Last November, Curtis Stevens was stopped in eight rounds by WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. This Friday, he headlines a NBC Sports Channel card from Atlantic City, when he faces hometown fighter Patrick Majewski.
Both of these guys are at similar places in their careers, even if they didn't take very similar routes. They each have decent records, but the kind of losses that place them outside of any sort of world-title consideration.
But a win would provide a nice push up the ladder at 160 for either man.
|Per BoxRec||Curtis Stevens||Patrick Majewski|
|Record:||25-4, 18 KOs||21-2, 13 KOs|
|Weight:||160 pounds||160 pounds|
|Hometown:||Brownsville, N.Y.||Atlantic City, N.J.|
Stevens is very much on the short side for a middleweight, though he has the reach of a taller man. The Brownsville native fought at super middleweight and light heavyweight earlier in his career.
Majewski is a native of Poland, but Atlantic City is his hometown now and he will have a boisterous crowd behind him in the A.C. on Friday. I've seen the way Polish fans living in New Jersey will travel to reach upstate New York.
With one of their guys fighting in their own backyard, expect them to pack the place.
Just over two months ago, Stevens challenged undefeated WBA middleweight champion Golovkin. Stevens took a pretty bad beating and was stopped after Round 8.
Still, the fight helped raise his profile, and now he's got the chance to headline a Friday night card on the NBC Sports Channel. Stevens is one of the biggest punchers in the division. He's had 15 stoppages inside of the first two rounds, with many of them coming at super middleweight and light heavyweight.
An exciting win here will keep his name relevant for fights at middleweight.
As a native of Poland and a two-time Philadelphia Gold Gloves champion, Majewski has roots in two rich boxing traditions. Main Events, the co-promoter for the show, has a strong history of working with Eastern European fighters in the northeast.
A statement win for Majewski here will set him up for good fights moving forward.
Curtis Stevens is a powerful, explosive athlete. He moves forward like a tank, which is to say, confidently and while delivering armor-piercing rounds.
Stevens has quick feet and decent head movement, but he's all about offense. He's a dangerous puncher, and he knows it. He was confident about matching power when he fought at 168 and 175.
Patrick Majewski has a nice jab and moves well on the outside. These are both skills he'll need against a bulldozer like Stevens.
Majewski probably hasn't fought anybody at Stevens' level, but he's been around and gained experience. Fighting in front of his hometown crowd, he's being handed the biggest opportunity of his career here.
That should give him some emotion to fight on when things get rough.
Curtis Stevens fights like a tank, but the problem with tanks is that they don't always handle well on the angles. A good stick-and-move fighter who can jab down on Stevens with authority while sliding smoothly on the outside could give him problems.
Patrick Majewski moves well on the outside, but when he got caught up exchanging on the inside against Latif Mundy, I thought his footwork got careless and he became too stationary.
Mundy is a stout middleweight, but he's not the physical presence Stevens is on the inside. If he slows down or gets tangled up against Stevens, Majewski could find himself on the canvas.
Stevens' main skill set is being a bully and backing people up, then pounding them silly. That wasn't a workable strategy for him against Golovkin, and it didn't hold up against Jesse Brinkley in 2010 or Andre Dirrell in 2007.
But Majewski isn't any of those fighters. Stevens should go after Majewski exactly the way he went after Saul Roman in his last fight prior to facing GGG.
He should muscle in on Majewski as if he has no respect at all for his power and drop bombs on him.
If Majewski has the skill to adjust and stay out of range behind his jab, Stevens is going to have to put some effort into lowering his levels and slipping inside. If Stevens can't stop Majewski in the first two rounds, he should focus heavily on the body in the middle rounds.
Majewski is going to need to stay behind his jab and on the outside against Stevens. He has to avoid letting Stevens get inside, where he'll be able to bully and muscle him.
It's going to require Majewski to deliver some of his biggest punches off from his back foot, as he fades back and looks to shift direction against the aggressive Stevens.
When Majewski is stepping to the outside on Stevens, he should look to throw hooks to the body. Majewski should be careful about letting go too many exchanges when Stevens is in good position on him. If he lands on Stevens but eats a bomb in return, Majewski could be looking at a short night.
Majewski has some skill as a boxer, but I just don't think he's ultimately going to be able to keep Stevens off from him. Stevens is quick and explosive moving forward.
Stevens will have good success ducking under Majewski's jab or even driving right through it, while getting into position to unload a monster punch.
Stevens is in a perfect opportunity to keep himself in the spotlight as an exciting fighter who can bang at middleweight. I expect him to take advantage of it.
I think Majewski will have enough ability to evade destruction early, but that by the middle rounds, the big shots will have started to add up. Stevens by Round 7 TKO.