the Polish fighter’s well-earned reputation as a solid-chinned warrior, it wouldn’t be so much of a surprise to see this fight end early. However, things could get interesting if ‘The Machine’ can ride the likely early storm from ‘Kryptonite’ and take the contest into the later rounds, then we may see Stevens having to answer some questions about his stamina and his ability to cope when he is unable to get rid of his opponent early.
Stevens, himself, will almost certainly be trying for an impressive early victory here to show that he is still very much in the top of the middleweight mix, and that ‘Kryptonite’ is a dangerous substance to any middleweight in the world. Unless that is, your name happens to be Gennady Golovkin.