Last year, Curtis Stevens was made an offer to appear in the debut of Big Knockout Boxing. He declined the offer to instead take an IBF eliminator fight against Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam. That fight didn't turn out so well for him at all as he was thoroughly out-boxed and couldn't keep up with the movement of N'Jikam to land any of his trademark power. In Stevens mind, and many others for that matter, you're only as good as your last fight. So now he's willing to make a foray into the circular pit to rebuild his brand in the hopes it will propel him back to HBO prime time.
"You are as good as your last fight and my last fight was a loss so I have to come back, knock his ass out and I'll be back on the winning side," the 30-year-old with a 27-5 (20 knockouts) professional record said to RingTV about his BKB debut. "Hopefully it will catapult me back on HBO or something."
His opponent, Gabe Rosado, is the current middleweight champ in BKB-land, and has moved between both traditional and BKB formats when he's had the opportunity to secure good paying fights. However, in the traditional boxing format, Rosado is winless in his last five fights - and has taken some hellacious punishment in several of them.
Stevens only regards Rosado as an 'okay' fighter who has received a lot of opportunities on the big stage. There is a point to be made there. I think Rosado is a little better than an 'okay' fighter, but he has gotten a numbers of calls for fights on the big stage while he's been riding this losing streak. Of course, a big part of that reason is that Gabe is a true fighter and always puts up a good scrap, even when he's losing. Another part of that is his sincere willingness to step in there with anyone, unlike a number of other fighters. Be that as it may, Stevens views this fight as just another knockout opportunity for him, and it doesn't hurt that there's a $30,000 KO bonus on the table for both men.
"I'm going to go in there and knock his ass out," Stevens said of what to expect in "The Pit" on April 4. "He's never been knocked out that I've seen aside from referee, corners or doctors stopping the fight. I'm trying to go in there and knock his ass out. I don't want anybody stopping the fight. I want people to know that I am for real."
All in all I think this is a good fight. Gabe Rosado clearly has a little more experience in the BKB format, but I think this format benefits Stevens more, who clearly has better one-punch power. In BKB there isn't much space to run around to escape engaging with your opponent, so since they'll be forced to go toe-to-toe, Stevens won't have to worry about getting in position to land his power like he does in traditional boxing.
Who do you like in the fight? And how do you all feel about BKB in general?