Hall-of-fame boxer Timothy Bradley Jr., not just called Saturday's fight live on ESPN, when Shakur Stevenson stopped Shuichiro Yoshino in the sixth round, but also hailed it as Stevenson's evolution to his next level as a prizefighter. The bout was all Stevenson, who dropped Yoshino in the second and fourth rounds before referee Allen Huggins had seen enough and stepped in the sixth round.
Bradley feels that it was the negative attention from Shakur Stevenson missing weight and losing his WBO and WBC unified super featherweight world titles on the scale that made him into the new fighter he is today. The criticism from the media has helped Stevenson evolve into a more complete fighter, one could say.
For Bradley, this was the moment that Stevenson had evolved from being a great fighter to a potential star, as Stevenson didn’t just win, Stevenson entertained, in Bradley’s opinion.
“[Shakur Stevenson] understand this is entertainment,” elaborated Bradley. “[Stevenson is realizing he needs to be more aggressive] and is finding a balance, where he is balancing entertainment with no getting hit, and now he is producing knockouts.”
After the fight, it is clear that Shakur Stevenson is very open to fighting the undisputed lightweight world champion, Devin Haney, who is fighting Vasiliy Lomachenko on May 20th, on ESPN PPV.
“Just tell all those other lightweights to get ready. I’m waiting for them. I can’t wait for them to finish the fights they’ve got going on, and then it’s my turn,” said Stevenson in the ring. "Tell him [Devin Haney] to come on. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I swear to God. I’ve been waiting for that for a long time. Me and Devin been in the ring with each other for years. I always got the best of Devin. Tell him, ‘come on.’"