By Keith Idec
ATLANTIC CITY – There were times Saturday night that Shakur Stevenson seemed to land at will against Carlos Ruiz.
No matter how many times Stevenson connected, though, his determined Mexican opponent kept moving forward. Stevenson couldn’t knock down Ruiz, but the 2016 Olympic silver medalist’s activity and accuracy enabled him to convincingly beat Ruiz in an uneventful eight-rounder on the Bryant Jennings-Alexander Dimitrenko undercard at Ocean Resort Casino.
The 21-year-old Stevenson (8-0, 4 KOs) won all eight rounds on each of the three judges’ scorecards (80-72) and won a unanimous decision over Ruiz, who hasn’t been knocked out in 23 pro bouts. The 25-year-old Ruiz (16-5-2, 6 KOs) stalked Stevenson for much of the bout, but he didn’t throw nearly as many punches as the skilled southpaw from Newark, New Jersey.
“It was a good performance against a tough guy,” Stevenson said. “I did what I had to do and made it easy. He showed me some things in there. I boxed him and didn’t take any unnecessary chances. We’re looking forward to the next one.”
Stevenson fought for the first time since he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery last month for his alleged role in a brawl at a parking garage in Miami.
Against Ruiz, the eighth and final round mirrored many of the previous rounds, with Stevenson fighting off his back foot and Ruiz ineffectively pressing the action. A right-left combination by Stevenson late in the seventh round was his best moment in those three minutes.
Stevenson’s straight left hand briefly stopped Ruiz in his tracks late in the sixth round. Several seconds later, Stevenson clipped Ruiz with a right hook.
Stevenson was warned for a low blow during the fifth round.
Stevenson connected with two right hooks in the first half of the fourth round. A straight left hand by Stevenson later in the fourth drew a reaction from the crowd, yet didn’t deter Ruiz.
Stevenson cleanly landed a right-left combination to Ruiz’s head about 1:10 into the third round, but Ruiz kept coming forward. A hard, straight left by Stevenson snapped back Ruiz’s head toward the end of the third round, yet didn’t seem to hurt him.
Stevenson spent much of the first two rounds establishing his jab.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.