Shakur Stevenson can’t let go of the fact that the fight with undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney failed to happen.
The 2016 Olympic silver medalist Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) is still talking about Haney as if he can’t get over it mentally, and he hasn’t come to terms with him blowing his chance.
Stevenson had the chance to fight Haney for his four belts but bungled his opportunity in a ham-handed way by rejecting the 75-25 offer. It’s crazy to imagine Shakur turning down the deal, as this was a golden opportunity to become a star, and he blew it.
So instead of Shakur being in a fight that could have transformed him into a star, he’s now facing Edwin De Los Santos on November 16th for one belt, the WBC lightweight strap, on ESPN at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
There’s a very good chance that Shakur’s popularity will plummet from this fight with De Los Santos, especially if he fights in a safety-first manner once he feels his power early on. It doesn’t matter if Shakur wins.
If he runs from De Los Santos, the fight would equate to a loss in the big scheme of things. The Mayweather era of safety-first fighting is over, and fans now want to see entertaining fighters who give them their money’s worth, as we saw with Raymond Muratalla.
These are fighters that provide value because they’re not looking to hit and then run all night like we’ve seen in many of Shakur’s fights and Mayweather’s fights.
Thank goodness the Mayweather era is done and buried. Shakur must ensure he doesn’t dig it up and bring it back. The last thing fans need is for ESPN to exit boxing like Showtime due to many boring fighters and mismatches driving fans away.
The last time Stevenson fought a big puncher, Jeremiah Nakathilia, in 2021, he ran from him for twelve rounds and was heavily booed by fans.
“I would love the fight to happen. Y’all could clearly see that I want the fight,” said Shakur Stevenson to Bootleg Kev about the Devin Haney contest not happening.
“I don’t know why people try to spin the narrative, and 30 other people will run with that narrative. I love the fight. I’d fight anybody,” said Shakur about boxing fans believing he ducked Haney by refusing the 75-25 offer to fight for his undisputed lightweight championship.
Sadly, Shakur can’t understand that the reason the fight with Haney didn’t happen is because his refusal of the offer given to him.
Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to launch his career, all Shakur could think about was his narrowminded view of wanting to get parity with the four-belt champion. That was dumb.
If Shakur does leave Top Rank after his contract with them expires next year, he might be doing them a big favor because it’s doubtful he’ll ever become a big star, especially if he ruins his chances of getting big fights that would increase his popularity.
“I jumped in the ring with him [Haney] for a reason. I didn’t go in there for any other reason to, ‘Okay, let’s get the fight started.’ I think what’s off about it is his team,” said Shakur. “I think his team is going to throw anything out there to make sure the fight don’t happen,” said Shakur, who is failing to point out that he’s the major reason why the Haney fight didn’t happen.
“I think they don’t want the fight to happen right now. That’s what I heard. They’re looking at it like, ‘Why would we fight this big-risk fighter now when we could wait a couple of years and make more money?’
“Don’t perpetrate that’s what you want to do [fight Shakur]. You’re talking big, but if you put me and him [Haney] in the ring with nobody else that can help him, and there’s nobody else that can fight for him, what’s going to happen?
“He knows deep down inside that I’m the truth,” Shakur continued about Haney. “He’s been in the ring with me several times. Go ask him and tell him to be honest about me as a fighter. You’ll really hear how he talks, and honestly, I think he’s a good fighter, but I think there are levels,” said Stevenson.