Tuesday afternoon, prior to the official weigh in, an original “Chin-checker” said he was going to do all his talking in the ring, but on Wednesday night Stevens seemed to have lost his gift of gab inside the squared circle. It was his opponent, Hassan N’ Dam who did all the talking and moving and fighting when they faced off in a twelve round middleweight eliminator at the Barker Center in Santa Monica, California. ESPN Friday Night Fights televised the event live that was well attended by Hollywood celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone and Dustin Hoffman, etc…
All three judges scored the contest in favor of Hassan N’Dam (116-111 twice and 119-108) who dominated the fight from start to finish. Following a first round bum rush by Stevens (27-5, 20KO’S), N’ Dam (31-1,18KO’S) took control of the fight using his athletic abilities as well as obvious height and reach advantages. Former champion from Cameron glided around a small ring as if it was a huge football field and unloaded crisp combinations following a stiff jab. His constant lateral movement prevented Stevens from setting up his feet to fire back. Befuddled for the first half of the fight Stevens finally had some success in rounds six and seven trapping his adversary on the ropes and unloading some heavy leather.
With renewed confidence Stevens continued to march forward in the eighth stanza when he ran into a crushing right hand that deposited him on the canvas. Curtis got up and fought back bravely producing exhilarating two way action and inspiring a fan to shout; “Ali Frazier!”Only Frazier did not show up. On the other hand N’ Dam continued to stick and move and dominate round after round. In fact, his confidence got so high that he started to rotate his right fist as if he could hit Stevens any time he wanted to and then treated fans to Ali shuffle in the corner of the ring.
Stevens went all out in the final round and even landed a telling right hand blow that had the crowd go “wow”, but it was too little too late. N’ Dam got away from the ropes, fired back a combination and danced his way to a victory. “I wanted to show people that I am a real middleweight contender and I did,” said N’Dam, 30:” Now I only want to watch the fight on October 8th and take on the winner.” Sam Soliman is scheduled to defend his IBF middleweight title against former champion, Jermain Taylor on October 8th, 2014. The winner of that fight is supposed to face Hassan N’ Dam who is anxious to win his title back.