IBF orders eliminator bout between N’Dam and Curtis Stevens

stevens1The IBF has ordered Curtis Stevens (27-4, 20 KOs) and Hassan N’Dam (30-1, 18 KOs) to take place with a purse bid scheduled for July 14th. The winner of the Stevens-N’Dam fight will become the mandatory challenge to IBF middleweight champion Sam Soliman for later this year.

This should be a lot easier fight for Stevens than his grueling fight against Tureano Johnson from last April, because it was a very tough fight that Stevens took a lot of punishment in. Stevens is trying to turn his career around since being battered and stopped in a failed title shot against WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin last year in November.

Stevens gave an admirable performance against Golovkin, but at the end of the day he didn’t have the power to compete with him in that fight despite giving it a game effort.

Stevens’ fights against Johnson and Golovkin may have taken something out of him because he took a career’s worth of punishment in those fights.

N’Dam was beaten by Peter Quillin in an embarrassing 12 round unanimous decision in October of 2012 in a fight where N’Dam visited the canvas on six separate occasions. It’s not that he fought poorly in the fight. On the contrary, N’Dam gave Quillin all he could handle with his speedy combinations and heavy pressure that he put on him in the fight. His problem is that he kept getting knocked down left and right, and that hurt his chances of getting the victory. In his last fight, N’Dam defeated Fulgencio Zuniga by a 12 round decision three months ago in July.

Soliman, 40, recently defeated IBF champ Felix Sturm in beating him by a 12 round decision last May in a rematch. Soliman proved once again to be the superior fighter with his constant work rate and his changing punch angles. Soliman does well against fighters without much in the way of power. Soliman is less effective when he’s dealing with guys with major power like Anthony Mundine. Curtis Stevens would likely be a tougher match-up for Soliman due to his power.