ATLANTIC CITY -- Three thoughts on the card headlined by Curtis Stevens first round knockout win over Patrick Majewski:
Welcome back, Curtis Stevens
Stevens, 28, took the toughest loss of his career in the biggest fight of his career against Gennady Golovkin last November. But Stevens -- who missed most of 2010 and all of 2011 in a promotional dispute -- was determined to get back in the ring quickly. Against Majewski, Stevens (26-4) vowed to be more aggressive, to not think as much in the ring. That’s what he did, dropping Majewski three times en route to an easy knockout win.
It’s difficult to discern whether Stevens made any real improvements since the Golovkin fight; Majewski, who went the distance in a loss to middleweight contender Patrick Nielsen last September, was completely overmatched, getting dropped by a jab on the first knockdown and getting overwhelmed by a flurry of power punches at the end. Still, it was an impressive comeback win for Stevens less than three months after such a devastating defeat.
Where now, Curtis?
It’s a simple fact of boxing: If you can talk a good game and back it up with crunching power, you can climb back into the world title picture quickly. Stevens does both. The 160-pound division is rich with television friendly talent, but the most appealing candidate for Stevens could be WBO titleholder Peter Quillin. Quillin has struggled finding marketable opponents while Stevens promoter, Kathy Duva, told SI.com that she would like to get Stevens back in the ring quickly. There are plenty of politics involved -- Stevens fought his last fight on HBO and Quillin fights exclusively on Showtime -- but Quillin-Stevens would be a dynamic fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn
The rise of Thabiso Mchunu continues
On the televised undercard cruiserweight Thabiso Mchunu scored his second straight significant victory, outpointing Olanrewaju Durodola. The compact, 5-foot-8 Mchunu is masterful at fighting taller opponents; he stays in a tight crouch and counterpunches with superior speed. Durodola looked uncomfortable against Mchunu throughout he fight, and there was an unusual amount of back and forth between fighter and trainer between rounds. For Mchunu though, it was another dominating win. Most of the top 200-pounders are in Europe, but the South African born Mchunu is rapidly moving up the cruiserweight rankings on his way to a world title shot.
-- By Chris Mannix