Shakur Stevenson’s Next Step
By: Kirk Jackson
The highly touted prospect; boxing’s overall no. 1 draft pick has his eyes set on grand things, as he will embark on his professional journey in the upcoming future.
Returning as a Silver Medalist from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, promoters have scouted Stevenson for the past few years.
Possessing similar traits to his self-admitted idols; (Andre Ward and Floyd Mayweather) fighters also representing the United States during the Olympic Games and eventually embarking on Hall of Fame caliber careers.
Great company to follow and it just so happens Mayweather is in the promoting business; serving as head of TMT/Mayweather Promotions.
There was tons of hype leading up to Stevenson’s Gold Medal Olympic match, hinting at the idea of Stevenson signing to the Mayweather promotional company.
The initial reports appeared to be premature, as Stevenson has yet to sign to a promotional company.
It’s also fair to speculate whether the discussions of Stevenson signing with Mayweather possibly distracted his attention from the task at hand; delivering the first gold medal from the men’s side since Andre Ward in 2004.
Stevenson put up a valiant effort, but ultimately fell short losing to defending Cuban Gold Medalist Robeisy Ramirez.
But even through defeat, Stevenson may have actually endeared himself to a newfound audience watching his fight; gaining fans with how he handled the realization of not accomplishing his goal of bringing home the gold. Some of course will criticize the crying, so it depends on who you ask.
But this minor set-back may motivate Stevenson to accomplish bigger goals as a professional.
He has the following and attention from the Olympic Games and a few Powerade commercials already on his resume so the star potential is there.
Now there is the matter of establishing a consistent winning streak as a professional and signing with the right promotional company who can help Stevenson maximize his potential.
That is of course if he decides to turn pro.
“Nine times out of 10 I’ll be turning pro but I haven’t signed with anyone right now,” explained Stevenson, when asked about potential signings.
“I’m going to go back, look at my options and then focus on that.”
As of now, Stevenson is doing as she should by fielding different offers. Although the benefits of signing with Al Haymon and Mayweather may trump the other potential offers.
Under the umbrella of Haymon and Mayweather, Stevenson can become one of the staples of Premier Boxing Champions, if that brand continues beyond the original contract.
Errol Spence recently drew six million viewers with his performance against Leonard Bundu, which was conveniently scheduled and aired after the conclusion of the Olympic Games on Sunday; airing on NBC.
Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter headlined another successful event for PBC (Premier Boxing Champions) on CBS.
These are premier fighters of the sport, getting the recognition on cable television, potentially from the casual fan and this opens more doors. Stevenson can benefit from this kind of exposure.
Other options included Golden Boy Promotions headed by Oscar De La Hoya, Roc Nation Sports, Top Rank Promotions; Stevenson can also go the self-promotion route.
Roc Nation Sports may be a suitable destination for Stevenson; headed by hip-hop legend/ savvy businessman Jay-Z, based out of New York and Stevenson could potentially be paired up with one of his idols Andre Ward, in a mentor/student type dynamic. This can be an enticing proposition.
Top Rank arguably has the greatest track record regarding the roster of fighters under its umbrella.
Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Roberto Duran all fought under the Top Rank banner at some point.
Bob Arum certainly has the expertise and experience to take a fighter to the top.
Whichever step he decides to take, Stevenson has plenty of options.