In a clash of two elite-level middleweights vying for another chance at a world title, Montreal’s David Lemieux made one heck of a statement Saturday night against Curtis Stevens.
The two sluggers banged it out from the opening bell, trading serious leather with seeming reckless abandon early and often. Their showdown anchored HBO’s Boxing After Dark telecast from inside the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, N.Y., and those who watched the violence unfold were treated to one of the most spectacular one-punch knockouts in recent memory.
When the fight was heating up and the two were trading blows, Stevens (29-6, 21 KOs) backed into the ropes. In the blink of an eye, Lemieux unloaded a brutal left hook that exploded on Stevens’ jaw, knocking him out cold on impact. Stevens crumbled down into the bottom rope and was teetering on the ring apron and the referee never bothered to administer a count; Stevens was out for a few minutes before finally coming to. The end came officially at 1:59 of the third, allowing Lemieux, a former IBF middleweight king, to rise to 37-3 with 33 KOs.
The co-feature was not filled with the sort of excitement as the main event as Cuban defector Yuriorkis Gamboa slowly pecked away at Rene Alvarado for 10 rounds en route to a rather tedious unanimous decision. Alvarado (24-8, 16 KOs) scored a flash knockdown in the final frame but it was not enough to turn the tides. Gamboa (26-1, 17 KOs) was given the nod on scores of 97-92 (twice and 97-93).