Curtis Stevens takes on Hassan N'Dam in IBF middleweight eliminator bout in Santa Monica

September 30, 2014

On Wednesday, October 1, local Los Angeles boxing fans will get to see one of the sport's most powerful middleweights at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, when hard-punching Curtis Stevens (27-4, 20 KOs) will face Hassan N'Dam (30-1, 18 KOs) in a mandatory bout to earn a shot at the IBF Middleweight World Championship Belt currently held by Australia's Sam Soliman (44-1, 18 KOs).  King Sports is promoting the bout with assistance from Roy Englebrecht Promotions.

Stevens is a short, compact fighter from Brooklyn who does his best work on the interior.  He has outstanding one-punch knockout power, but is still trying to rebound from a devastating knockout loss of his own that he suffered last year against middleweight superstar Gennady Golovkin.

France's Hassan N’Dam is no slouch himself, as he is a former WBO World Middleweight Champion.

The mere fact that this fight is even taking place at the Barker Hangar is a bit of a surprise.  Earlier this year, King Sports announced the return of big-time fights to Southern California at this venue, and Wednesday's bout will be just the second card held there since that announcement.

King Sports stunned many by winning the sealed bid against Main Events, Stevens' promoter, for the right to promote this important middleweight fight.

"I was just as shocked that we won the bid," said Michael King, president of King Sports. "On the other hand, it's important fights like this one that we promised to deliver, and will continue to deliver, as we develop and expand our lineup of world class fighters and events from King Sports."

In addition to the Stevens-N'Dam clash, the card will feature four additional competitive bouts with some up-and-coming boxers in the cruiserweight, middleweight, welterweight, and featherweight divisions.

“We have assembled a group of fights that ensures an exciting, first-class night of boxing,” said King. “Our fights not only have title implications, but feature evenly matched fighters with unbelievable records. These fighters are going to have to dig in to win and they are putting their impeccable records on the line to thrill not only Southern California boxing fans, but a national television audience hungry for competitive boxing.”

In the welterweight bout, national pride will be at stake as two tough Ghanaians will battle for bragging rights when Ghana's Frederick Lawson (22-0, 20 KOs) puts his undefeated record on the line against top-ranked fellow countryman Ray Narh (26-5, 21 KOs).

In the featherweight fight, veteran tactician Christopher "Marvelous" Martin (28-3-3, 9 KOs) of San Diego returns to action against the highly-touted Miguel Marriaga (18-0, 16 KOs) of Colombia in an 8-rounder.  Martin is the current USNBC and NABO Super Bantamweight Champion.

Martin, a crafty counter-puncher, recently earned a unanimous decision win over the tough Giovanni Caro in August. Through eight rounds, it was a back-and-forth fight with neither boxer backing down. Martin, however, showed more consistency round-over-round and was able to squeeze out a close win.

"I felt refreshed after the Caro win," said Martin, who is promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions. "I took about a week off and then I went right back into the gym. I feel strong, confident, and ready to win."

In the card's other middleweight fight, Sergiy Derevyanchenko (1-0, 1 KO) from Ukraine faces Lekan Byfield (5-5, 2 KOs) from Atlanta.  Derevyanchenko turned professional in 2014, but has an extensive amateur career.  He won a bronze medal at the 2007 Amateur World Boxing Championships, and competed in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

The event will also feature Interim World Cruiserweight Champion Youri Kalenga, and seventh-ranked heavyweight Charles Martin (18-0-1, 16 KOs), and will be televised on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. PT.

"We bought the rights to this major fight and we're thrilled to have it," said Brian Kweder, Head of Boxing programming at ESPN. "Over the past several months, King Sports has proven itself a legit player in the space, and we are proud to partner with Michael King on his first televised event. Without question we're expecting an outstanding lineup of fighters."

When viewed altogether, the five bouts will showcase several talented fighters with an impressive combined record of 174 Wins, 25 Losses, and 114 KO’s.

By Staff of and news services

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