Elder statesman Stevenson playing Crawford role with young stars, including Keyshawn Davis

Shakur Stevenson is 20 fights into his own career but the 26-year-old already feels like he is becoming one of boxing’s elder statesmen.

Stevenson meets Edwin De Los Santos in Las Vegas next month, but he is playing an active role in mentoring the next generation of young stars, including the likes of 9-0 Keyshawn Davis.

Davis boxes this weekend, against 16-2 Nahir Albright in Rosenberg.

“Keyshawn a bad mother*****,” Stevenson said. “I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do in his next fight. I’ve been enjoying watching him over the years and you’ve got to understand Keyshawn has been someone that was right here with me every day, grew up with me. And how [Terence] Bud [Crawford] took me under his wing, I took Keyshawn. Just watching him grow now, he’s kind of backed away and is doing his own thing but I enjoy watching that.”

Stevenson has also been filmed sparring young prospect King Jr, and Shakur is tipping the 12-year-old for big things.

“That’s my little man,” added Stevenson. “He comes in the gym with me, trains with me. I got to play spar with him a little bit. He’s going to be great, in the future he’s going to be able to take over.” 

It is the cross-generational opportunities that have afforded Stevenson great experiences over the years, including his well-documented relationship with Terence Crawford.

Stevenson learned some hard but important lessons from Crawford, but he grew from them, too.

“My first time sparring with him, I learnt that the pros and the amateurs were two different things,” Stevenson explained. “When I first started sparring with him, I was an amateur and he had me spar four-minute rounds and I kind of shot my load [early in the rounds] and he showed me the difference between pros and the amateurs and the experience at that level, and I’ve seen him sitting down on his punches. I’m trying to score real quick, throwing fast little shots. Inside, he was throwing those clean and effective shots, so I think that situation brought me to a higher level, because at that time I was going around every gym and beating up every single person I got in the ring with, until I ran into Bud. It kind of humbled me and made me more competitive and trained even harder for the next time I seen him and I said, ‘Okay, I’ll be a lot better.’ Through the years, being able to compete with him, it’s brought my level up and up and up.”

Now it is Stevenson who is projecting his knowledge and experience onto youngsters, and having followed in Crawford’s footsteps he is happy to lead by example.

“For sure that’s how it feels,” Stevenson continued. “Honestly, you’ve got to see all these kids, I be having a bunch of little kids coming to my gym and I end up sparring with them. I go 20-minutes straight sparring with them and playing around but I enjoy those moments, I enjoy giving back to those kids. They look at me like I’m somebody big in the world but I try to show them I’m human. I try to talk to them regularly. King can DM me anytime, talk to me anytime. At the end of the day I just want to be here to help.”