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Old 05-17-2017, 12:04 PM #1
Motorcity Cobra Motorcity Cobra is offline
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Default Shakur Stevenson: Brick City

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So I moved up to Alexandria to live with him and train. Pop-Pop would come out to tournaments when he could to help out. And that was to be it: the start of my life as a full-time boxer.

Except I lost in the Golden Gloves tournament.


COURTESY OF SHAKUR STEVENSON

I hadn’t lost in three years. Not in Junior Worlds, not in the Youth Olympics.

But I lost. To another American boxer, Ruben Villa.

And at the first-round of the Olympic Trials qualifier in Colorado I lost again to Ruben.

I lost. To the same guy. Twice.

I finally picked up a win at another qualifying tournament in Philly. Ruben wasn’t there, since he had won the previous qualifier. Which meant, when we went out to Reno for the Olympic Trials, I had to win or I’d miss going to Rio and have to turn pro. Everything was riding on this tournament.

I made sure I was focused. After that loss in Colorado I had changed the background on my phone: It was a picture of Ruben winning.

Man, every time I looked at that photo I just thought of the comeback.

I was so zoned in, and in a weird way, I felt good, because in all my fights, I had never lost in Reno. I almost felt a little bit like it was my place to get things done. And for my first fight, I did.

Then it came time to fight Ruben again. And I swear to you, it was insane. There were two rings and two fights going on at the same time. But eeeeeeeverybody came around to watch Ruben and me.

So I got in the ring, and I ain’t gonna lie, I was nervous. But I just kept telling myself one thing:

It’s that time. It’s that time to be great.

All I needed to do was perform.

So we touched gloves. And that was it. I beat him. With all due respect, I beat him easy. He’s a tough fighter, but it was a 3-0 decision. I know, you’re expecting some long, dramatic, drawn out description of the fight. How we went back and forth until we could barely stand. But that’s not how it happened.

It was that time and I just wasn’t going to let Rio slip away.

But it was double elimination to get the spot on the Olympic team. So we each went through another set of brackets before we met again two days later.

I knew — if I beat him once, I could do it again.

And I did. I was going to Rio.

“Man, I know you’re going to win gold,” Ruben told me.


PHOTO BY FRANK FRANKLIN II/AP IMAGES


The best part 0f the Olympics? Pop-Pop, my dad and my momma all came too — it was the first time she’d ever been on a plane. And for my family and friends in Newark who couldn’t make it, I heard they’d set up a big screen at the corner of Broad and Market so they could watch.

I made my way through my fights to the gold medal bout. The guy I’m fighting, the Cuban, Robeisy Ramirez, I used to watch him all the time growing up. He won the gold four years earlier. If anything, I was excited to fight him. I couldn’t wait.

So I walk out to the ring and I’m smiling. Anytime you see me fight, I smile. I’m happy. I thought maybe the crowd would be neutral, you know? An American versus a Cuban. But nah, they went in on me.

I lost the first round. And I just thought, Daaaaaang, I gotta do something. I trained my whole life for this. I can’t let it go.

So I come back out for the second round, and switch my whole style up and make sure I’m scoring effectively. I moved my hands lower, so I could see a bit better and pick my punches better.

I went back to the corner knowing I’d won that round.

Now it’s 1-1, with one more round to go.

Not gonna lie, in my head, I’m thinking how exhausted I am, how much weight I had to lose, how tired I was.

The plan for the final round was to just keep him from landing punches. Just keeping it boring, really, and get the decision. Which pretty much goes to plan until the last 15 or 20 seconds — he threw a lot of punches, I’m just trying to grab him.

And then the final bell sounds.

So we’re each standing there and they tell us it’s a split decision.

OK, give it to me, give it to me.

“And your winner, out of the red corner…Robeisy Ramirez!”

I lost.


PHOTO BY DEAN MOUHTAROPOULOS/GETTY IMAGES

I thought I had it together when I went up for the post-fight interviews. I get to the camera and I’m good. I start talking for a second and I’m good. But then I look up into the stands. And I see my dad. I see my momma.

I see Pop-Pop.

And I just lose it. You’ve probably seen it already, but yeah, I just broke down in tears. I guess it just hit me all at once. All I could do in that moment was cry. And when I got back to the locker room, I didn’t want to to talk to nobody. Even Floyd Mayweather was on the phone wanting to talk to me.

I couldn’t speak to any of them. I just had to be alone and process.

And then the Cuban, he came up to me. That was nothing but love. He was telling me how good I’ll be, that I was the best he ever fought. I mean, this was a guy I really looked up to. He and I walked to the medal ceremony together.

Standing up on the medal stand, I felt like a failure. I felt like I had let everybody down.

When I finally saw Pop-Pop, he just told me how proud he was.

Then I flew home.

And I stopped boxing.

I got back to Grandpa Stevenson’s house in Virginia and I don’t know, it was like my motivation was gone. I couldn’t understand how you could work so hard for something, go through all that, and just lose at the end.


PHOTO BY KHRISTOPHER “SQUINT” SANDIFER

So for four months, I just spent time with family in Hampton. Didn’t even put on a pair of gloves, hit a bag or step into a ring.

Then I got invited to Andre Ward’s training camp in Oakland ahead of his fight against Kovalev last November. Now Dre is my favorite fighter, so boxing or no boxing, I was like, I gotta go.

As soon as I got there, it was like the switch flipped again. I don’t even know how to describe what it’s like watching a boxer like that just spar. The skill set, the drive — I mean, he’s really taking it to these big dudes.

I wanna be just as great as Andre Ward, I told myself. I could be this good. I know I could be this good.

We spoke a little bit about the fight in Rio — he told me how he watched the fight and thought I got robbed. And you know, it was good hearing that, but I had to start owning what it was: I lost. Forget what anybody else thinks or says, I lost.

Here’s the other thing, I think a lot of people nowadays look at a career like Floyd Mayweather’s, see him going undefeated and think a loss is the biggest thing in the world. I used to think that too.

But it’s a part of the sport. So I’m learning to stop tripping over it. Besides, if you look at guys like Sugar Ray Leonard, or Ali, they lost and were still the greats, right?

So when Dre talked to me about going pro, I knew it was time and I was ready. Leading up to my first pro fight, I changed the background on my phone again.
Read the full story at:
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Last edited by Motorcity Cobra; 05-17-2017 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:08 PM #2
Rip Chudd Rip Chudd is offline
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[QUOTE=Motorcity Cobra;17677453]
Quote:

Read the full story at:
[Link View Has Been Removed. Click Here To Unlock This Content.]

Wait...so that gigantic wall of text isn't the full story?


No thanks
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:15 PM #3
Motorcity Cobra Motorcity Cobra is offline
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[QUOTE=Rip Chudd;17677463]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorcity Cobra View Post


Wait...so that gigantic wall of text isn't the full story?


No thanks
I messed up and posted double. I just edited it to the parts I want. And yes the article is long.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:28 PM #4
yngwie yngwie is offline
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The read is repeated in some parts.
But the full read is really good, Shakur is a cool guy, I used to talk with him when i was about 14 years old and he was winning the youth world and youth olympics, back then he was sure that he was going to Rio.
And I remember the Ruben Villa fights (Ruben also beat Devin Haney), he beat him twice so i was sure that Shakur wasn't going to Rio.
I thought he had a really easy draw and they screwed Conlan, he reached the final with two fights and Robeisy fought 4 times before the final, but Robeisy is elite and he deservedly won.
I still don't understand how people criticise Shakur for crying after losing, he is a top fighter and he loves the sport, all the fighters react like that.
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:07 PM #5
Motorcity Cobra Motorcity Cobra is offline
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Originally Posted by yngwie View Post
The read is repeated in some parts.
But the full read is really good, Shakur is a cool guy, I used to talk with him when i was about 14 years old and he was winning the youth world and youth olympics, back then he was sure that he was going to Rio.
And I remember the Ruben Villa fights (Ruben also beat Devin Haney), he beat him twice so i was sure that Shakur wasn't going to Rio.
I thought he had a really easy draw and they screwed Conlan, he reached the final with two fights and Robeisy fought 4 times before the final, but Robeisy is elite and he deservedly won.
I still don't understand how people criticise Shakur for crying after losing, he is a top fighter and he loves the sport, all the fighters react like that.
What is Ruben up to now?
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:08 PM #6
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Be ready to have some insight, from what the "sweet science" really is:

Regarding his fight for the Gold medal:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakur Stevenson
The plan for the final round was to just keep him from landing punches. Just keeping it boring, really, and get the decision.
IS THAT YOU ANDRE WARD?

Oh, I keep reading:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakur Stevenson
Then I got invited to Andre Ward’s training camp in Oakland ahead of his fight against Kovalev last November. Now Dre is my favorite fighter, so boxing or no boxing, I was like, I gotta go.
Wait. It gets better:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakur Stevenson
I wanna be just as great as Andre Ward, I told myself. I could be this good. I know I could be this good.
You already started well, son!

Wait, there's more:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakur Stevenson
We spoke a little bit about the fight in Rio — he told me how he watched the fight and thought I got robbed.
Don't know why I'm not surprised.

Bonus:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakur Stevenson
Even Floyd Mayweather was on the phone wanting to talk to me.
But there is hope, that's the good part:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakur Stevenson
but I had to start owning what it was: I lost. Forget what anybody else thinks or says, I lost.
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:20 PM #7
yngwie yngwie is offline
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Originally Posted by Motorcity Cobra View Post
What is Ruben up to now?
He turned pro, but there's a big difference between fighting in the olympics and being the second best at the olympic trials.
So he is pretty much fighting in non televised bouts in some obscure undercards.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:03 PM #8
Eff Pandas Eff Pandas is online now
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I don't even like hearing a guy who's at the contender level being accepting of a L so I don't like seeing a guy on the come up talking like this. I think when you lose it should be the biggest thing in the world for a professional fighter. And that's not to saying you can't lose or you suck like the dummies around here would say or that you deny that you lost despite all evidence to the contrary. But I think losing should kinda f#ck you up. It should be hard to lose. It should make you strive to better so you have to deal with L's as seldom as possible in your career.

And maybe I'm just misunderstanding his overall point here cuz he does seem to have had that mindset in his recent past with the 2 Villa L's & the Olympic final L, but the way the article ends it sounds like he's altered his perception of L's moving forward from the tough way he took L's previously which I think is how you should take L's. L's f#cking suck & I think you need to be a little or even a lot f#cking delusional about your ability to excel & win & your inability to lose to reach your maximum level in most competitive environments.
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:06 PM #9
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Originally Posted by Motorcity Cobra View Post
What is Ruben up to now?
5-0 signedwith banner and thompson promotions
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Old 05-17-2017, 02:08 PM #10
Eff Pandas Eff Pandas is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yngwie View Post
He turned pro, but there's a big difference between fighting in the olympics and being the second best at the olympic trials.
So he is pretty much fighting in non televised bouts in some obscure undercards.
Randomly that's crazy how that works & it happens every Olympics...hell every year basically when amateurs turn pro. If you are top of the food chain you can turn pro on TV, if you lost in the finals to the guy who's on top of the food chain by a point you stand a good chance of turning pro in Iowa at the bottom of a off TV card to a local news article IF you're lucky.

I think any bozo promoter with a million or two to risk could sign an awesome roster of extremely high level amateurs transitioning to the pros easy with how fast the drop off is from the #1 guy to the #2 thru #5 guys.
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