Shakur Stevenson, for many good judges the most talented, the most skilled, the most likely young fighter out there today to go on to become a true superstar, looked sensational in stopping Jamel Herring, 23-3(11) in dominant fashion last night. Now a two-weight titlist and the new WBO ruler at 130 pounds, the slick southpaw sure made up for his admittedly dull showing last time out, when he decisioned Jeremia Nakathila in June.
Stevenson, stung by the “boring” tag he was handed by some after the June snoozer, put it all together last night against his fellow southpaw. Stevenson, 17-0(9) made it look easy and the critics are back in full swing in terms of supporting the 24 year old and his chances of achieving greatness. There’s a heck of a way to go yet, but Stevenson might just be the very best young and unbeaten star of the future currently operating, and that’s saying something when we know there are superb fighters like Teofimo Lopez, Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, and others all attempting to become the next king of the sport.
Stevenson wants the big fights and it seems he will now get them. A 130 pound unification showdown with Oscar Valdez, in a fight Stevenson has wanted for some time, looks extremely likely for 2022. Bob Arum wants it, Stevenson sure wants it, and Stevenson says Valdez simply has to take it. “The Mexican fans will not allow Oscar Valdez to keep ducking and dodging,” Stevenson said after his big win over Herring.
Both Stevenson and Valdez are with Top Rank, therefore there should be zero trouble making the fight. But does Valdez want it? Valdez, 30-0(23) has looked sensational in fights himself and the 30 year old is also a two-weight champ himself. But can Valdez cope with Stevenson’s speed, with his razor-sharp punches? In time, the way he’s looking like he’s going to carry on going, this question may be asked of all Stevenson opponents.
Stevenson also wants a fight with Vasiliy Lomachenko, while he said at last night’s post-fight presser how a fight between he and Tank Davis will be something super-special down the line. The way he looked last night, Stevenson wins it all. And to think, Stevenson may be some years from his prime. How great can the man from Newark become?