“Fight writers try to knock me/ out-write me b*tch stop me/ people talk about me man I can’t help it, I’m cocky”
Amid its sprawling, majestic, and almost panoramic landscape, the heart of Gotham oozes a brutal confidence. It is bred out of a refined and fast-paced grit, for most of its cosmopolitan denizens have a practiced resolve. It is evident in demeanor. New Yorkers will only relent when the stop light says so, and even then, there’s a palpable sense of tension, because we don’t want to wait- even if that means coming to the conclusion of our fate.
When Curtis Stevens was making his way to the ring to face Gennady “GGG” Golovkin this past Saturday night on HBO @Madison Square Garden, I took a moment to reflect on this as he walked past me. Having grown-up on the dangerous west end of Plainfield, NJ and its daily test of will, the small war-zone I called home will always have a lot to do with who I am- and who I’m not. I immediately identified with what we have in common that makes us who we are.
I am a survivor.
The harsh and unforgiving terrain of Brownsville located in the New York borough of Brooklyn, is home to survivors of the hardest kind. You can be killed for breathing too fast. Stevens not only talked fast in the build-up to his fight with Golovkin, he spoke in the harshest and most unforgiving ways. In essence, he was ready to kill- or be killed.
I expected the average user of a telescope to see Stevens floating around in outer space after maybe the 3rd round, and I’m fairly certain he saw UFO’s near the end of the 2nd round. But lost in all of his pre-fight banter and disdainful bravado, was the essence of what makes him a true New Yorker and the ultimate survivor.
Stevens was also an ultimate warrior.
He was in excellent condition, compact in frame, very strong and skilled in ways greater than I expected. His chin also contained elements of granite, as he was more than willing to back up his assertion that Golovkin had not been tested and that he would put a comprehensive beating on him. Stevens was very fast and landed several power shots on Golovkin, including his patented left hook, a punch which would drop any elite middleweight in the world if landed flush. And he did land it flush- to no avail.
Stevens also lost every round and took a colossal beating physically.
What I also believe Stevens did the other night was lose to the best fighter, pound for pound, on the planet. You can #2 all over that opinion if you like- and I won’t argue with you. But while Floyd Mayweather deserves all the credit in the world for the way he flushed Canelo, Alvarez would mop the floor with Robert Guerrero and collect phone numbers from ring card girls in between rounds at that. Not only that, but Andre Ward has been on the shelf since nearly 14 months and we don’t know how good he’ll look in less than 2 weeks. Combine that with how active he’s been as a fighter (his 4th fight this year) and the fact that he’s openly told Mayweather he’d fight him at 154lbs, and Gennady Golovkin is the most dominant fighter in the world.
Here’s what else I know about Golovkin.
He stops and destroys everyone you put in front of him and Sergio Martinez has also openly avoided him. It is true that he’s had serious injury to go along with advancing years, but he has now been called upon by “GGG” to settle their bad blood. Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin was also mentioned by name after his comprehensive and downright diabolical 8th round annihilation of Stevens. The fact that he was able to drop Stevens with the 2nd of a double left hook so firmly, re-affirmed his immense and freakish power.
Stevens wanted to dance to a Hip/Hop track and Golovkin did not change the station. He opted to mercilessly beat the game and tough Brooklynite into submission, in his office space, before pushing him out of it. And Stevens is a big middleweight.
Because of modern technology and his own natural pedigree as an elite athlete, it is plausible that the long in the tooth “Maravila” could find a way to provide the endless motion needed to best Golovkin over 12 rounds. But even if fully on the mend, all I can see is a frightening and disturbing knockout loss to Golovkin.
Unless Mayweather agreed to face him at 154lbs (which would send me into cardiac arrest from shock), or he came to terms with Andre Ward, I cannot see anyone directly in front of him or in his rearview mirror that could beat him. And if there is someone who thinks this is wrong- he wants your name and a signature on a contract.
And more than likely- he’ll kick your ass.