By: Hans Themistode
No matter what was said about his chances going in, Jeremia Nakathila believed all he needed was one punch to get the job done. With that said, the South African native couldn’t find the shot he was looking for.
At the Virgin Hotels, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Shakur Stevenson toyed with Nakathila over the course of their 12 round fight. The frightening power Nakathila displayed in all his previous contests was nonexistent as Stevenson neutralized his biggest weapon.
From the opening bell, Nakathila charged ahead and attempted to push Stevenson on his heels. That, of course, played right into the hands of Stevenson as he made his man miss and quickly made him pay shortly after.
With the first three rounds in his back pocket, the normally offensively laid-back Stevenson took his aggression up a notch in the fourth, flooring his man in the period. While everything came easy, at no point did Stevenson appear to have his man in serious trouble. After tasting his power on several occasions during their showdown, Stevenson became reluctant in engaging with him in the middle of the ring.
“I tried to [knock out Nakathila] a little bit, but I started getting hit with some solid shots,” said Stevenson. “I ain’t really like it, but next time I’m gonna work on moving my head a little bit more and step it up a little more.”
While Stevenson claims that he wants to return to the drawing board, the former 2016 Olympic silver medalist simply isn’t a heavy puncher. When it was all said and done, he easily took home a wide unanimous decision victory. But as his hand was raised by referee Celestino Ruiz and the WBO interim super featherweight title was wrapped around his waist, Stevenson stood stone-faced.
The victory may have preserved his undefeated record and solidified his world title opportunity against WBO belt holder Jamel Herring, Stevenson simply wasn’t happy with his latest outing.
“To be honest, I didn’t really like my performance,” Stevenson said. “I felt I could’ve performed a lot better, but it was an awkward fighter. You had an awkward fighter throwing hard punches, and he knows how to grab and get away. He was a real awkward fighter. That’s all.”
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