This past Saturday, one of boxing’s brightest stars took center stage. That fighter is top super featherweight contender Shakur Stevenson.
He headlined an ESPN Top Rank card over the weekend. Stevenson is undefeated with a record of 16-0, 8 KO’s. The 2016 Olympian turned pro in 2017 and has stayed busy since then.
In 2019, he had four victories and even won the WBO World Featherweight title. In 2020, he moved up the super featherweight and has stayed busy with two wins.
The 23 year old is a slick southpaw and so far has either stopped his opponents or has dominated them. Stevenson has a good boxing IQ and is a very good defensive fighter. He has made his opponents looked ordinary.
On Saturday, he scored a lopsided unanimous decision win over Jeremia Nakathila (21-2, 17 KO’s). Once again Stevenson continued his winning ways and dominated the fight.
Even though Stevenson secured victory, there are many fans and media that have criticized the performance of Stevenson. He has been labeled as a boring fighter.
In the ESPN telecast, it was very obvious that former fighter and commentator Timothy Bradley, was not too keen on Stevenson’s performance.
Bradley stated that Stevenson’s performance was putting him to sleep. Bradley wanted Stevenson to take more risks and go for the knockout. That is ironic coming from Bradley as most of his wins went to distance in his career.
The impression was that Stevenson could have done more to an overmatched opponent and stop Nakathila at some point of the fight.
Only Andre Ward’s assessment was fair and he said we should not complain since Stevenson put on a dominating performance. Ward was correct in this instance. Stevenson did what he had to do to win and it’s not his fault if his opponent does not want to engage.
It’s understandable that a tactical or defensive fighter like Stevenson can be a hard sell to the public and but to say he is boring is a stretch.
If you are truly a hardcore boxing fan, you will truly appreciate all of it. Sure, we all love great action fights such as:
Hagler/Hearns, Barrera/Morales 1, Gatti/Ward 1, Ali/Frazier III, Corrales/Castillo 1, Foreman/Lyle, just to name a few. Hardcore fans also appreciate performances from great technical and defensive fighters such as Bernard Hopkins, Pernell Whitaker, Floyd Mayweather, and even Andre Ward. Remember those fighters were also labeled as boring at one time.
Shakur Stevenson should be applauded thus far for winning his fights in dominating fashion. Also let’s give credit to Stevenson for staying active in his career.
All fighters in their prime should be staying busy. However, I do think we will see Stevenson engage more in his fights when he fights the right opponents.
If he fights guys like Jamel Herring or Oscar Valdez, I think we will see more action. Those are skilled leveled fights that I think will bring the best out of Stevenson in the near future.
For now let’s stop labeling Stevenson as a boring fighter.