One of the most exciting aspects of being a boxing fan is to reflect on a fighter’s journey to how they got to where they now are. Often times, the humble beginnings and the trials and tribulations they had to endure helped them grow and set them apart from the rest. At only 22, Shakur Stevenson is quickly proving his worth in the sport.
The Olympic medalist in Stevenson (13-0) has quickly steamrolled past the competition since making his professional debut in 2017. In his 11th fight in 2019, he won the WBO-NABO Featherweight Title. That same year he beat Joet Gonzalez to become the WBO Featherweight Champion. Groomed to be the next Floyd Mayweather according to his peers, Stevenson’s beginnings can be looked at fondly. Stevenson is currently scheduled to face off against Felix Caraballo tonight, June 9 in Las Vegas.
Reflecting on how he got to this moment, let’s take a look at the top five wins of Stevenson’s young career.
First KO – Carlos Suarez (2017)
Stevenson’s destruction of Edgar Brito in his debut was impressive, but showcasing his knockout power is what fans of his were hoping to see. In 2017, Stevenson made his Madison Square Garden debut. The prospect was putting on a show for the New York crowd and only needed one round to take out his opponent.
Landing shots to the head and body, Stevenson’s shots could be heard all over The World’s Most Famous Arena. His first of seven wins via knockout, Stevenson took care of Suarez with ease.
Enlightening Performance v. Parick Riley (2018)
When your opponent is knocked down early in the round, you know they are in for a rough night. Stevenson was able to show his hand speed and patience against Patrick Riley. He was also able to show he was an intimidating fighter, as Riley was gun shy through the entire night. Stevenson had a shutout in the first round as he was the only one who landed shots.
Round two saw big shots to the body as well as jabs to the face of Riley. A combination of left and right hands were too much for the 12-0 Riley to handle. The win was Stevenson’s sixth and it started a run of multiple TKO-wins.
Holding Down Carlos Ruiz (2018)
Two fights after Riley, Carlos Ruiz was the next victim of Stevenson’s. With 16 wins, Ruiz was a major step-up in competition for the growing star. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t show it. Ruiz did not land a single shot until the fourth round. On the other side of the ring, Stevenson landed precise shots and blew Ruiz out with his combination punches.
Stevenson ended up getting a unanimous decision win, just missing out on his fifth TKO-win in a row.
Eventually, Shakur Stevenson needed to face competition that would help legitimize himself. He ended up getting the fight he needed against a former champion in Viorel Simion. From Romania, Simion (22-3) held the WBC Mediterranean, WBC International, and WBF World Featherweight Titles. He faced some top fighters and champions, including Pedro Navarrete (W), Lee Selby (L), and Scott Quigg (L).
Simion lost to Quigg via unanimous decision before facing Stevenson. The bout could have been a rebound, but the young fighter was not having it. Stevenson knocked down Simion twice and just blasted him with shots. Simion crumbled down to the mat as Stevenson hit him with a vicious right hook and then hit another before the end of the first round. Simion couldn’t do anything but watch as the future was smiling back at him.
Championship Glory v. Joet Gonzalez (2019)
In a back and forth affair, Stevenson’s last fight was a world title bout. It was the culmination of all of his hard work. He faced an early-twenties kid from California with 23 wins and no losses at the time. Joet Gonzalez already fought for WBA Continental and WBO-NABO Featherweight gold. With fourteen wins via knockout, one would assume that Gonzalez would have sort of striking advantage over Stevenson.
Gonzalez only landed four jabs against Stevenson through twelve rounds of action. The first time Stevenson was in a twelve-round affair, the New Jersey-born star held his own, and then some. Stevenson landed 121 shots out of 510 while Gonzalez only landed 53 of 494, via CompuBox. His 43% landed strikes compared to Gonzalez’s 13% was a wide margin if there ever was one. Stevenson’s last bout was surely one to remember.