On Saturday night, Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Ryan Garcia will meet in a major lightweight bout in Las Vegas, Nevada. One month later, Vasyl Lomachenko and Devin Haney will fight for the undisputed lightweight title. With all of that going on, it may be easy to forget about a fighter out of Newark, New Jersey who is making a lot of noise in the sport of boxing.
Shakur Stevenson won the silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games and has not looked back since. The New Jersey native turned pro in April 2017 and has won his first 20 pro bouts. Along the way, he’s beaten world champions like Jamel Herring and Oscar Valdez while picking up world titles in two different weight classes. Earlier this month, he made the jump to lightweight and stopped Shuichiro Yoshino in the sixth round.
“He felt my power. I sat down on a couple of punches and dropped him. Honestly, I wanted the ref to let it go on a little bit longer. I’d just caught my second wind. I was gonna put him out. I was gonna stretch him,” Stevenson said after the fight.
Moving forward, Stevenson has his sights on the top fighters in the division like Devin Haney, Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Vasyl Lomachenko.
“Just tell all the other lightweights to get ready. I can’t wait for them to finish the fights they’ve got going on, and then it’s my turn,” Stevenson warned his potential foes.
If Stevenson is able to fight the more prominent fighters in the division, he has the potential to become one of the biggest names in the sport. During a recent interview, the Newark native said that notable figures like Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter may already be taking notice of his star power in and out of the ring.
“Who is the biggest celebrity you’ve run into and you said, ‘Damn, they know me like that.’ Has that happened to you?” ESPN’s Max Kellerman asked Stevenson during last week’s episode of Max On Boxing.
“Yeah, it happened to me because someone told me that Jay-Z was asking about me,” Stevenson answered.
“I didn’t even know Jay-Z knew who I was. That was like a big thing to me. I’ve always wanted to meet Jay-Z, so once there’s [an opportunity for me] to meet him, I’ll be happy.”