Shakur Stevenson is fast gaining a reputation as one of the most capable operators in the sport of boxing.
The 26-year-old has found himself as mandatory for a shot at the WBC lightweight world title, and will likely fight for it later this year. The man to fill the opposite corner is yet to be found.
The Newark native is part of an era of supremely talented fighters in and around his weight, including the likes of Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia and Teofimo Lopez.
In fact, Stevenson, Haney and Garcia all fought on the amateur scene. Speaking to ES News, Stevenson wanted to correct the record after he heard ‘King’ Ryan say that their bout back then was close.
“The thing is, Ryan went on the interview and said we had like a close fight. I disagree with him – I thought it was kinda easy for me. Ryan taller, he’s longer, and he’s been around, so Ryan got a lot of boxing experience.”
The pair fought in January of 2013 at around the ages of fourteen and fifteen in the US Junior National Selection Tournament Semi-Final.
Stevenson took the bout on points, and would go onto win the 2014 AIBA Youth World Championships and 2014 Summer Youth Olympics. After a silver medal at Rio 2016, he would turn professional a year later.
Garcia – himself a 15-time national champion – turned over in the year Stevenson was at the Olympics. This year, he fought his last lightweight fight, a body shot stoppage loss at the hands of Gervonta Davis, vowing in the aftermath to move up and stay at the more comfortable 140.
Stevenson is still settling in at 135 after world titles at bother feather and super-featherweight. That means the pair are unlikely to lock horns anytime soon, but a fight in the future makes sense.