Shakur Stevenson is the brand new Ring Journal junior light-weight champion. Picture by Mikey Williams/ Prime Rank Inc by way of Getty Pictures
One of many most interesting younger fighters in world boxing returns on Friday.
Shakur Stevenson will put Ring, WBC and WBO junior light-weight titles on the road towards 2016 Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao on the Prudential Middle in Newark, New Jersey.
“He’s a strong fighter, you possibly can’t take nothing away from him,” Stevenson (18-0, 9 knockouts) advised The Ring. “You already know he’s going to carry his finest come struggle evening. I’m able to placed on a present.
“I believe it’s a win state of affairs throughout. I believe I’m about to go in there and do my factor.”
The 25-year-old southpaw is respectful of his opponent however finally feels that his superior abilities will probably be decisive.
“I believe his power is he’s an Olympic gold medalist; he’s acquired a strong boxing I.Q.; he’s not simply speeding in there and being dumb – I’ll give him that,” defined Stevenson.
“I believe his weak point is he has extra of an newbie model, the place he’s a front-runner. I believe he begins off quick, however because the struggle goes on, he slows down after which I’ll take over. I don’t assume he can do something to cease me. I believe it’s an incredible struggle, however I’m on a complete completely different degree.”
This would be the first time Stevenson has fought in his house metropolis since he knocked out Albert Guevara in three rounds in July 2019. Since then, his star has ascended to new heights and he’s turn out to be a two-weight world champion.
“The final time I fought in Newark, I wasn’t the individual I’m proper now,” he stated. “I believe I’m a manner higher fighter.
“I’m not likely too centered on [fighting at home.] I believe that I’ll depart my staff to fret in regards to the tickets and that. I’m extra centered on combating and placing on a present.”
Stevenson is coming off arguably the perfect efficiency of his profession – a virtuoso 12-round unanimous resolution win over Oscar Valdez to seize the WBC title.
“It was a phenomenal show of boxing,” stated Stevenson. “I believe I confirmed a number of ability in that struggle. I picked him aside.
“That was the most important struggle of my profession and I did every thing I used to be purported to do. I did every thing I stated I used to be going to do. He’s an incredible fighter however he was simply in with higher opposition.”
In addition to gathering WBC laurels from Valdez, Stevenson additionally added the vacant Ring championship to his rising assortment. He turned the publication’s first champion at 130 kilos since Manny Pacquiao in 2008.
“I believe The Ring Journal is my favourite belt,” stated Stevenson. “You ain’t acquired to pay something on that belt and all the greats had that belt. It ain’t like no made-up belt, it’s one of the vital revered belts in boxing.”
Offering he’s victorious, the following step in Stevenson’s profession might be unification bouts with both IBF counterpart Joe Cordina (offering the Welshman will get previous Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov) or WBA ruler Hector Garcia. Nevertheless, Stevenson isn’t certain how for much longer he could make 130 kilos.
“I can’t provide you with a solution on that, I’ll must see once I end my weight lower,” he stated. “I don’t know the way exhausting the burden lower goes to be.
“I might like to go undisputed by grabbing every belt, one after the other. But when I can’t do the burden, I’m not going to power myself to go down in weight once I actually don’t must. I’m taking every struggle because it comes.”
The light-weight division is brimming with expertise and that may probably be Stevenson’s new house inside the subsequent 12 months, however, for now, he’s not getting forward of himself.
“We’ve acquired Robson Conceicao and he’s no slouch, so I’ve acquired to take him very critical,” stated the champion. “I’m not too centered on 135. As soon as I get there, then we’ll put our deal with it.
“On the finish of the day, I don’t know the way huge I’m going to get. I don’t know what weight class I’m going to fall in, however anyplace I’m at, I’m going to dominate. I’ve acquired to maintain doing what I’ve been doing, and I believe I’m going to turn out to be one of many best fighters to ever do it.”
Conceicao (17-1, 8 KOs) fought on the 2008 and 2012 Olympics earlier than successful gold on the 2016 Rio Video games. The Brazilian labored his manner by means of the ranks as an expert and gave then-WBC titlist Oscar Valdez suits earlier than dropping a contentious 12-round unanimous resolution. He has rebounded strongly, taking Xavier Martinez’s unbeaten file by lopsided 10-round resolution.
Stevenson-Conceicao, plus undercard fights, will probably be proven on ESPN. The printed begins at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT.
Questions and/or feedback may be despatched to Anson at [email protected] and you may observe him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright