Shakur Stevenson will look to become a three-division world champion on Thursday night.
Stevenson, who faces Edwin De Los Santos will further chase history with his latest world title fight.
The fight which will take place on Thursday, November 16th, from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, will serve two masters. It will appease both fight fans worldwide and be a part of the F1 race week festivities. For Stevenson, who will be headlining the card when he fights for the vacant WBC lightweight world title on ESPN starting at 10:30 pm EST / 7:30 PM PST. Let's reflect on the greatest achievements of Stevenson's career so far.
The Silver Medal
Shakur Stevenson is a master at distance and range thus the comparison between himself and Floyd Mayweather dates back to the 2016 Olympics when Robeisy Ramirez defeated Stevenson in the finals. After the result, Stevenson cried on national television as it drew comparisons to Floyd Mayweather who did the same thing twenty years prior in Atlanta.
Though most fighters are defined by an Olympic medal, not unlike Mayweather it seems Stevenson has run from the achievement as it wasn’t the type of accomplishment he wanted. It wasn’t gold - and the competitor in Stevenson hates being second. The first moment that defined Stevenson was seeing just how much he hated to lose. While most are defined by amateur achievement it seems the amateurs gave Stevenson his school and pedigree, but also is one of the biggest burdens of his past as he was not the first U.S. male boxer since Andre Ward to win a gold medal.
Winning a world title in 13 fights
Stevenson moved fast as a professional. He was not babied in the slightest. He turned pro in a six-round fight against Edgar Brito, a competent professional and by his eleventh bout defeated a former world title challenger, Christopher ‘Pitufo’ Diaz. In his thirteenth fight, Stevenson won the vacant WBO featherweight title from Joet Gonzalez in a grudge match as Stevenson was dating Gonzalez’s sister, Jajaira (now a 2024 U.S. Olympian) at the time.
Though most reflect kindly on the win, it was a major step up in class and a fight that equally rivaled the DAZN telecast of that day between Josh Taylor and Regis Prograis. Stevenson had all the famous fighters of the modern era in Reno, Nevada for his world title win as Andre Ward and Terence Crawford sat in the dressing room for his big moment. In the end, it was a masterclass as Stevenson only lost one round and in the round he lost he took off as it appeared he wanted to pace himself for the later rounds.
In an era of marination and waiting Stevenson has one of the rare glimpses of hope searching for legacy along with his peer and rival, Devin Haney.
Multi-division world champion, and unified
The pandemic hit and Stevenson was now a super featherweight as he defeated Jeremiah Nakathila for the vacant WBO super featherweight world title, and then defeated belt holder Jamel Herring for the outright title. Stevenson would follow that up by outpointing Oscar Valdez to win the WBC title as well as he held two of the four major world titles.
Though you could belittle his world championship wins which come against Joet Gonzalez, Jeremiah Nakathila, Jamel Herring, and Oscar Valdez. It also speaks to the fact that those were the champions willing to face him. The WBA super featherweight champion Hector Luis Garcia moved up to lightweight and fought Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis to start 2023, and the IBF title was all messed up as Joe Cordina won the title and was stripped off which he had to win back from Shavkat Rakhimov - thus leaving Stevenson no point of entry.
Stevenson is not just a fighter, he is someone looking to maximize his athletic career in a sport in which we have seen more businessmen than athletes over the past decade. In terms of in-ring achievement, Stevenson is as old-school as it gets and this combined with his skillset is the reason many proclaim him as a future pound-for-pound number-one fighter.
In a mere eighteen fights, Stevenson had accumulated three world titles across two divisions with many feeling that some of the best fighters were not actively seeking fights with him due to the difficult nature of his style.
Stevenson would miss weight against Robson Conceição thus stripping him of his two world titles at super featherweight. This has now laid the groundwork for him entering one of the most interesting divisions in boxing the lightweight division. A division full of contenders such as William Zepeda, Raymond Muratalla, Keyshawn Davis, and many more as well as stars in Devin Haney, Vasiliy Lomachenko, and Gervonta Davis.
Stevenson is actively putting pressure on fighters to face him, as it appears that he wanted to fight Vasiliy Lomachenko for this Thursday night card against Edwin De Los Santos, but Lomachneko opted for a different route. A pattern is emerging. Stevenson enters a division and suddenly it starts to get thin, not unlike when the great American amateur boxer, Benjamin Johnson enters a bracket in USA Boxing, the same thing seems to happen. It isn't a question of if Stevenson is avoided, but more so about how avoided he is.
Chasing History three-division world champion in 21 fights
Facing Edwin De Los Santos is a historic fight for Stevenson as this would put him in line to become a three-division world champion in twenty-one fights as he starts to already build the accolades and accomplishments for a hall-of-fame career. In the past four years, Stevenson has actively pursued titles and not been politically correct when it comes to calling people out.
Stevenson wants to fight the best, the current champion in his division is Devin Haney and that has been his target as of late. Stevenson’s career path is that of a younger Vasiliy Lomachenko as he has strictly followed the belts and the title defenses and less so the politics of the sport. This at times has hurt him as his last fight a WBC lightweight eliminator was against Shuichiro Yoshino who he stopped in six rounds. Yoshino is a fighter many Western fans have no relationship with and is a win that doesn’t get you the credit that it probably should.
Stevenson went after the fight to put pressure on Devin Haney to face him, but Haney opted to fight a dangerous fight against Regis Prograis instead. Stevenson's current position in the sport is putting pressure on great fighters to face him.