Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
On Saturday, November 19, 2016, Curtis Stevens (29-5, 21 KOs) scored a tough unanimous decision victory against James De La Rosa (23-5, 13 KOs) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 10-round Middleweight bout was the first of a four-fight PPV broadcast on HBO.
Stevens is still trying to reestablish himself in the Middleweight division after losses to Gennady Golovkin and Hassan N’Dam in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Tonight was another step in the right direction, but the 31-year-old native of Brownsville, New York had trouble with De La Rosa tonight.
After nearly stopping De La Rosa in Rounds 2 and 3 with hard combination shots, Stevens began to slow down in Rounds 4 and 5. Stevens began to slow down because of an injury suffered in his left hand.
After the injury, Stevens relied mostly on his right hand, which allowed De La Rosa to begin outboxing Stevens and landing shots from the outside.
De La Rosa, a 29-year-old resident of San Benito Texas, was beginning to even the score against Stevens. De La Rosa was especially successful at landing combinations while Stevens, who could now barely counterpunch, waited patiently with his high guard.
It also did not help that Stevens was deducted a point in Round 8 for a low blow with his right hand.
Nevertheless, Stevens was able to regain a slight lead in the later rounds, though it was not easy. The judges scorecards do not reflect how close the fight actually was.
Stevens won with scores of 98-90, 96-92 and 96-92.
“I give myself a C minus. Could have thrown my jab a little more,” said Stevens.
“I am glad I got the W but I am a little disappointed in myself. [I] Hurt my left hand in the fourth round. He’s got a hard-ass head. But I am glad I got the win,” said Stevens.
What did you think of Stevens’ performance? Has he improved with new trainer John David Jackson?
Let us know in the comments section below.
Gabe Rivas has written for Round By Round Boxing since July of 2013. He studies Literature and Philosophy, tutors English, and teaches Boxing. Follow him on Instagram and on Twitter @GabeRivas03.