What is the most pressure? Are you fighting a famous rival champion in the unification of the world title, or proposing to your partner? Shakur Stephenson decided to do both on the same night.
In April in his most famous competition to date, Stevenson defeated Oscar Valdez to add the WBC title to the WBO super featherweight belt he already held. Then he got on his knees in the ring and asked his girlfriend to marry him.
“The show was more pressure than fighting Oscar Valdez,” he smiled.
He insisted that the battle itself turned out as he had intended. He said, “I am very confident in myself.” Sky Sports. “You have to realize, I put work into it. So once I start working, I know what I’m going to do at night.”
Valdez had won his title with a stunning victory over Miguel Berchelt. He’s a dangerous and dynamic fighter, but even then Stevenson was confident he wouldn’t suggest any cuts or bruises on his face.
“I wasn’t really thinking about it,” he said. “I kind of know that boxing is a game of hitting and I don’t get hit, so I don’t prepare to get hit. I prepare to not get hit.”
The victory over Valdez was a display of his style. Stephenson perfected the distance judge, slipping away from the Mexican’s shots, but penalizing his opponent with a counter-kick. He hurt Valdez throughout the fight, and he enjoyed it every single time.
“I definitely enjoy laying hands on people,” he said. “That’s what I do for a living.” “I enjoy it, I go out there and have fun. I feel like when I’m having fun, no one can beat me. I’m having fun and I’m at my best, no fighter on this planet can beat me.”
“I’m going to go far and hit 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 our greatest go-to and dominate.”
The next fighter to try to defeat Stevenson will be Brazilian Robson Conceicao. Stevenson lost his WBC and WBO belts on the scales, after failing to make the super featherweight limit, but the fight continues live Sky Sports main event And the Sky Sports Arena at 1 a.m. on Saturday,
International Live Fight Night
Saturday 24th September at 1:00 AM
Conceicao on paper is a strong opponent. A three-time Olympian as an amateur, he took a score on Vasily Lomachenko at the World Championships, before quickly turning around. Ultimately he won the lightweight gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
Many also consider him unlucky as he lost a decision to Oscar Valdez in a world title fight last year. In that sense, it was one of the best challenges Stevenson had to face.
Boxing at the Prudential Center in his hometown of Newark, Stevenson promises not to be upset.
“I honestly feel that the better the competition, the better,” Stevenson said. “A lot of people feel he deserved it after the Oscar Valdez fight. They felt he should have been world champion. I disagree with them.” “He can believe what he wants, the truth is he didn’t win, if you ask me, because he left his foot off the gas.
“You can’t leave it in the judges’ hands. I feel like if you leave it up to the referees, it’s your fault when you lose. I’m a dominant person I’ll keep giving dominant performances. That’s the thing, I’ll show him he’s not the world champion.”
Conceicao is an Olympic champion, winning his gold medal in the same Olympics as Stevenson, when he was just a teenager, winning the silver in the section below.
The American would take a measure of satisfaction from his victory over the Olympic gold medal.
Stevenson said, “But honestly, I think I’m way past that. I think with the Olympics I lost but at the end of the day I would have been a better pro anyway.
“He’s an Olympic gold medalist, I’m a better professional fighter and you’ll notice the difference in the fight.”
After the super feathers have grown, Stevenson will have to advance to the next competition. But he is expected to win titles there as well.
In the past he has been feuding with Vasily Lomachenko, one of the best fighters, and certainly one of the best light weightlifters in the world. Stevenson will not divulge any details of this clash. He has said, “When I quarreled with him, I was a kid.
“I’m just saying now I’m physically stronger, I’m more like a pro. I’m a lot better than I was before. I’m just throwing that in there so he knows.”
Although he added, “Nobody gets the best of me in any sparring. The last time I remember someone getting the best of me was Terrence Crawford a long time ago.”
“I fight with everyone. I am one of them guys. If I come to the gym and put on some gloves, we can work. I fight with everyone. I fight with Bud.” [Crawford]I quarreled with Boots, [Jaron Ennis, another top welterweight] Before, I quarrelled with a lot of top fighters.”
He even moved with one of the top potential heavyweight players, Jared Anderson. “Honestly I feel like weight doesn’t win fights, and skills win fights,” Stephenson said. “That’s how I look at her.”
His promoter believed that Stevenson could do things other fighters could not. Senior President Todd Dubuffe said Sky Sports“I think Shakur can do anything. He’s a good fighter.
“In my career, you look at a certain type of athlete who has that dynamic like Shakur, and you start to look at Roy Jones, you start to look at Andre Ward, Floyd Mayweather, you start to look at Shakur, who are brilliant athletes,” he Complete.
“Maybe you can make him earn [10lbs] And have 140 pestles in one week. He has a big frame, his IQ is as high as anything, very smart. I think he would fight anyone. I think he has the ability to glide that way to do that and I think he’s becoming a better fighter every day.”
DuBoef expects Stevenson to become a pound-for-pound star in no time. His prediction: “Probably over the next five years, he’s one, two on anyone’s list.”
For some he is Floyd Mayweather’s heir, and Stevenson himself predicts he will be America’s next fighter.
“I’m first Shakur Stevenson, but I definitely appreciate the comparison [to Mayweather], “He said.” It just lets me know that I’m a great boxing fighter. So I don’t take it too seriously, but I just feel like if they compare me to someone as big as him, it means I’m doing something great.
“I think I’m going to be one of the best fighters in the sport of boxing ever. But I have to stay on the same path, and let nothing stop what I’ve been doing.”
Watch the Shakur Stevenson vs Robson Conceicao match live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Arena from 1am on Saturday.