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Shakur Stevenson, the boogeyman without a belt

Shakur Stevenson is the boogeyman without a belt.

Shakur Stevenson looks and plays the part of one of these once-in-a-generation type fighters, and now he is not just living up to the billing, other fighters are proving it. 

You might ask how?

Well, they won’t fight him, that is without fair compensation meaning a lot of money or a belt on the line.

In short, Shakur Stevenson for most top fighters in the featherweight division is a much bigger risk than reward and despite his manager and advisor future hall-of-famer Andre Ward publicly saying he’d like to move Stevenson methodically and carefully, it seems as though it might be impossible, as it is hard to get him fights without a belt. Ward even took to Twitter to explain that a lot of high-profile fighters had turned down the bout for July 13th.

Stevenson one of the five best amateurs in this century of U.S.A. Boxing up there with Andre Ward, Demetrius Andrade, Deontay Wilder and Nico Hernandez, with Ward, Stevenson and Hernandez all being Olympic medalist, Ward, of course, being the only one to capture gold. Stevenson captured a silver medal, Hernandez captured a Bronze as did Deontay Wilder, whom his “Bronze Bomber” nickname stems from.

Stevenson in his last bout defeated former world title challenger and former Top Rank A-side, Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz in a one-sided shut-out that some insiders felt Stevenson’s inexperience as a professional might show. Quite simply, it didn’t and with Oscar Valdez potentially vacating his WBO featherweight title, Stevenson at 22-years-old after being a professional for only eleven professional fights, twelve after Saturday in Newark, New Jersey, might see a world title in future by the end of the year.

Stevenson now is getting the rub by Top Rank as one of the next guys for the company as Stevenson and Teofimo Lopez have been elevated to main event fighters, something that every other prospect has yet to do.

“It means everything to me being that this was a dream of mine to come here to the Prudential Center and fight in front of the hometown, my home crowd, family, friends. I’m happy to be here, and it means everything to me.” said Stevenson.

Stevenson, who fights this Saturday, July 13th, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the former home of the New Jersey Nets, and hometown of Stevenson, saw his original opponent Franklin Manzanilla pull out with only a handful of days left before the fight as Alberto Guevara took an extremely last-minute call for the ESPN card to be saved.

Guevara, a four-loss fighter with thirty-one professional bouts, last fought in January taking a fight on one day’s notice against Hugo Ruiz, to open the Manny Pacquiao vs Adrien Broner pay-per-view in Las Vegas, Nevada. His three other losses come to world champions, Shinsuke Yamanaka, Emmanuel Rodriguez and Leo Santa Cruz, all at 118 lbs. Guevara has only been stopped once by Yamanaka, and Stevenson, who is so close to a world title will look to make a statement on Saturday.

I’m not overlooking him. Honestly, I’m not going to let you {Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher} put no pressure on me either [smiles}. I feel like I’m going to go in there, box my fight and have fun. I’m going to let everything take care of itself.” said Stevenson at a press conference on Thursday.

Sometimes fans look at sexy match-ups and bash a fighter for not being in a fight that holds their interest, but Stevenson is a fighter you should tune in to watch since he is one of these special fighters, one of the unique talents, who only have so many bouts in his lifetime, and will be one to remember. Whether the match-up stands out on paper or not, Stevenson merits a watch, and a homecoming for a young star makes it even more notable.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle