Advertisement: IBO Boxing
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com
Advertisement

Shakur Stevenson: On The Cusp Of…

image

By Cliff Rold

This Saturday night, 22-year old featherweight prospect and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson (11-0, 6 KO) goes home to Newark for the first time. The 22-year old might just be finding what could be a profitable home base. The Prudential Center has solid history as a boxing venue in the decade and change since it opened its doors, starting with several Tomas Adamek battles.

Top Rank, Stevenson’s promoter, in recent years has effectively burnished the drawing power of Terence Crawford and Jose Ramirez in Nebraska and Central California. Stevenson, in an east coast city not far from the Big Apple, could duplicate that success and more.

Stevenson may be able to do even more.

Saturday night, he will have the main event spotlight on a nationally televised ESPN card (10:30 PM EST), facing Mexico’s 28-year old Alberto Guevara (27-4, 12 KO). Guevara is coming off a decision loss to Hugo Ruiz in January but is a reliably sturdy test. His lone stoppage came at the hands of one of the better bantamweights of the last twenty years, Shinsuke Yamanaka, in 2013.

The loss to Yamanaka Was Guevara’s second failed title shot after losing a wide decision to Leo Santa Cruz in 2012. Guevara’s only other defeat was a ten-round disappointment to future bantamweight titlist Emmanuel Rodriguez. He hasn’t lost below the world-class level yet.

Add it all together and Guevara, who is a late replacement, provides Stevenson potential value by way of comparison-shopping. No matter how many examples inform fight followers not to look at one result and compare it to another, it’s inevitable. Should Stevenson stop him in early, dominant fashion, it will be a nice early feather in his cap. Guevara only loses to very good fighters so a win would make it easy to assume Stevenson in that company.

It’s already pretty easy to assume that.

Stevenson is a talented young man.

An increasing number of fans, pundits, trainers, and fighters are vocalizing that they think Stevenson might be on the cusp of big things. BoxingScene contributor Stephen Edwards tweeted he thinks Stevenson has the most potential in the sport.

shakur-stevenson (4)_13

The sanctioning body ratings speak to more than potential. Ready or not, Stevenson is in position to challenge for almost every belt at 126 lbs. sooner than later. Only the WBC has Stevenson outside of the top 15. He’s the leading, if not yet mandatory, contender in the WBA, IBF, and WBO ratings.

The ‘super’ WBA belt, their primary world title and the only one that should get any oxygen, is around the waist of Leo Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is still with the PBC so he’s not likely to be facing Stevenson soon. Stevenson has called for a shot at IBF titlist Josh Warrington; WBO titlist Oscar Valdez is, like Stevenson, promoted by Top Rank so they could be viable foes though it may be more realistic at a point when both are at 130 lbs.

Make the safe assumption featherweight won’t be the final destination for Stevenson if he keeps winning. Tall for the weight class, Stevenson has a frame that could easily take him to lightweight by his mid-20s. How much higher he can go beyond lightweight is hard to envision. While he’s listed at 5’8, there still aren’t a ton of guys who were featherweight in their 20s who effectively grew much beyond the lightweight class. It’s true even in the day before weigh-in era.

He could always surprise and stay near featherweight for several years.

So what might we be on the cusp of with the career of Stevenson? Some legal troubles related to a street fight in a garage raised eyebrows have resolved; if trouble stays at bay, the in-ring questions will get their answers. Still only eleven fights into his career, Stevenson has plenty to prove before the projections and conjecture get carried away.

But some talents make it hard not to wonder where the journey of their career is headed. Is this a kid whose talent will ultimately be greater than his accomplishment? Is he a future multi-division titlist? Will his size put a ceiling on how big a star he can become even if he does tremendous things in the ring?

We don’t know yet. All we know for now is he’s made it from Olympian to main event on a major cable outlet and he’s on the cusp of something more. Finding out how much more is part of the fun.

Cliff’s Notes…

There are so many shows on this weekend between television and various streaming platforms it could be almost overwhelming for a genuine fight fanatic. The Picks of the Week will be back before the weekend to help sort it out…The G-1 show last weekend was a blast. Wrestling fans certainly have more to pick from near the mainstream than they have in years…For anyone who missed it, do yourself a favor and check out Tom Gerbasi’s excellent column yesterday, “The Worst Summer Ever – Ten Years Later.” It’s one of the best reads of 2019…The build for Thurman-Pacquiao hasn’t been particularly organic or memorable, but the fight still looks damn good on paper and that’s good enough.   

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Sweden2716 on 07-11-2019

Shakur is just a street punk beats on people on the ground takes swings at women. He deserves to be in jail. Hope this punk gets knocked out.

Comment by otrocubiche on 07-11-2019

Damn Cliff, a whole article on Shakur and not a word on VADA? Would you mind telling readers why he is not rank with WBC? Couldn't you just made a slight reference at him being removed from the ranking? You…

Comment by skinnystev on 07-11-2019

i thought this thug was to busy brawling in the streets to have any real fights

ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (3)
Advertisement
Top Headlines
Sampson Boxing, Paco Postponed Planned 4/24 Las Vegas Card The Quarantine Debates: Carving Out Boxing's Mount Rushmore Khan Backs Tyson Fury: Joshua Will Be An Easy Win For Him! Povetkin's Promoter: I Agree With Delay, Whyte is Dangerous Fight Haney: I Feel Like They Should Reinstate Me As WBC Champion Jeff Horn: Just Give Me Eight Weeks Notice For Tszyu, I'm Ready For Any Date Atlas Praises Joshua For Bouncing Back, Expects Him To Beat Pulev Claressa Shields Details Her Fiery Exchange With Laila Ali UFC's Dana White Unloads on Boxing, Says It's Very "F--ked Up" Jacobs: Benavidez Strongest, Plant Most Beatable Of 168-Pound Champs Saunders: No Excuse For My Actions, In Poor Taste, I Apologize WBSS Fantasy Tournament: Sugar Ray Robinson Blasts Fernando Vargas in Five Hearn Discusses The Status of Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev Japan’s Rookie Of The Year Tournament Postponed Due To COVID-19 Pacquiao Angered By Leaked Letter, Wants Full Investigation Hearn on Saunders Domestic Violence Video: It Was So Idiotic! Tokyo Olympics Rescheduled For July 23-August 8, 2021 Vazquez: Second Fight With Marquez Is My Favorite, Without A Doubt Saunders Suspended By British Boxing Board For Controversial Video Mikey Garcia: I Would Fight Pacquiao Similar To How Marquez Did Whyte-Povetkin, Usyk-Chisora Cards Pushed Back Due To COVID-19 Thurman: I Wanna Become Complete Monster Again, Dominate Welterweight Division Luke Campbell Staying Patient, But Fears Title Shot May Never Come Horn vs. Tszyu: Both Sides Open To Doing Closed Doors Fight Hearn Confident Boxing Recovers, Not Sure Every Promoter Will De La Hoya Calls On Mayweather For Push-Up Contest To Battle Coronavirus Michael Hunter Ready To Face Charles Martin in Final Eliminator Live Boxing Returns In Japan; Boxing Companies Elsewhere Dip Into Their Archives Sergio Martinez Postpones June 6 Comeback Due To COVID-19 Pandemic Anthony Crolla "Absolutely Heartbroken" After Gym Burns Down Pacquiao Hopes Countrymen Will Follow Social Distancing Guidelines WBSS Fantasy Tournament: The Middleweights Are Up Next Boxing Hall of Fame To Enshrine 2020, 2021 Classes in June of 21 Devin Haney Not Buying Tyson Fury Glove Rumors Angelo Rottoli Passes Away at 61, Loses Battle With Coronavirus WBSS Fantasy Tournament: Mike Tyson Shocks Muhammad Ali Anthony Yarde's Father Dies of Coronavirus, Urges Everyone To Stay Home Israel Vazquez: I Nearly Retired After First Fight With Marquez Devin Haney's Rehab Coming Along Well, Targets July Return Mikey Garcia: It's Almost Impossible For Me To Get Title Fight At 140
Advertisement
Advertisement
Latest Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement