NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – SEPTEMBER 21: Shakur Stevenson (L) and Robson Conceição (R) face-off throughout the press convention forward of their WBC and WBO junior light-weight championship combat at Prudential Heart on September 21, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey. (Picture by Mikey Williams/Prime Rank Inc by way of Getty Pictures)
Shakur Stevenson says he isn’t feeling any stress forward of his first hometown title protection since turning into champion.
The 25-year-old will likely be defending his RING junior light-weight championship in opposition to Robson Conceição this Friday on the Prudential Heart in what will likely be his first time headlining on the house of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils since his third spherical knockout of Alberto Guevara in 2019. Returning to his hometown as a champion means larger native accolades, like having the day declared Shakur Stevenson Day in Newark, and being offered with a plaque from his elementary alma mater Quitman Avenue College, however he says that none of that has shaken his focus.
“I’m not likely targeted an excessive amount of on the stress. I’m actually targeted on placing within the work come Friday night time. I’m simply able to combat on the finish of the day. All I can take into consideration is preventing, performing and that’s every part that’s on my thoughts proper now,” mentioned Stevenson (18-0, 9 knockouts), who additionally holds the WBC and WBO titles at 130 kilos, at Wednesday’s press convention.
Stevenson says he’s coming off his greatest ever coaching camp as an expert, the place he even sparred with undefeated heavyweight prospect and Prime Rank stablemate Jared Anderson in Houston, Texas.
Conceição (17-1, 8 KOs) should not have any points getting motivated for this chance. The 33-year-old from Salvador, Brazil will likely be getting a second likelihood at a world title following his controversial determination loss to Oscar Valdez a 12 months in the past. He rebounded strongly from that efficiency to outclass the beforehand unbeaten Xavier Martinez and put himself into this place.
“I’m very motivated, I’ve educated all my life for this second. The world was in a position to see that I used to be higher than Oscar Valdez. I ought to have gained so [Stevenson] just isn’t actually defending two titles as a result of one ought to have been mine. I’m only a champion with out the crown and I’m prepared for Friday night time,” mentioned Conceição.
Stevenson says he was unimpressed with Conceição’s claims, stating that he had been much more decisive in his unanimous determination win over Valdez to unify two of the 130-pound titles.
“He’s fighter,” mentioned Stevenson of Conceição, “However I believe he misplaced in opposition to Valdez. If you happen to left it within the judges’ arms, you then misplaced. I fought Valdez, and I beat the s–t out of him. I don’t have any excuses. He’s speaking about having COVID or one thing earlier than his final combat. All I hear are excuses. I’m able to combat. Inform him to not have any excuses on Friday night time. I’m able to beat him up.”
Conceição, who gained the light-weight gold on the 2016 Olympics the place Stevenson earned the bantamweight silver, insists on having Stevenson again up his speak on combat night time.
“Shakur is somebody that I actually respect. He’s a fantastic athlete. I can inform that he’s younger, most likely overly excited and speaks a bit an excessive amount of. This coming Friday, there’ll solely be one champ, and that champ is me,” mentioned Conceição.