Monday, December 5, 2022
HomeSportsBoxingAfter longest layoff, Curtis Stevens returns to boxing for yet another run

After longest layoff, Curtis Stevens returns to boxing for yet another run

Curtis Stevens has had practically three years to take a seat round and ponder life. He thought concerning the sport he has educated and competed in since he was in grade faculty, and whether or not he can proceed to take action after practically twenty years as knowledgeable.

The 37-year-old from Brownsville, Brooklyn insists he by no means retired. He says his uncle/coach Andre Rozier, who first put gloves on him at age 5, informed a reporter after his 2019 stoppage loss to Wale Omotoso that his nephew was performed with boxing. And not using a promoter or supervisor, the calls stopped coming. 

“That’s my uncle, he cares for me, he needs one of the best for me,” mentioned Stevens (30-7, 22 knockouts). “However solely I make selections for myself.”

Stevens lastly obtained a combat supply when Erez David, a promoter who educated alongside Stevens way back on the Starrett Metropolis Boxing Membership, informed him about his upcoming present. That present, set for this Thursday, March 24 on the Melrose Ballroom in Astoria, Queens, N.Y., can be headlined by Stevens in a six-round middleweight bout towards Joshua Conley (16-3-1, 11 KOs).

Conley likewise hasn’t fought since 2019, and has misplaced by stoppage in his greatest step-up fights towards Julian Williams and Carlos Adames.

“I solely noticed one combat of his,” mentioned Stevens. “He tries to outlive and throws good hooks right here and there. He throws an uppercut that he tries to get you out of there with. It’s a terrific comeback combat for me.”

Erez David says he’s been most impressed by Stevens’ dedication to coaching on this camp, having educated by way of his birthday earlier this month after an earlier combat date was canceled on account of points matching fights.

He needs to combat so unhealthy. He needs to get it out of his system,” mentioned David, who’s selling his third professional occasion beneath his firm, One For All Promotions.

Andre Rozier can be in Stevens’ nook for this combat, although he was educated primarily by his cousin Anthony Irons, a 2005 N.Y. Golden Gloves champ finest recognized for coaching Daniel Jacobs, and long-time assistant Gary Stark Sr.

Throughout the layoff, Stevens started taking steps in direction of life after boxing. He opened a daycare, Little Libby’s Munchkins, in Queens Village, providing pick-up and drop-off service for working mother and father who want their younger ones taken care of.

Nonetheless, Stevens hasn’t given up the dream, irrespective of how far off it appears.

“I nonetheless need to change into world champion, that’s at all times the been the objective. As soon as I try this, God prepared, if I do it this time, then I’m out of right here,” mentioned Stevens.

Even and not using a world title, Stevens has had a greater boxing profession than most. As an novice, he gained the 2002 U.S. Nationwide Championships, defeating future gentle heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud in Las Vegas. He turned skilled in 2004 as one half of the “Chin Checkers,” a formidable duo of flashy New York knockout artists with shut good friend Jaidon Codrington.

There have been loads of excessive instances, just like the spotlight reel knockout wins over fringe contenders like Elvin Ayala, Piotr Wilczewski and Patrick Teixeira, underlining the explosive, concussive drive that made Stevens who he’s.

Then there have been the valleys, like his powerful however unsuccessful problem towards Gennadiy Golovkin in his lone world title alternative, or his worrying 2017 knockout loss to David Lemieux. In his final bout towards Omotoso, Stevens appeared to have little punch resistance remaining after being dropped 3 times in three rounds. Stevens blames the efficiency on utilizing epsom salt baths to chop all the way down to 154 kilos, which he mentioned left him bodily drained, as an alternative of his normal follow of sitting in a sauna.

“Every little thing occurs for a cause,” mentioned Stevens. “I knocked 22 motherf—hers out. However hey, I caught mine too. I don’t care about any of that. It’s on come Thursday,” mentioned Stevens.

The plan, Stevens says, is that there isn’t a plan. Not on this unpredictable enterprise. However he says {that a} win on Thursday ought to let promoters know that he’s energetic once more and able to take combat gives. He is aware of he’ll be coming in as an “opponent” for any huge fights, and is able to make one final stand.

“It’s just one telephone name away and other people simply must know that you simply’re again in motion. They in all probability name you to make use of you as a step-up, and then you definitely step whoever the f–okay they’ve down. In boxing, you by no means understand how the ball will flip,” mentioned Stevens.

Trudy Li professional debut postponed

The skilled debut of 2021 Nationwide Golden Gloves champion Trudy Li has been postponed after failing to safe an opponent for the four-round girls’s junior light-weight bout.

Li, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, gained the N.Y. Golden Gloves in 2017, and was anticipated to make her professional debut this Thursday in Queens.

Different bouts included on the cardboard embody Domnique Crowder (11-0, 7 KOs) of Baltimore towards Wilner Soto (22-9, 12 KOs) of Colombia in an eight-round junior featherweight bout, plus the professional debut of N.J. novice standout John Vallejo in a four-round junior welterweight bout towards Jerryd Hernandez.

Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Every day Information, Rappler, Vice and The Guardian, and holds a Grasp’s diploma from the Craig Newmark Graduate Faculty of Journalism. He might be reached at [email protected]



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