Shakur Stevenson beats Joet Gonzalez, new WBO world champ
The WBO featherweight world title now belongs to Shakur Stevenson as he won the heated grudge match between Joet Gonzalez in twelve round bout for the vacant world title vacated by former world champ Oscar Valdez, as the two ended a contentious rivalry that was well documented leading up to their bout at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada.
The first round was a strategic affair. Gonzalez pressed forward, but without landing extremely meaningful punches while Shakur constantly landed a straight left to Gonzalez’s body. The second saw Shakur continue to keep Gonzalez at the outside of arms reach with an active jab and constant effective movement, while Gonzalez always stayed within punching distance to force Shakur to be active.
The third round saw Stevenson box at will landing effective and clean punches, while Gonzalez failed to cut off the ring and/or let his hands go, more than likely thinking that he could surge later in the fight. Gonzalez tried to apply the pressure and make it rough in the fourth, but Stevenson was just too tricky and able to control distance too well.
The fifth round was the round it appeared Joet Gonzalez expected to close the distance, but Stevenson would never allow Gonzalez the distance to operate to be effective. In between rounds of the fifth and the sixth, Stevenson stretched out his legs, but despite that being a common trait of fatigue, Stevenson continued to box well from the outside.
By the seventh round, Stevenson barely had been touched as Gonzalez continued to just come forward, and found more success as Stevenson found himself on the ropes a few times, saw Gonzalez get busy, and have the most success of the fight. The eighth saw Stevenson retake control of the ring and not allow himself to be put on the ropes.
In the final few rounds, Gonzalez tried to pressure Stevenson but just couldn’t solve the equation of how to keep Stevenson in one spot for longer than ten seconds. Gonzalez just didn’t have answers for the skills of Stevenson.
The judges saw the bout 119-109 on all three cards.
In the co-main event, Mikaela Mayer defended her NABF super featherweight title against Alejandra Zamora of Argentina, by way of a sixth-round TKO, when Zamora’s father called a halt to bout in between rounds.