Although Golovkin (27-0, 24 knockouts) scored his 14th straight stoppage win against Matthew Macklin in June, Stevens (25-3, 18 KOs) questions why the native of Kazakhstan was not able to more swifly dispose of opponents such as Kassim Ouma and Gabriel Rosado, whom he vanquished in the 10th and seventh rounds, respectively.
Meanwhile, Stevens said that he can offer more versatility than Golvokin has seen thus far, whether it means displaying his finishing power, as he did during a first-round stoppage of Saul Roman on Aug. 3, or his boxing ability, like in his eight-round unanimous decision over Derrick Findley in April at The Garden.
Stevens’ Q&A is below:
Note: Interview facilitated by Ellen Haley of Main Events.
RingTv.com: How much and how long have you studied Golovkin’s style?
Curtis Stevens: Well, I’m not going to say that he really has a style. He comes. He comes to get you. But I would say ever since I was two years off.
I was like, “Well, I ain’t got nothing else to do but to just watch fights and see who the best candidate is among the champions to be taken out.” So I just watched the group of them, overall. I was off for two years, and I came back. So it was about two years.
RingTV.com: What do you bring to the table that none of Golovkin’s other opponents have against him in terms of skill, power and athleticism?
CS: I think that I bring it in all situations. I’ve been through many surroundings. Plus, there’s a difference between me and his other opponents. I have one-punch knockout power. I guess all of them can knock out people, but I have that one-punch knockout power.
Even Golovkin, I don’t think that he has that one-punch knockout power. If that was the case, then [Kassim] Ouma would have went down, and [Gabriel] Rosado would have gotten taken out. Even Macklin would have been taken out before that body shot that took him down.
But I’m not going ito say that I won’t touch him to the body, but once I touch that head, then it’s over. And I can box, too, like I showed in the Derrick Findley fight. I can also adapt to my surroundings. I can take it from one to a thousand [rounds,] so I’m ready.
RingTV.com: What flaws, if any, do you see in Golovkin?
CS: He loads up on his shots. He loads up on his punches. He loads up, and he’s not shooting straight punches and flowing with it.
He wants to knock you out so badly that he’s bringing them from wherever he’s from, Kazakhstan, and try to hit you with it. Because he doesn’t have a natural flow with it.
Like when he was fighting Macklin, I was sitting there watching it, and I’m like, “Why are his punches so slow?”
He was sitting there and just loading up on the shots, and Abel Sanchez was telling him to stop loading, so I was like, “That’s why he’s so slow.”
RingTV.com: Do you buy into Golovkin’s punching power, or do you think that he just hasn’t faced someone who can take his kind of punch?
CS: I’m not going to say that I don’t believe in his punching power, because it only takes about seven ounces of pressure to knock someone out. Right now, you can be knocked out by Floyd [Mayweather] if Floyd hits you the right way.
So I’m not going to say that I don’t believe in his power. But has he truly been tested by someone with power? No. No. Like I said, if Gabriel Rosado stood in there for that long, and his corner stopped it, that was just because he was bloody.
Gabe was just bleeding and looking bad. That could have gone 12 rounds, but the corner stopped it. Like I said, how much punching power does he really have? He has power, but he doesn’t have that thumping power.
RingTV.com: What do you think that the hometown crowd will do for you?
CS: It may help me, it may not. There’s no one in there but me and him. I don’t give a damn if the whole arena came there for Golovkin. Can’t nobody help him, can’t nobody help me.
All that we can do is help ourselves and defend ourselves the best way possible. But that is my hometown, so the hometown is always great. But like I said, ain’t nobody in there but me and him.
Photo collage: Naoki Fukuda & Rich Graessle-Main Events
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]