ATLANTIC CITY - Patrick Majewski's bid to become a contender came to a quick and embarrassing end Friday night.
The Somers Point middleweight suffered three knockdowns in less than a minute during a first-round TKO loss to Curtis Stevens at Resorts Casino Hotel.
Stevens (26-4, 19 KOs) dropped Majewski (21-3, 12 KOs) with the first punch he threw, a left jab in the opening seconds of the bout. Two more trips to the canvas prompted referee Lindsey Page to stop the scheduled 10-rounder just 46 seconds into the fight.
"No excuses," Majewski said. "I got my (behind) whupped. I was feeling good coming into the fight and feeling strong physically and mentally. But I was just out of my league against him."
Majewski, 34, had hoped to rebuild his image and re-enter the world rankings after suffering a 12-round decision to Patrick Nielsen in Denmark last September.
He looked confident before the bout, firing combinations in his corner while a large contingent of fans - including sparring partner Isiah Seldon - cheered him on.
The crowd turned silent with shock less than 20 seconds into the fight when Stevens fired a sharp jab that dropped Majewski in a neutral corner. Stevens, who suffered an eighth-round TKO defeat to WBA champion Gennady Golovkin in November, took full advantage of the opportunity once Majewski rose.
The New York slugger swarmed Majewski along the ropes and forced him to drop to one knee after a flurry of hooks. Majewski got up again, but was soon back on the floor after Stevens connected with about a half dozen more punches.
"He caught me with a good shot at first," Majewski said. "And before I could clear my head, he was hitting me again and I was down again. What can I say? That's boxing. It happens."
Stevens is hoping to parlay the convincing victory into another title shot within the next year. Majewski, however, will take some time off and re-evaluate his future in the sport.
Back-to-back losses after an impressive start has made him wonder if he should continue.
"I've got some thinking to do," Majewski said. "Obviously, I'm upset about what happened tonighit. But I love the sport of boxing. We'll see what happens."
On the undercard, Egg Harbor Township junior-middleweight DeCarlo Perez (11-3-1, 4 KOs) saw his five-bout winning streak come to an end with an eight-round, split decision loss to Tampa, Fla. resident Wilky Campfort (16-1, 9 KOs).
Judges Henry Grant (77-75) and George Hill (78-74) both favored Campfort while Ron McNair (77-75) scored it for Perez. The Press scored it 77-75 for Campfort.
"I was worried when they were announcing the scores," said Campfort, who grew up in Haiti. "I thought I was going to get robbed because I'm in his hometown. But I fought my butt off and I kept the crowd quiet."
Campfort prevailed in a thrilling, back-and-forth fight that brought out the best in both fighters.
Campfort, 29, relied on a vicious body attack for most of the bout, but also landed a few left uppercuts and overhand rights. Perez, 22, got busier as the fight progressed and slowed Campfort's progress with crisp combinations.
"I thought I won the fight," Perez said. "He outhustled me toward the end, but he didn't land any clean shots. I guess the judges didn't see that I was landing the cleaner punches."
Campfort earned his 15th straight victory after a 14-month layoff.
Because of his record and aggressive style, he has had trouble landing fights and when he does, they are usually in his opponents' backyard.
"I only had about two weeks notice for this," Campfort said. "But I haven't fought in so long, I couldn't afford to pass up the opportunity. I have a lot of respect for (Perez). I was surprised he was able to take so many body shots. He's a tough kid and he's got skills."
A surprisingly boring co-feature ended with South African cruiserweight Thabiso McChunu (15-1, 10 KOs) winning the vacant NABF title with a 10-round, unanimous decision over Nigerian Olanrewaju Durodola (17-2, 16 KOs).
In the opening bout, Jamaican cruiserweight Venroy July (16-1-2, 6 KOs) gained a six-round, unanimous decision over Albania's Sevdail Sherifi (9-3-3, 8 KOs). July is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Duke University School of Law. Miami, Fla. light-heavyweight Roberto Acevedo (8-1, 5 KOs) handed Russian Ilshat Khusnulgatin (10-1, 6 KOs) his first defeat with a first-round TKO. Newburgh, N.Y. junior-welterweight Wellington Romero (2-0, 1 KOs) also earned a first-round TKO over Ismael Serrano (1-1), of Bethlehem, Pa. Philadelphia junior-welterweight Hasan Young (5-1-1, 2 KOs) posted a six-round, unanimous decision over Pittsburgh's Justin Johnson (5-6-4). Heavyweights Mark Rideout (4-0-2, 1 KO), of Philadelphia, and Fred Latham (4-0-1, 2 KOs), of Pittsburgh, fought to a four-round draw.
PUNCHLINES: Friday's card was the first part of a boxing doubleheader in town. Action continues on Saturday night at Golden Nugget Atlantic City, when promoter Sal Musumeci of Final Forum promotions stages the first pro boxing show at that property since 1998. In the eight-round main event, Medford, N.Y. heavyweight Derric Rossy (28-7, 14 KOs) will face Philadelphian Joey Dawejko (8-3-2, 3 KOs).
On the undercard, Egg Harbor Township light-heavyweight Gabriel Pham (5-0, 2 KOs) will end a nearly two-year layoff with a four-rounder against Michael Mitchell (2-2-2), of Paterson. Vineland junior-welterweight Omar Brito (1-1, 1 KO) will take on Jonathan Williams (0-1), of Allentown, Pa., in another eight-rounder.
Doors to the Golden Nugget Ballroom open at 6:30 p.m. with the first undercard fight slated for 7:30. Tickets are available at the Golden Nugget and through Ticketmaster.