One in every of American boxing’s rising stars appears to shine once more this weekend, although the titles he held is not going to be in play for him after a weight miss. Shakur Stevenson steps in towards Brazilian Robson Conceição on Friday in what he hopes will likely be one other step in the direction of p4p recognition regardless of coming in 1.6lbs over the super-featherweight restrict.
Weights: Shakur Stevenson: 131.6lbs, Robson Conceição 129.6lbs.
Shakur Stevenson can not retain his belts with a victory, however Conceição can nonetheless win them
Each fighters right here had standout novice careers—Conceição in truth arguably the extra so, successful a light-weight gold on the 2016 Olympics in Rio, in addition to medalling at two world championships. Shakur received silver on the similar Olympics, shedding a featherweight closing towards Robeisy Ramires.
It’s been a distinct story since each turned professional, although. The youthful of the 2 by eight years, Stevenson moved fairly quickly up the ranks, combating good worldwide degree opponents inside 10 fights and successful his first world title (at featherweight) in simply his twelfth professional bout. He’s stored that momentum up within the years since as properly, shifting as much as super-feather and cementing himself because the consensus no1 within the division with a win over Oscar Valdez this April.
Conceição, in contrast, appears to have gotten caught in a promotional vacuum—combating virtually no-one of notice and never even progressing to 12-rounders till his personal (unsuccessful) problem of Valdez final 12 months. Along with his second title combat in a 12 months he’ll be hoping to kick off from right here, however at 33-years-old he’ll must impress as a result of he hasn’t obtained all that a lot time left to get going.
There’s a stereotype in boxing about standout amateurs turning skilled; that they wrestle to interrupt free from the sensibilities of point-fighting, persist with boxing at distance, and might’t push the tempo when needed. That’s clearly fairly often unfaithful—anybody suggesting Vasyl Lomachenko matches these standards is out of their tree—however, properly, these two aren’t going to go towards that picture. They’re each very a lot slick, technical outboxers by nature.
That doesn’t imply this combat is destined to be uninteresting. A few of this comes right down to style, after all, however oftentimes, these sorts of fighters are those from whom we get essentially the most magnificent performances, the attractive management and technical mastery. Nevertheless it received’t be a battle. Don’t sit down with that expectation.
Though their kinds are comparable on the floor and definitely overlap, there’s a key distinction. Outboxing doesn’t essentially imply counter-punching, and though Stevenson can and can do the latter if he feels the necessity, it’s not his desire. As an alternative, he prefers to manage the tempo of the combat along with his jab and dissuade his opponent from throwing with nice timing. He’ll comply with that up with quick bursts of two or three punches, and tends to hop rapidly again to distance in the event that they reply.
In contrast, Conceição is a extra pure counter-puncher: he too leads with the jab, however his desire is to make use of it to bait an opponent into responding and throw his follow-ups after they do. Put merely, Stevenson will most frequently disengage when his opponent throws punches, whereas Conceicao will attempt to fireplace again.
Meaning how the combat goes most likely relies upon extra on Stevenson. If he’s completely happy for it to stay a battle of jabs, it’s going to. However, if he needs to push in and make a bit extra of it, we might see some high-level exchanges as they attempt to get the higher of one another inside. A couple of fights in the past this might virtually undoubtedly have meant it’d be jab, jab, jab and go residence, however Stevenson has been engaged on partaking extra in his current fights, so we’ll see.
It’s tempting to have a look at their widespread opponent—Oscar Valdez—for clues to the end result right here. Usually, that may be unadvisable; type variations imply outcomes don’t often triangulate like that, particularly when the 2 fighters are much more comparable to one another than both one is to Valdez. Nevertheless, the truth that Conceicao fought a aggressive and finally shedding combat with the Mexican, whereas Stevenson regarded at the least a degree above, is important.
Put merely whereas Conceição doubtlessly has an even bigger bag of instruments to work with (Stevenson’s enhancing on a regular basis, in order that’s much less true with every combat) the youthful man’s velocity, timing, and nearly-flawless method must be an excessive amount of right here. If Stevenson has a possible weak spot to stop him from being actually elite it could possibly be how he reacts when a terrific strain fighter actually can push in shut constantly. However, Conceição simply shouldn’t be going to seek out that in him. Anticipate a large factors win.
Who else is combating?
It’s a light-weight undercard. The largest title on it’s Keyshawn Davis, a silver medalist within the Tokyo Olympics now making his method within the professional ranks. He’s a magnificently gifted fighter, however although his opponent—Omar Tienda Bahena—has an experienced-looking 25-5 report, solely 5 of these wins got here towards fighters with successful data. Not prone to be aggressive.
Many of the relaxation is analogous, prospects being given opponents they actually ought to beat. One that’s value searching for is Jahi Tucker, a barely uncooked however artistic and really aggressive welterweight, who’s taking an honest step up in competitors towards Jose Luis Sanchez.