Many have dubbed American quartet Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney as the new ‘Four Kings’ of boxing, but gifted 130-pounder Shakur Stevenson insists he holds the keys to the throne room.
Despite a glittering amateur career, which culminated in silver in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and a world title already banked at featherweight, Stevenson’s name has rarely been mentioned alongside the constellation of young stars in the division above.
New Jersey southpaw Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs) says that will eventually change given time as he heads into his WBO Interim super-featherweight title bout with Jeremiah Nakathila in Las Vegas tonight, broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and ESPN in the US.
“I’m going to be the superstar of all the young fighters,” Stevenson, 23, told ESPN.com. “Everybody acts like I’m not there and other people are ahead of me. But they’re going to find out as time goes on.
“I’ve been in the ring with Tank [Davis] to help him get ready for his fight with [Jose] Pedraza. I’ve been in there with Teofimo before the Olympics. I’ve been in there with Devin, sparring on YouTube. I’ve beat Ryan in the amateurs. I’ve been in there with all of them, and back then I wasn’t as good as I am now. I’ve gotten way better. I think a lot of them fight the same.
“I’ll probably be at 130 for another year or two then go to 135. I know I’ll end up at 147 even if I don’t get as big as a true 147-pounder like Pernell Whittaker.
“That’s what my career is going to go toward, but I’m going to be a bigger superstar.”
Main image: Mikey Williams/Top Rank.