Ward defends Stevenson after the lightweight champ's lackluster title fight

Former two-weight world champion Andre Ward defended Shakur Stevenson (21-0, 10KOs) following his sub-par showing against Edwin De Los Santos (16-2, 14KOs) November 16.

"He got a belt, he just got a check, and he just kissed his baby," said Ward recently to KO Artist Sports. "It was a good day" for him.

Stevenson scored with 65 punches from 209 thrown, according to Compubox data sent to ProBox TV. De Los Santos, meanwhile, scored 40 landed punches — the lowest number of landed punches recorded by CompuBox in a twelve-round contest.

After the fight, Stevenson conceded that he would need to make changes. One of those changes, he said, would involve spending less time in the gym.

Stevenson hinted he felt fatigued, and had picked up a slight injury during his preparations.

"I had a bad performance," said Stevenson on the post-fight ESPN telecast. "I gotta take some breaks. I’ve got to stop being in the gym all the time; that’s how you cause injuries. That’s how your body gets a little fatigued."

Ward visited Stevenson's locker room before the opening bell, and said after the fight that he regards Stevenson's reactions as natural considering he is an "elite athlete," and that a bad performance can feel like a loss.

"When you don’t dominate the way you’re used to dominating, it kinda feels like a loss."

Victory earned Stevenson the vacant WBC lightweight title, elevating his status in boxing to a three-weight world champion.