Shakur Stevenson sounded perturbed.
“This dude been running around here saying I ain’t got no power,” said Stevenson during a press conference last week. “He been saying he gonna push me mentally. Let’s see if he ready to go to deep waters with me. I’ll drown him.”
The “dude” is an undefeated Japanese fighter, Shuichiro Yoshino. Fought Stevenson last Saturday night. He came into the bout undefeated in 16 fights.
Nobody picked him to win. Ok, he did, but that hardly counted.
“I mean, he walks around here with a smile, and I can’t wait to wipe that smile off his face,” added Stevenson.
He did, and some. Stevenson knocked Yoshino down and completely dominated every minute of every round. He’s prone to do that.
Yoshino is a competent fighter. Nothing more.
Stevenson is elite and improving. He’s growing into his natural weight.
His style doesn’t please everybody. Stevenson is more boxer than puncher. Unless you annoy him. The stoppage win last Saturday was the 10th of his career.
Stevenson is a range finder. When he finds it, look out. The Detroit native is a sharpshooter who can punish.
Andre Ward, who once managed Stevenson, would do the same thing. During his prime years (2009-2013) Ward rarely lost a round. He’d frustrate and beat up his opponents.
Against Mikkel Kessler, in what I believe was the best fight of his career, Kessler, with each passing round, grew more and more frustrated.
Kessler entered the fight with one loss on his record. He was a big favorite to derail Olympic gold medalist Ward.
Ward beat him in every conceivable way that night.
Stevenson does the same thing. He makes it look easy. The biggest names on Stevenson’s resume are former champions, Jamel Herring and Oscar Valdez. Two gritty and determined fighters.
Stevenson fought them back-to-back.
He stopped Herring in 10 and outboxed Valdez over 12.
Another fighter who can make things look easy is Devin Haney.
Haney is a quick slickster. His dominance of George Kambosos (twice) was impressive.
Like Stevenson, he seems to improve with every fight.
Stevenson called Haney out after his win over Yoshino.
“Tell him [Devin Haney] to come on,” said Stevenson. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I swear to God. Me and Devin been in the ring with each other for years. I always got the best of Devin. Tell him, ‘Come on.’
Haney’s manager, trainer, and father, Bill, has stated that a bout between his son and Stevenson will happen, but probably not at 135 pounds.
“Potentially it could be at one thirty-five, but I think it will be at one forty or one forty-seven. It’s a big fight.”
Haney, who holds all the belts in the lightweight division, will have to get by a guy named Lomachenko next month for the fight to happen.
Once the man, Lomachenko,34, has shown signs for a while now of slowing down. He struggled to get going last October against upstart Jamaine Ortiz–though he did prevail.
If Haney wins, Stevenson is the mandatory challenger.
“I think it’s going to be easy work by smoking him and shocking everybody by making it an easy fight,” said the ever-confident Stevenson.
Them are fighting words.
If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”
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