Shakur Stevenson apologised to Floyd Mayweather, Terence Crawford and Andre Ward after also apologising to his fans for his disappointing performance throughout his victory over Edwin de los Santos.
The 26-year-old won the vacant WBC lightweight title at the conclusion of 12 tedious rounds at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in which he was awarded scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 116-112.
Mayweather, Crawford and Ward were pictured alongside him in his pre-fight dressing room and then watched the fight that was booed regularly from the second to the 12th round, and asked about the atmosphere during a fight in which so few punches were thrown, he responded: “I don’t care. I seen the greats get booed.
“I seen Andre Ward get booed; I seen Floyd get booed. I seen, Terence Crawford – go and watch his early fights in his career when he was outboxing people and they wanted him to stand there and trade – I seen him get booed. So, I don’t care.
“At the end of the day, some nights you gonna have these nights and then some nights they gonna love you so, the nights that they love me I can’t wait for.
“I apologise to my fans; I apologise to everybody that felt I could have did more. I did too, so, sorry.
“I just know I’m a better fighter than I was tonight. I ain’t got no excuses to make to y’all. Bad night; I’ll go back to the drawing board and come back.
“It just wasn’t me. I had a lot going on.
“I seen Floyd in situations where he had bad performances versus Carlos Baldomir; other fighters, and he just got the win, and that’s all I was thinking of. If Floyd can go in there and get the win on a bad night I can too.
“De Los Santos is a good fighter. He was just being more so – y’all act like I was being scared but he was being scared in the mother fucker too.
“I had to take control. There was a certain point in time where I had to tell myself, ‘Take control; don’t give him shit’, and make sure that I land and not give him an opportunity.
“[Mayweather] came here to support me. I appreciate Floyd. I apologise to him. I apologise to Andre Ward. I apologise to Terence Crawford. All my idols; I put on a bad performance; they came to see a great performance and I put on a bad one.
“Shit I knew before I came here [I wasn’t feeling good]. I told people already, but I can’t make no excuses, man. It is what it is. I talk so much shit, I gotta eat whatever come with it.
It appeared lost on Stevenson that he was wearing a WBC hat when he said: “Man I don’t care about [winning another title]. These belts are like dust. I care about being great. I won – I know, I come here to win; I’m gonna win. That’s what’s gonna happen – that’s what I come here to do. I ain’t trippin’ over a lil belt.
“I hold myself to very high standards. I eat, sleep, shit boxing; I hold myself to a high standard. I work hard day in, day out; I been training since April 8, since my last fight; that’s a long time trading, sparring with ‘Bud’ [Crawford]; going into camp working with him; leaving. I hold myself to such high standards that I’m not accepting this performance.”
De Los Santos, 24 and from the Dominican Republic, landing a total of 40 punches represented a record low since Compubox’s inception 38 years ago, but he said: “You know what? I came to fight; he came for a track meet. I wouldn’t say that I’m on his level. I’d say that I’m above his level because I came to fight tonight; I came to put on a fight and Shakur Stevenson decided not to fight. He was gifted a title but I am the champion of the people.
“He would never give me a rematch in the ring because it would have to be a track meet where he would give me a rematch. That’s why he’s earned the nickname that I’ve given him – Shakira Twitterson, because he’s not a fighter.”