Sunday, March 12, 2017

David Lemieux Hammers Curtis Stevenson in Sensational Round 3 KO

I’m wondering if Curtis Stevens was cold in the 8 degree weather when he arrived at the Turning Stone boxing arena in Verona New York. Maybe Canadian David Lemieux was more accustomed to the bitter winter weather. 

But if Stevens was cold, he left colder, put to sleep by Lemieux in the third round by a classic combination of right-hand and a left-hook follow.  I don’t see Curtis Stevens as being finished, but I think his sensational early days are well behind him.  In spite of recent wins, Stevens is  still in the position of being the ‘opponent’ . The tag will stick as he becomes more and more the former ‘name’ or rung on the ladder other people have to climb.

I hope he’s saved enough money to retire. It was kind of tough watching his mom there at ringside praying for him to open his eyes. Stevens had his run, I’m afraid, and there was no disgrace in losing to David Lemieux, a guy who I’ve always underestimated.

There is no way to underestimate him now. His 8th ground KO at the hands of Gennady Golovkin was merely one in a long line of GGG KOs.  And while I’m at it, I think I have (by only a tiny bit) underestimated both fighters at one time or another and it’s time I admitted it. At the same time, I’ve always liked and respected both.

What impressed me most last night about David Lemieux was not only his power (which I knew about), nor his speed (which was always evident), nor his boxing knowledge (apparent, too) but his TIMING. 
Timing is something magical that happens when boxers are fighting at a certain high level.  No matter how fast the action looks from the outside, there is something in a   fighter’s mind that clicks in and films the fight in slow motion. Fortunately, the rest of us have real show motion to watch, enabling us to see (but only after watching the slow motion 3 or 4 times…lol) exactly what happened.

The fight was interesting in all three rounds. In the second, Lemieux was told to settle back a little and pick his shots which he did and very effectively. I suppose the announcers were being respectful in speaking of Stevens ‘coming on.’ I didn’t see any ‘coming on.’

But Stevens  (and I’ve seen him do this in other recent fights) was letting himself get backed up against the ropes, something he never did in his early fights. Then in one minute fifty nine seconds of the third round, he was backed up again, and with perfect timing Lemieux threw a touch feint jab to hide a crushing straight right hand that landed flush. Stevens’s instinct was to counter with a flailing hook that was weakened by the right hand he took. 

And that’s where the part about Lemieux’s amazing TIMING comes in. What looked like Lemieux’s fluid left hook in real time actually contained the very slightest hesitation before striking with leverage and power (for doesn’t one flow from the other?)  
In that fraction of a second measured usually and only in racing and the NFL combine, Lemieux’s guiding instinct was to ‘wait’ (waiting is the wrong word but there’s no smaller word to describe a fraction of a second) until Stevens’s right hand lowered enough for Lemieux’s hook to penetrate his guard. And boom!

Okay, look at it as a movement all in one piece, fine. Touch jab, right hand, left hook. Fine.  The reason I mention it is that Lemieux’s timing was right on the money in every punch he threw.  His sense of timing was such that the could have beaten a computer last night.  And so, I must give him his   props with apologies for underestimating him in the first place.

Do I think he can beat GGG in a rematch? My pick would be GGG again.  But I’d like to see Lemieux matched up against Canelo Alvarez.  Not going to happen, because Alvarez is booked up with Chavez Jr. and for how long can Canelo delay a fight with GGG?

For all that, I think it’s about time Alvarez and everybody else stopped talking about how much of a public draw Alvarez is and how lesser a draw is GGG.  Golovkin’s getting older. I want to see himn in his prime. Beating him in old age doesn’t count.
WTF do I care about those fan numbers anyway?  Golovkin is a plenty big draw and there’s plenty of money for both fighters.  I tried to keep an open mind about it but now it’s clear that Golovkin wants to fight and Canelo wants to delay.

I’ll bet ten to one that Alvarez is hoping for Danny Jacobs to knock GGG off. That’s a possibility that shows GGG’s bona fides, his authenticity, because Jacobs is a greater risk than Chavez Jr. in the weight class.

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