What’s more supercharged? Battle an acclaimed rival champion in a world title unification, or propose to your partner? Shakur Stevenson decided to do both in the same night.
In April in his most prestigious competition to date, Stevenson beat Oscar Valdez to win more WBC belts for the WBO ultralightweight belt he already holds. Then, kneeling in front of the ring, he proposed to his girlfriend.
“Proposing is more stressful than fighting Oscar Valdez,” he laughs.
He asserted that the battle went as he planned. “I’m very confident in myself,” he said Sports sky. “You have to realize, I put the work in. So once I put the work in, I know what I’m going to do on fight night.”
Valdez earned his title with a spectacular knockout victory over Miguel Berchelt. He’s a dangerous, all-action fighter, but even then Stevenson is confident he won’t propose with any cuts or bruises on his face.
“I don’t really think about it. I know boxing is a game of punching and not getting hit so I’m not prepared to get hit. I’m prepared not to get hit,” he said.
The win over Valdez was a showcase of his style. Stevenson has mastered his ability to judge distance, backing away from Mexico’s shots but punishing opponents with puncher counterattacks. He had hurt Valdez during the fight, and each time he was amused.
“I definitely like to put my hands on people. That’s what I do for a living,” he said. “I enjoy it, I go there and have fun. I feel like when I’m having fun, no one can beat me. I’m happy and I’m at my best, no other boxer on the planet has that. can beat me.
“I’ll rip you apart and beat you mentally and physically. So I think I’m one of the best fighters in the sport of boxing. My style is like some of the greats. the most that we go there and dominate.”
The next boxer who will try his hand at beating Stevenson will be Brazil’s Robson Conceicao. Stevenson lost the WBC and WBO belts on the weight table, due to not reaching the featherweight superclass limit, but the fight was still live. Sky Sports main event and Sky Sports Arena at 1 a.m. Saturday,
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Conceicao on paper is a formidable opponent. He was a three-time amateur athlete, winning the result against Vasiliy Lomachenko at the world championship, before it was quickly overturned. He ended up winning a lightweight gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
Many also consider him unlucky when he lost decisively to Oscar Valdez in the world title match last year. In that sense, he is one of the best challenges Stevenson can take on.
Boxing at the Prudential Center in his hometown of Newark, Stevenson promises to stay undeterred.
“Honestly I feel that the better I play, the better I am. A lot of people feel he deserves it after the fight with Oscar Valdez. They feel he should be the world champion. I don’t agree with them,” Stevenson said. “He can believe whatever he wants, the truth is he didn’t win, if you ask me, because he let his foot off the gas.
“You can’t leave it in the hands of the judges. I feel like if you leave it to the judges, it’s your fault when you lose. I’m the ruler, I’ll continue to put it in the dominant performances. That’s the thing, I’ll show him he’s not a world champion.”
Conceicao was an Olympic champion, winning gold at the same Olympics where Stevenson, as a teenager, won silver in the lower division.
Americans will measure the satisfaction of beating an Olympic gold medalist.
“But to be honest,” Stevenson said, “I think I’ve gotten over that. I think with the Olympics I lost but I’ll end up being a more pro anyway.
“He’s an Olympic gold medalist, I’m a better professional boxer and you’ll see the difference in the fight.”
Super feathers are growing, Stevenson will have to move forward for his next competition. But he will also win titles there.
In the past, he beat Vasiliy Lomachenko, one of the best boxers, and certainly one of the best lightweight athletes, in the world. Stevenson would not release any details about that fight. He said, “When I hit him, I was a kid.
“I’m just saying right now I’m physically stronger, I’m more like a professional footballer. I’m a lot better than I was before. I just threw that out to let him know.”
Though he added, “It’s not like no one gets the best of me without controversy. The last time I remember the best person to me was Terence Crawford a long time ago.
“I argue with everyone. I’m one of them. If you go to the gym and put on some gloves, we can work. I argue with everyone. I fought with Bud [Crawford]I argued with Boots [Jaron Ennis, another top welterweight] I’ve fought a lot of bigger fighters before. “
He’s even moved around with top lead heavyweight Jared Anderson. “Honestly, I just feel like weight doesn’t win wars, skill wins wars,” says Stevenson. “That’s how I look at it.”
His promoters believe that Stevenson can do things that other boxers can’t. Top Rated President Todd duBoef told Sports sky“I think Shakur can do anything. He’s an excellent fighter.
“In my career, looking back at certain types of athletes with the dynamics of Shakur, and you start looking at Roy Jones, you start looking at Andre Ward, Floyd Mayweather, you start looking at Shakur, who just had great bodybuilding,” he continued.
“You can make him achieve [10lbs] and become 140 pounds in a week. He has a tall build, an IQ as high as anything, very intelligent. I think he will fight anyone. I think he has the ability to slide that way to do it and I think he’s becoming a better fighter every day. “
DuBoef expects Stevenson to quickly become a heavyweight star. His prediction: “Maybe in the next five years he’s one or two on anyone’s list.”
To some, he is the heir to Floyd Mayweather, and Stevenson himself hopes to be America’s next great boxer.
“I’m the first Shakur Stevenson but I definitely appreciate the comparison [to Mayweather]”, he say.” It just tells me that I’m a great fighter in the sport of boxing. So I’m not too worried about it but I just feel like they’re comparing me to someone as great as him, which means I’m doing something great.
“I think I’m going to be one of the best boxers ever to do that in the sport of boxing. But I have to keep going the same way, not letting anything stop what I’m doing.”
Watch Shakur Stevenson vs Robson Conceicao live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Arena from 1am on Saturday.