Stevens Opens the Show With A Bang

Photos: Will Hart

By Eric Raskin

Earlier in his career, Curtis Stevens went by the nickname “Chin Checker.” In the opening bout of the Canelo Alvarez-Amir Khan pay-per-view at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Stevens checked undefeated Patrick Teixeira’s chin. And it did not pass inspection.

Now known as “The Cerebral Assassin,” Stevens certainly lived up to the latter part of that moniker as he dispatched Teixeira violently in the second round, after only four minutes and four seconds of one-sided action. The end came when the 5’11” southpaw Teixeira stepped in and landed a left uppercut, only to be countered by a crushing right hand from Stevens. The 31-year-old veteran from Brooklyn, perhaps best known for a knockout loss to Gennady Golovkin in 2013, took a page from GGG’s book, as the finishing punch was somewhat reminiscent of Golovkin’s knock-you-out-while-hit-me blow against Daniel Geale. The 25-year-old Teixeira beat referee Tony Weeks’ count, but he couldn’t follow his instructions to step forward steadily, and the bout was correctly called off.

Teixeira never looked comfortable in the fight, as the shorter Stevens spent the opening round surprisingly out-jabbing him and countering the Brazilian at every turn. Stevens (28-5, 21 KOs) hurt Teixeira (26-1, 22 KOs) about a minute into the fight and patiently waited for the opportunity to hurt him again. He didn’t have to wait long.

“The young lion was trying to take over the jungle,” Stevens told HBO’s Max Kellerman afterward, “but it wasn’t happening tonight.”