Despite becoming the new WBC lightweight champion with a unanimous decision win, the performance did not sit well with the spectators. A chorus of boos was heard in the stadium as Stevenson chose to use his jab and box on the back foot to avoid the quicker and heavy-handed De Los Santos. But in order to secure the biggest fights with Gervonta Davis and Devin Haney, Stevenson had to show more to sell and appeal to the wider boxing audience. And yet, Arum downplayed the poor performance by claiming his fighter arrived into the bout with an injury.
“I didn’t know specifically [what was wrong with Stevenson] because I was out of town But [Top Rank’s] Dena [duBoef, Arum’s stepdaughter] reported to me that he went to see this doctor and that doctor for various ailments about two or three weeks leading up to the fight. So, I was quite aware of that. It was a shoulder problem that he had. I don’t know specifically, but that’s what I was told not last night, but during the time that it was happening,” Arumsaid
And yet, the boxer did not elaborate on anything in his post-fight comments by stating that he did not want to make any excuses. Either way, the performance resulted in many boxers criticizing the fighter, including Haney and Ryan Garcia. The latter was particularly vocal about the lack of quality on show.
“Well, if you knew everything about boxing, then why the hell did you not get to [De Los Santos]. He was scared of him and didn’t throw any punches … he has to humble himself a little bit … you’re boring as sh!t, and everybody knows it. That was boring. That was the best night of sleep I’ve ever had,” Garcia