By: Hans Themistode
Shakur Stevenson has been far more animated leading up to his fight against super featherweight champion Jamel Herring than usual. The two will square off in the ring at the State Farm Arena, in Atlanta Georgia in just a few more hours in front of a jam-packed crowd.
Currently, Stevenson is enjoying the public backing of the betting market. Despite Herring holding his world title for approximately two and a half years, he finds himself as a considerable underdog, something Stevenson definitively agrees with.
Nevertheless, Herring has built his career on making fools out of oddsmakers. Heading into his world title fight against Masayuki Ito in 2019, Herring was expected to come up short. Similarly, the same was assumed in Herring’s most recent contest against Carl Frampton. In both instances, Herring shrugged off his naysayers and turned in some of the finest performances of his career.
Admittedly, Stevenson pulled up a chair, flicked on the television, and tuned in to watch Herring take care of business. While Stevenson acknowledges that Herring deserves credit for what he’s done so far, as the former Olympic silver medalist juxtaposes his skillset to those Herring has faced in the past, he notices a glaring difference.
“He’s been fighting the best,” said Stevenson during an interview with Crystina Poncher. “You gotta give him the respect that he deserves when it comes to defending his title. But he’s fighting someone who’s on a whole other level.”
Whether Stevenson has stepped through the ropes as an amateur or now, in the pros, he’s been mostly lauded for his boxing skills. In 16 pro fights, Stevenson has combined to lose less than five full rounds.
In his most recent ring appearance, Stevenson pitched a shutout against hard-hitting Jeremia Nakathila. Picking up the one-sided victory may have added to his win total, but it didn’t spare Stevenson from receiving criticism for his safety-first approach.
Regardless of the scrutiny Stevenson found chucked in his direction following his non-eventful performance, he believes he shouldn’t be judged based solely on an anomaly.
“When they say I don’t take risks or chances, we gonna base that off one fight? I feel like in my other fights, I’m backing them up and doing what I’m supposed to do. So I just disagree with that.”
Send this to a friend