Shakur Stevenson is brash and cocky however to this point has delivered on his guarantees. Forward of his subsequent bout he talks to Phil Rogers about that self-belief, his subsequent opponent and his wrestle to make 130lbs
CONFIDENCE is a valuable commodity. Most of us improvise and blag our means via life, shaking off the acquainted foe of self-doubt however at all times conscious of its corrosive powers. How, then, do some folks appear geared up with a roadmap for all times?
“I simply really feel like I’m the most effective in boxing,” declares the undefeated (now former) super-featherweight champion, Shakur Stevenson, a younger man who’s been proclaiming his personal greatness ever since he first laced up a pair of gloves. “I’ve been saying this for some time and I nonetheless stand by it.”
Stevenson shall be seeking to additional his declare because the best fighter within the sport when he takes on Brazil’s Robson Conceicao on Friday night time (September 23). The 25-year-old American’s spectacular current kind has seen him cease Jamel Herring in 10 rounds and dominate Oscar Valdez to cement his standing as the most effective within the division. Conceicao himself might be forgiven for claiming victory over Valdez additionally, having beforehand misplaced a controversial choice to the Mexican in September 2021. It’s this efficiency which prompted Stevenson’s curiosity within the battle.
“He deserved a shot after his battle with Valdez. Lots of people thought he received. I’ve a unique perception on that. I really feel like he left it too shut. However on the finish of the day he earned his shot and I really feel like he deserves it. I’m a type of fighters the place I don’t thoughts preventing the most effective. I really feel like preventing the most effective at all times brings the most effective out of me,” he says.
“Count on for me to placed on a masterful efficiency and dominate and beat the hell out of Robson Conceicao. I’m entering into there to beat him up so hopefully he prepared however I’m whooping his ass.”
The battle itself was introduced as one thing of a New Jersey homecoming for Stevenson, with High Rank’s blue chip prospects, Keyshawn Davis and Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington, eagerly sharing the stage to advertise their very own fights on the undercard at Newark’s Prudential Middle.
To watch Stevenson that day was to see somebody basking within the recognition he’s been craving. He appeared completely at dwelling on stage along with his grandfather and coach, Wali Moses, lauding Bob Arum’s younger starlets who’re seeking to replicate his success and signing autographs for native children afterwards. Certainly, it was harking back to Stevenson’s personal time as assist act to Terence Crawford, a time he himself treasures as a useful expertise to realize information and recommendation from among the finest within the sport.
“I’m able to embrace that function. Simply present like to different fighters and different fighters youthful than me. I’ve been grinding my complete life for this and at last it’s paying off. It was a really enjoyable expertise being again dwelling. Being in entrance of my household and mates and simply having fun with the setting. It was very enjoyable and I can’t wait to battle in entrance of them on September 23.”
Stevenson was beforehand irked by sure sections of the boxing media excluding him when declaring Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis the brand new ‘4 Kings’ of latest boxing. Stevenson insisted on the time that he was “lower from a unique material” to his contemporaries, and in backing this up has barely misplaced a spherical on the way in which to turning into the most effective within the 130lbs weight class. It’s this mix of self-belief and obsession with competitors that he believes is pushing his profession trajectory upwards.
“I’m simply one in every of them sorts of individuals. I’m very aggressive. I prefer to compete at every little thing and I imagine in myself 100 per cent. It was simply one thing I used to be born with. I used to be born with a love for boxing. I feel the love and keenness for boxing retains me going on a regular basis. I feel that’s the place all of it comes from. Simply my love for the game. I get pleasure from boxing, I get pleasure from going within the ring, sparring, preventing, and every little thing in relation to boxing.”
Away from boxing Stevenson’s life has taken on added duty. He proposed to his girlfriend, Michelle Ragston (aka Younger Lyric), instantly after his battle with Valdez after which in December introduced the delivery of their child daughter. He’s is acutely aware of the affect these life occasions have had on him.
“It’s formed me very effectively. I really feel like being a task mannequin and being a father, it’s an entire completely different world. On the finish of the day you’ve bought to be sensible outdoors the ring simply as a lot as contained in the ring. I type of stream with life like that.”
Hypothesis has been circling as to how lengthy Stevenson will now stay at 130lbs, particularly with the prospect of huge cash fights at light-weight tempting him up. The American is dismissive of Britain’s Joe Cordina, the present IBF belt-holder at super-feather, however has been open to the prospect of travelling to the UK to take him on. Finally, nonetheless, his plans shall be dictated by how comfy he feels within the run-up to Friday night time. (Having weighed in at 131.6lbs for Friday’s bout in opposition to Conceicao, and due to this fact relinquished his super-featherweight titles, now we all know.)
“He [Cordina] solely received one battle! I feel he beat somebody [Kenichi Ogawa] that beat Tevin Farmer however Tevin Farmer actually beat him. So he solely received one battle. We’ll see. If I’m nonetheless at this weight I’ll beat his ass too. It’s simply bought to do with the burden lower. Relying on how onerous the burden lower is for this battle, we’ll discover out after.”
As for a future superfight with High Rank’s Vasily Lomachenko, Stevenson stays as unabashed as ever, eager to climb boxing’s pound-for-pound rankings and elevate his identify to the highest of the game.
“If that’s what they need [Lomachenko] then I’m down for it. I’m down for whoever. Whoever desires smoke I’m with it. I don’t thoughts. Anyone! Anyone can get it!”