LAS VEGAS – Shakur Stevenson wouldn’t accept customary congratulations after what he considers “a bad performance” that didn’t deserve any praise.
Stevenson realizes, however, that he’ll have to tolerate the scathing scrutiny that figures to continue after his remarkably boring bout with Edwin De Los Santos on Thursday night at T-Mobile Arena. In the age of social media, the 26-year-old Stevenson understands that when boxers don’t deliver fans, rivals and others are going to criticize them.
In this case, a realistic Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) thinks he deserves it for the consistently cautious approach he took to fighting a powerful fellow southpaw throughout their 12-round fight for the then-vacant WBC lightweight title.
“I knew before I came here,” Stevenson told a group of reporters regarding the tactical way he approached De Los Santos. “I told people already. But like I said, I can’t make no excuses, man. It is what it is. I talk so much sh!t, I gotta eat whatever come with it, man.”
Stevenson stressed that De Los Santos (16-2, 14 KOs) didn’t do much to make their fight entertaining, either.
The Dominican contender lambasted Stevenson for “running,” yet De Los Santos failed to make the necessary tactical adjustments that might’ve prevented Stevenson from moving so much.
CompuBox credited De Los Santos for landing just 40-of-316 punches over the course of 12 rounds, barely three per round. Stevenson connected on only 65-of-209 punches himself, but CompuBox unofficially counted five more power punches (19-of-54 to 14-of-99) and 20 more jabs (46-of-155 to 26-of-217) for the three-division champion.
Judges Tim Cheatham (116-112) and Steve Weisfeld (116-112) scored eight rounds apiece for Stevenson, who won seven rounds on judge David Sutherland’s card (115-113).
Fans inside T-Mobile Arena loudly expressed their displeasure with the lack of action, for which Stevenson apologized afterward.
“It just wasn’t me, man,” Stevenson said. “I had a lot going on. I ain’t gonna make no excuses. It was a good fight, just a bad performance and not [up to] my standards.”
Stevenson repeatedly declined to address whether an injury to his left hand prevented him from fighting up to his capabilities.
“Like I said, I don’t make no excuses,” Stevenson said. “I own up to everything. I was supposed to put on a better performance tonight.”
Bob Arum – whose Top Rank Inc. has been Stevenson’s promoter throughout his six-year pro career – informed BoxingScene.com on Friday that Stevenson suffered a shoulder injury and fought through “various ailments” during training camp. Arum was concerned that the Newark, New Jersey native would need to withdraw from the bout, but Stevenson downplayed his physical condition going into it.
“I ain’t got no excuses to make to y’all,” Stevenson said. “Bad night. Imma go back to the drawing board and come back.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.