Shakur Stevenson Promises Superstar Performance on July 6, Rips Detractors

Lightweight titleholder Shakur Stevenson is ready to rejuvenate his career following a forgettable win against Edwin De Los Santos in November and a short-lived retirement in February.

Next on the slate for Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) is a hometown title defense against Artem Harutyunyan (12-1, 7 KOs) on July 6 at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.

And then, the 26-year-old Stevenson will be a free agent, as this will be his last fight with promoter Top Rank.

“We have to put on a show against Harutyunyan and focus on what's in front of me,” Stevenson told BoxingScene.

“Things can change quickly, and anything can happen at any time. I have to stay focused and locked in on Artem. I know he's coming to fight. I have to handle business. You're going to see a superstar in the ring on July 6. I'm going to put on a superstar performance. Honestly, I don't even want the fans to jump back on my bandwagon. They can stay where they are at. You can pay to see me lose, because that's never going to happen.”

Stevenson, a Newark native and 2016 silver medalist, has been riled up since his fight against De Los Santos. At the time, De Los Santos’ 40 landed punches were the fewest landed punches in a 12-round fight in CompuBox history. Stevenson wasn’t much busier, landing just 65 punches of his own. He later admitted he came into the fight with an existing shoulder injury.

“Edwin De Los Santos was a good fighter, and I was in there with one hand. My hand was f**** up going in,” said Stevenson. “What did you expect me to do? You expect me to win. I can't come in there and trade and fight with one hand. It's impossible. I disagree with the logic that I had one off night coming off five straight good performances – how can you call me boring? I was entertaining and pleasing the fans before with my performances standing in the pocket and trading. At the end of the day, I'm a winner.”

Stevenson is also bothered that prognosticators have dropped him down the sport’s mythical pound-for-pound list.

“F*** they list. F*** what they think,” Stevenson said. “I don't care about anything they have to say about me. I am the best boxer in the world. There is nothing they can say or do that could make me feel somebody is better than me. I don't understand. I'm a three-division champion at the age of 26 and coming off a win. How can you take me off a pound-for-pound list for winning? I disagree with that.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or via