Curtis Stevens recently made some waves by brutally knocking out Saul Roman and then calling out WBA middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin, with many predicting a November HBO showdown between the two. That may not happen, though, as Chris Mannix reports that Stevens turned down an offer of $300,000 from K2 Promotions for the fight, which Stevens then confirmed.
Stevens (25-3, 18 KO) isn't really a top middleweight contender, but he's got one-punch power and given the current options at 160, he is a pretty attractive opponent for Golovkin (27-0, 24 KO), as it's a matchup of guys who have been wrecking balls in recent fights. Golovkin's recent domination of Matthew Macklin was really impressive, and he's becoming a serious fan favorite entirely because of his fighting style. Stevens, on a lower level, is doing the same thing right now. That's throwback stuff. It's not personality, it's not "charisma," it's style and actual charisma. Real "swag." Not just jewelry and whatnot. The swag from these guys is a left hook.
I personally do like the fight quite a bit and I'd be excited to watch it. Stevens has a real puncher's chance against anyone, basically, and while I don't believe he's on Golovkin's level, I don't believe that Buster Douglas was on Mike Tyson's level, or that Hasim Rahman was on Lennox Lewis' level, and on and on and on.
But $300,000 for the fight does seem like a totally reasonable offer to me. It's possible Stevens is playing some (hopefully smart) hardball, too, and seeing if they have to up an offer a little bit if there are no other viable opponents that HBO will approve, and if they find someone else in the meantime, Stevens can always go back to NBC Sports in November, fight someone there, win again, and put himself back into the discussion, probably with even more hype if he scores another highlight reel KO.
It's a calculated risk to not take this offer, or at least that's how I'm reading it for now. I could be wrong. It has happened.