Shakur Stevenson Says This Camp Was Discipline Combined With Talent

Shakur Stevenson is looking to become a three-division world champion, as he has already held three world titles across two division in his short career. Stevenson defeated Joet Gonzalez for the vacant WBO featherweight world title, stopped Jamel Herring for the WBO super featherweight title, and unified by outpointing Oscar Valdez for the WBC super featherweight world title, holding both the WBO and WBC super featherweight titles. Quite the start, for the six-year professional who is twenty-five-years old. 

In Stevenson’s last fight against Robson Conceicao, Stevenson came in at 131½ lbs., over the championship weight of 130-lbs as he was stripped of his world titles, prior to his first unified world title defense, in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey. It is now seven months later, and Stevenson is set to face Shuichiro Yoshino, a very game challenger, who is undefeated and in his last fight got a sixth-round knockout win over Masayoshi Nakatani. What is on the line this time? A mandatory challenger position for the WBC lightweight title, which is currently held by Devin Haney, and will be on the line when Haney faces Vasiliy Lomachenko on May 20th, in Las Vegas, Nevada, live on pay-per-view. 

“A lot of people don’t realize that since Shakur [Stevenson] was about thirteen [years-old], and got picked on the [USA Boxing] world team, every two-and-a-half-years, [Stevenson] has gained weight,” said his grandfather and trainer, Wali Moses. “The weight gain and him [moving up in weight] is part of his natural growth process going on. I think he is adjusted and much more comfortable, [not having to] lose some weight.”

Though we don’t expect another scale fail, all eyes will be on Stevenson Friday afternoon in New Jersey as Stevenson will be fighting not just in his third division, but one of the most competitive division in the sport of boxing - lightweight. For Stevenson, the number he comes in at will not just be the number for the fight, but also a precursor for all of his future opponent to see into his soul. If he comes in a little below the number will people think he is too small for the weight, if he comes in heavy could people question if he can make the weight reasonably…these will only be answered on Friday, but really on Sunday morning after his performance on Saturday night. Stevenson reassures any-and-all willing to listen that he will never have an issue with weight in his career again.

In terms of pure talent, Stevenson is the golden child of the 2016 U.S. Olympic class, hailed as the next Olympic gold medalist after Andre Ward, only to loss in the finals to Robeisy Ramirez, who just won his first world title over the weekend. Stevenson is looking to take over the sport of boxing in the next decade, and now it appears he is looking to match his talent with a new mindset. It was once said you need to ‘train like the challenger’, and it appears that is what Stevenson is doing day-in, and day-out in training camp. 

“Now I am just so much more focused,” said Stevenson. “I am taking everything super serious, I am not just getting away with my talent, because at times - before, [I was] getting with my talent, but now I am putting the discipline in with talent.”