This Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 9 p.m, a special edition of Friday Night Fights will take place from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif., featuring a 12-round eliminator between contenders Hassan “El Fenómeno” N’Dam (30-1, 18 KOs) and Curtis “Showtime” Stevens (27-4, 20 KOs). The winner of the bout will earn the right to fight for the IBF title, currently held by Australia’s Sam Soliman.
France’s N’Dam, a former Middleweight titlist, has won his last three fights, including a 10-round unanimous decision win over Fulgencio Zuniga in April.
“I think Curtis Stevens is a great fighter – he’s unbelievably strong and can knock you out with either hand. But, I think he’s limited when it comes to fighting a boxer like Hassan,” said N’Dam’s manager Gary Hyde. “I think the key to this fight is just Hassan being himself. He’s got lovely lateral movement and he’s a fantastic boxer. He’s got the Ali-Leonard style, and that’s what he should stick with against Stevens.”
Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Stevens, who challenged current Middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin for his belt in 2013, has won his last two fights and is coming off a 10th-round TKO win over 2008 Olympian Tureano Johnson.
“I really expect Curtis to be super explosive,” said Stevens’ trainer Andre Rozier. “He knows that this is a title eliminator which will bring him to fighting the winner of the Jermain Taylor-Sam Soliman fight. So he’s literally right back in the title hunt with two steps to go – two really very short steps. I think we’re going to see a very explosive performance that ends in a big knockout.”
Wednesday’s 10-round co-feature will pit undefeated Welterweight Fredrick “General Okuna” Lawson (22-0, 20 KOs) of California against New York’s Ray “The Emperor” Narh (26-5, 21 KOs). In his last outing, Lawson scored a sixth-round TKO win over Mohamed Kayongo, while Narh is looking to rebound from a 10-round split decision loss to Chris van Heerden.
Wednesday’s show will open with an eight-round bout between undefeated Featherweight Miguel Marriaga (18-0, 16KOs) of Colombia and California’s Chris Martin (28-3-3, 9 KOs).
Todd Grisham and analyst Teddy Atlas will be ringside describing the action.