Vive la France! Hassan N'Dam earns title shot with unanimous decision triumph over Curtis Stevens

October 2, 2014

Hassan N'Dam / Photo: Felix Hernandez

Santa Monica, Calif. – After 12 rounds of stellar boxing, former WBO World Middleweight Champion Hassan N’Dam (31-1, 18 KOs) of France, was victorious over American ex-NABF Middleweight Champion Curtis Stevens (27-5, 20 KOs) via a lopsided unanimous decision Wednesday night at the Barker Hangar.  The judges scored the fight 116-111, 116-111, and 119-108, all in favor of Hassan N’Dam. 

Although the spectators in attendance saw a crowd-pleasing and entertaining fight, the first two rounds of the main event got off to a slippery start.

In the Round One, Stevens came out as the aggressor, taking his “Showtime” strength and power-packed punches straight to N’Dam, and momentarily causing the Frenchman to fall to the ground.  However, the referee correctly called it a slip.

N’Dam fell to the floor yet again in the second round, but the referee once more ruled it a slip.

After that tumble, a pattern started to emerge, as Stevens began to work offensively from the pit of the ring, while N’Dam began to circle the perimeter looking for the perfect moments to step in with his left jab and quickly get back to the outer edges.

Stevens continued to attack during the third round, connecting with several combination punches and body shots on N’Dam.  The Frenchman kept busy working the outer parts of the ring, analyzing and studying Stevens for the right time to move in with his attacking left jab.

For a moment, N’Dam pressured Stevens up against the ropes with an onslaught of combinations, but Stevens was able to eventually push back his taller opponent with a powerful set of punches of his own.

In the fourth round, Stevens came out of his corner with fists full of furry, landing aggressive power shots that kept N’Dam at bay, but only momentarily.  N’Dam kept to his successful dual strategy of pacing about the outer ring, coupled with throwing his jab.

N'Dam jabs / Photo: Felix Hernandez

Stevens, the bearded New Yorker from Brownsville, kept moving forward from the inside-out, and was the aggressor throughout the night.  Nonetheless, more and more, he was being controlled by the quick stick-and-move offense from N’Dam.

In the fifth round, Stevens caught N’Dam with several jabs to the face and landed solid blows on the body.  However, N’Dam quickly got back to his perimeter dance, limiting Stevens from making a sure dent.

N’Dam also found a way to connect with countering jabs, fending off the ever-charging Stevens.  N'Dam's agility and quickness dodged several punches including a huge overhand shot from Stevens, who kept measuring for the right time to explode.

Midway into the fight, N’Dam artfully connected on Stevens and began to show off his confidence with a toying display of footwork and even a bolo punch, reminiscent of boxing greats Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Stevens still was able to catch N’Dam up against the ropes with jabs and combinations to the body, but N’Dam answered back by landing a flurry of his own, causing the Frenchman to gesticulate at his opponent as if to say, "you don’t have anything on me."

The one act that ultimately solidified the win for N’Dam took place in the eighth round, the most exciting round of the fight.

Stevens began by landing several punches, but suddenly was dropped to his knees by a hard N'Dam counter shot to the head.  Stevens was able to beat the count, only to receive N’Dam’s aggressive onslaught of blows as he attempted to get the knockout. 

To the crowd’s roaring surprise, Stevens momentarily stopped his opponent's momentum when he snapped N'Dam's neck back with a solid blow.  This forced N’Dam back to his perimeter routine, but not before Stevens landed another hard right hand.  Stevens would finish his rally with another powerful left hook that had the crowd on its feet.

It was not until the tenth round that we began to see clinching from either fighter, possibly a sign of fatigue on both sides. N’Dam took over as the aggressor, meeting Stevens more and more at the center of the ring.

In the eleventh round, N’Dam connected on a powerful blow to Stevens’ stomach, encouraging the Frenchman to toy around and shake-and-bake a bit with his mouth wide open.  Despite N’Dam’s playful elation, Stevens found a way to end the round with a tight left hook to the head.

The final and twelfth round kicked off with the crowd on its feet, and later, with only 15 seconds left in the round, Stevens gave them reason to cheer, as he landed a hard right to N’Dam’s face that forced him against the ropes.

However, at that point all N’Dam needed to do was keep his opponent at bay for a sure victory on points.

N’Dam will next fight for the IBF Middleweight Championship when he takes on the winner of the Sam Soliman-Jermain Taylor bout.

News and Notes

  • The Barker Hangar lived up to King Sports Promotions’ hype as the new venue for exciting, top-tier, and no-nonsense professional boxing in Southern California.  In attendance were A-list celebrity boxing aficionados Frank and Sylvester Stallone, and also boxing great Sugar Shane Mosley.

Sylvester Stallone attends the fights / Photo: Felix Hernandez

  • Sadly, tonight’s event also paid tribute to Dan Goossen (1949-2014), a well-respected local promoter in the world of boxing who lost his own fight to liver cancer only three days earlier.  Goossen was honored with two minutes of silence and a ten count.

By Felix I. Hernandez
Contributing Writer for 

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