Shakur Stevenson is once again proving that he is perhaps the best boxer in the lightweight division. The 25-year-old fought in his home of Newark at the Prudential Center last night and stopped his Japanese opponent Shuchiro Yoshino in the 6th round. At the 1.35 mark, Referee Allen Huggins had seen enough of the one-way demolition and stopped the fight.
Stevenson (20-0 with 10 KOs) was headlining a WBC elimination bout for the lightweight fight. And after the win against the tough Yoshino, the former junior lightweight and featherweight champ is next in line to challenge the undisputed lightweight champion, Devin Haney.
This was Stevenson’s most impressive offensive performance since he stopped Jamel Herring in 2021. A naturally aggressive counter puncher, Stevenson had the ideal opponent in front of him. Yoshino (16-1, 12 Kos) has always been a straight-ahead brawler with little body and head movements, which made him a perfect target for the agile, accurate, and fast Steveson.
Prior to the fight, Yoshio had voiced his opinion that Stevenson had limited punching power, but this criticism further motivated Stevenson who said, “That’s what they all say, that I don’t got no power. Let’s see if they’ll get in the ring with me.”
Stevenson was out for the kill, and just coming to the end of round 2, he avoided a pair of Yoshino punches and dropped him with a lightning fast power punch on the left chin. While Yoshino did beat the count, the skills and power gap between the two was obvious by the end of round 2, Yoshino who holds wins over former WBO junior lightweight title holder Masayoshi Ito and lightweight contender Masayoshi Nakatani did throw punches, but they had almost no effect; all it did was create some ferocious counterpunching by the 2016 Olympic Silver medalist.
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This is the best Stevenson has looked for some time, chiefly because Yoshino is not much of a mover but a brawler- but against Stevenson, this approach appeared to be fatal. Stevenson simply did not miss his punches and connected with left uppercuts and right hooks throughout the flight leading to two knockdowns, which was something that the referee was fully aware of and led to the fight stoppage in round 6.
Said Stevenson, “I thought he should have let it keep going. If he had let it keep going, I would have been able to sit him down for real,” he added, “I wanted to finish him.”
This was Stevenson’s first fight since being stripped of both his WBC and WBO junior lightweight titles for being overweight for his fight against Robson Conceicao. However, this time Stevenson was fighting in his hometown, and the 10,408 crowd was fully behind him.
Stevenson will now target Haney (29-0, 15Kos), who won the title in June 2022 after beating George Kambossis Jr. Haney is set to defend his belt on May 20 against former champ Vasiliy Lomanchenko at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Hany has already said that he will remain at lightweight to meet the challenge from Stevenson; however, this could misfire as the 24-year-old Haney has previously struggled to make the 135-pound limit.
Stevenson, however, is enthusiastic about the fight, “I think it’s gonna be easy work. I think I’m gonna smoke him. I think I’m gonna shock everybody by smoking him and making it a real easy fight. Everybody is gonna be like, ‘Damn, you is who you say you is.?” he added, “Just tell all the other lightweights get ready. I can’t wait for them to finish the fights they’ve got going on, and then it’s my turn.”
But Stevenson better not take Haney lightly, who is renowned for his speed and power, and most of all, he has beaten some great lightweights in his career.
Other winners on the same card included:
Heavyweight division: Jared Anderson 3rd round TKO over George Arias
Heavyweight boxer Jared Anderson, 23, took on undefeated Bronx boxer George Arias last night and it took only three rounds for him to dispatch his undefeated opponent
he 23-year-old Anderson to dispatch his opponent. Anderson was not awed by his older opponent Arias,31, who was a more experienced fighter. The first two rounds were low keyed with each opponent trying to get a feel of each other but by the third round, Anderson took over.
He delivered a series of powerful punches to the face and body, which opened a cut over Arias’s eye and left him staggering. But officials looked over his eye and decided that he could no longer continue, giving Anderson a TKO win. Anderson, now 14,0 (14KOs) continues to solidify his reputation in the heavyweight division but he still needs a few more fights before he can take on the likes of Wilder, Fury or Joshua.
Anderson, however, is full of confidence saying, “I’m different. I’m nice,” he said. “I’m the best heavyweight in the world. I made that look easy because he helped me make it look easy. He wasn’t throwing punches for real. I kept my defense right. It was an easy night.” He added, “Those top names. Those top contenders. Everybody who keeps calling people out, put my name on that list now. I’m not ducking, I’m not running. You’re going to catch this smoke.”
Lightweight: Keyshawn Davis ninth round TKO over Anthony Yigit
The other fight on the ESPN card was between Keyshawn Davis and Anthony Yigit, but the power of Davis was too much for Yigit who suffered a serious beating over nine rounds. .
Davis (7-0, 5KOs) was the more superior fighter over Yigit (26-2-1, 10 KOs). Davis really hurt Yigit in the 8th round with a powerful punch to the lower chest and was lucky to continue. Starting the 9th round, Davis unloaded a barrage of punches which led the referee to stop the fight as Yigit had no answer. Throughout the fight, Davis was the busier fighter with accurate and precision punches. A clash of heads led to a brief stoppage in the 3rd round but it was clear that this was not his night. As the fight continued, Davis repeatedly hit him on the body and face. For Yigit, Davis proved to be a tricky fighter who kept on avoiding his best punches.
By the 8th round, Davis hit Yigit in the lower abdomen and chest and the end was near. And in the ninth round, the fight was stopped. Davis is a great fighter but it will be sometime before he will be able to challenge the big boys like Haney or Stevenson, but if he continues in this manner, his future looks bright.
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