Contributor: Nolan Howell
It didn’t take long for the expected fireworks on HBO last night as David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens met in Verona, N.Y. for the middleweight main event. With Stevens’s WBC Continental Americas Middleweight title and the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title on the line, it took just three rounds for a knockout blow.
Stevens was flurrying and backed up against the ropes. As he completed a missed left hook and looked to wind up for a right, a short left hook from Lemieux ended his night in spectacular fashion, sending him sleeping through the ropes and to the ring apron. Stevens had to be stretchered out, but it was fortunately precautionary.
Lemieux reestablished his standing in the middleweight division with an exclamation point and looks to have some interesting match-ups in the future after losing to Gennady Golovkin. Stevens’s best days are behind him, but can be counted on for firefights if he should continue his career in the ring.
Elsewhere, Yuriorkis Gamboa returned with an unimpressive unanimous decision victory against Rene Alvarado at lightweight. Gamboa showed all the rust of time off combined with his 35 years of age, but a fight like this is integral to shake off the dust and reestablish himself for one last run at title relevancy.
-Nolan can be reached @undercardnolan or at firstname.lastname@example.org