Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) had a slightly tougher time than expected, beating Robson Conceicao (17-2, 8 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Friday night.
Fighting in front of a packed crowd at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the 25-year-old Stevenson skillfully outboxed Conceicao and made it look easy at times.
The fight was Stevenson’s last at super featherweight, as he’s already let his boxing fans know that he’s moving up in weight to 135 to look for bigger fights against the handful of big names in the lightweight division.
Late in the fourth round, Stevenson dropped the 2016 Olympic gold medalist Conceicao with a shot. Later in the fight, Stevenson lost a point for throwing Conceicao down in the ninth. By that point in the fight, Stevenson was in full control of the contest, and he was dominating a tired-looking Conceicao.
Last Thursday, Shakur came in heavy at 131.6 lbs, and was stripped of his WBC & WBO super featherweight titles. With the way Stevenson looked, it didn’t to some that he even tried to make weight.
He didn’t utilize the two hours given him to try and lose the 1.6 lbs, even though he probably could have if he’d try. If Stevenson had done that, it might have drained him, and he would have had a much tougher time tonight against the 33-year-old Conceicao than he did.
“I had a long week,” said Shakur after the contest. “I killed myself to make weight. All I want to do is come in here and perform. I did everything I could to do that.”
Fans would argue that Stevenson didn’t have the look of someone that had one all out trying to get down to the 130-lb limit. He looked slightly fat at the weigh-in, as if his intention all along was to come in heavy and use his extra size to help him beat Conceicao.
“I’m just a dominating individual. With me versus him, the ref, I did everything I could to try and beat [Robson] up as much as I could. He held me the whole night, but I did everything I could. I think he was doing a lot of holding whenever I was getting on the inside. As soon as I got on the inside, he grabbed me.
“We got to fight the champ. Me and Devin, we could lock-in. After he fights Kambosos, let’s get it on. I’ll fight Lomachenko, too!”
It’s going to be interesting to see if Top Rank is able to set Stevenson up with a fight against Devin Haney in his next fight. That’s an easy fight to make because Top Rank promotes Haney.