Stevenson and Joyce shine, Mayweather still has

A critical look at the past week in boxing


Shakur Stevenson may be the purest martial artist in the world.

I’d say it’s mainly for defense, though he also has excellent offensive skills. Robson Conceicao only landed 60 punches (according to CompuBox) in Stevenson’s match unanimous decision to win Friday in Newark, New Jersey.

That’s just five punches per round. Equally striking, the Brazilian, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, delivered only 12% of his total punches. That’s Floyd Mayweather territory.

In other words, it’s impossible to beat this guy, which would make him hard to beat. That’s for the best fighters in the 135-pound weight class, at which point Stevenson will continue to fight after losing his 130-pound title on Friday.

Devin Haney? Vasiliy Lomachenko? Gervonta Davis (if he fights at lightweight again)? I’m not sure which of them I would pick to beat Stevenson, although those are all great fights.

What about Stevenson’s relative lack of punching power?

I think it could be a marketing problem. He would be more popular if he could find a way to stop opponents, especially those who were clearly overpowered, like Conceicao. Fans love the knockout.

I doubt his limited strength will hold him back in boxing. Mayweather is not a big boxer, although he did stop many enemies in the first half of his career. Same with Haney and Lomachenko.

Indeed, Stevenson’s overall skill set supersedes any liability, if that’s the case. His combination of ability, predictability, speed, and reflexes is terrifying.

And he’s only 25. He’s probably not even at his peak yet. Enjoy the ride.


The only reason this item is classed as “bad” is that I wouldn’t shell out more than $29.99 to watch an old, retired boxer train.

That’s what thousands of people did yesterday (Sunday in Japan), when Mayweather, 45, and Japanese mixed martial artist Mikuru Asakura went head-to-head in a scheduled pay-per-view exhibit three rounds in Saitama, Japan.

I understand why some fans want to see Mayweather compete, even in a pointless exhibition. I liken it to old-school baseball games, where it can be fun to see your retired favorites back on the field.

And Mayweather offers a bonus: He can still fight at a pretty high level.

I don’t think he can compete with the top 147-pounders, the likes of Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. So does Mayweather, who has made it clear he doesn’t want to jeopardize his health during these shows.

However, he was still able to overwhelm non-fighters like Asakura, who was quickly overwhelmed and ended up disqualified in two rounds as he had only rudimentary boxing skills. Mayweather can beat a guy like that in his sleep.

One more thing: Just because I’m not interested in events as a fan doesn’t mean I have a problem with Mayweather – or anyone else – participating in them.

I am a writer. He has a product that a lot of people are interested in buying. As long as it is and Mayweather can perform at a reasonable level, he will likely continue to do so. I will do the same thing.

He talked about his second fight with Conor McGregor or his first fight with YouTuber Jake Paul. And Manny Pacquiao was an invited guest yesterday in Saitama, sparking speculation that former rivals could meet in an exhibition that is sure to be a lucrative one.

Bottom line: Mayweather isn’t going anywhere yet.


Will the expected confrontation between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. did it really happen? Sarah Stier / USA Sports TODAY

The fight between Crawford-Spence and Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua should have been announced by now.

I already know. These things take time. All parties involved must agree to the smallest detail before a contract can be signed, which often takes a lot of work. And, yes, this is how it has always been in boxing.

It’s still frustrating.

The Crawford-Spence bout is arguably the best that can happen in boxing, featuring two undefeated weightlifters in the Top 5 weight classes for the pound. It is comparable to Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad, perhaps better from a boxing point of view.

That’s why reports indicating that Crawford and Spence have agreed to terms have raised fans’ hopes to such a high degree.

Now, with nothing but silence and no final deal, people are starting to wonder if negotiations are falling apart. That would be very painful.

Fury-Joshua is a match no one expected, at least not right now. After all, Joshua lost in opposite fights with Oleksandr Usyk, who most of us thought would go up against Fury for the undisputed heavyweight title.

The fact is that there is a demand for Fury-Joshua, a match that has been built up over the years. It could be the biggest fight in boxing history, whether Joshua loses or not Joshua loses. It was an interesting match.

Fury and Joshua have agreed to split 60-40 of the revenue in Fury’s favor. One stumbling block seems to be TV/streaming platforms: Fury matches BT Sports, Joshua matches DAZN.

The executives of these companies are scheduled to meet on Monday, which is a good sign. They certainly won’t reach an agreement if they don’t talk.

However, Fury remains frustrated by the lengthy negotiations. He gave Joshua’s side Monday to complete a deal, which Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn said was unrealistic.

The fans want these battles. There’s a lot of money on the table for everyone involved with both of them. Let’s make them a reality.


Joe Joyce (15-0, 14 KOs) is not the fastest or sportiest weight class. And it doesn’t matter much, as he shows in knockout win than the previous owner Joseph Parker (30-3, 21 KOs) on Saturday in the UK. Joyce is physically 6 feet-6, about 270 pounds, in good shape, and has a great chin. He is also a solid fighter, disciplined and knows how to use his advantage against his opponent. He patiently fought behind his stab at long distance and was followed by heavy hits that gradually brought Parker down before he finished Kiwi with an epic left hook in the 11th round.order ring. That’s a strong performance. Can Joyce beat the next level heavyweights, Fury, Usyk, Deontay Wilder and Joshua? I do not know. I believe the 37-year-old Londoner has the size, strength, punch, endurance and, yes, skill to compete with anyone. … Amanda Serrano (43-2-1, 30 KOs) didn’t have much trouble with Sarah Mahfoud (11-1, 3 KOs) of Denmark on Joyce-Parker card, get a unanimous decision to unify the three featherweight titles. There was one thing that surprised me: Serrano seemed to fade over extended periods of time, which shouldn’t have happened in 10 2-minute innings. Maybe she was too busy in the war just now. There may be a factor that we are not aware of. Overall, though, she gave another good performance. … Stevenson’s inability to weight the fight against Conceicao is unprofessional. He admitted that. That said, I will tell him that he made a real effort to honor the contract he signed. The goal now is to never let that happen again. Once is a mistake; twice is a pattern.

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