By: Hans Themistode
World titles in five divisions, victories over at least 20 former champions, a perfect record through 50 career fights and a whole lot of cash. In its most simplistic form, that would define the legacy of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Words such as iconic, legendary and celebrated seem to undervalue arguably the greatest fighter that has ever laced up a pair of gloves.
Receiving a comparison to Mayweather is almost akin to a death wish. The pressure becomes too immense and the expectations become extraordinarily too high. But in the case of WBO Featherweight titlist Shakur Stevenson, they aren’t high enough.
“Shakur Stevenson is the future star in the sport of boxing,” said Arum on a recent conference call. “A future super star. I look at him as the southpaw version of Floyd Mayweather. And I think he will exceed the performances by Floyd. I just think that he is a rare, rare talent. The young man is growing in size. I think 130 pounds will be a brief stop in his career. He is growing into a Welterweight and maybe even a Jr Middleweight.”
Stevenson will get the chance to show off the Mayweather-esque skills that Arum is alluding to on June 9th against Felix Caraballo at 130 pounds. It will be the first live boxing show for the mainstream public to consume since COVID-19 reared its ugly head.
Through 13 career fights, Stevenson has made it look easy against decent opposition. But should he leave the ring on June 9th with the win against an opponent who will be fighting for the first time outside of his home country in Puerto Rico, Arum is expecting to revisit a matchup with fellow champion Josh Warrington.
If Stevenson manages to navigate himself to a win over Warrington, the Mayweather comparisons will come two fold. Something that the WBO belt holder doesn’t exactly have a problem with. He is just quick to remind those that do juxtapose him to Mayweather, for as great as he was, he is only the tip of the iceberg.
“It makes me feel good, being compared to Floyd. He’s like somebody I came up looking after a lot as a kid and as an amateur,” Stevenson said in a media conference call. “I looked up [to him] as one of my favorite fighters. So, it makes me feel good. But at the end of the day, I’m still me, so I’ve gotta create my own path and my own destiny. So, I appreciate all the comparisons. But I’m really the first Shakur Stevenson. And I think that I’m gonna take over and surpass Floyd and be better than what Floyd was. And I’m trying to make as much money as or [even] more money as Floyd did. So, my vision is like I’m looking past that stuff.”