Written By Eric Gomes: 2016 Rio Olympian, Silver Medalist Shakur Stevenson quickly returns to action to fight close to his East Coast hometown. Shakur Stevenson will be featured in a six-round featherweight bout on the undercard of the Terence “Bud” Crawford vs Félix Diaz World Junior Welterweight Championship, Saturday, May 20, at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden. Stevenson faces Carlos Suarez (6-3-2, one KO), from La Plata, Argentina. This is the first time Stevenson has fought close to home since the New Jersey Golden Gloves in early 2015. Crawford vs. Díaz televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®, beginning at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT.
This marks a very quick turnaround for Shakur Stevenson the budding talent who just fought in L.A. on the Top Rank PPV tripleheader on April 22, 2016. Stevenson, 19, made his pro debut defeated opponent Edgar Brito via a six-round featherweight technical decision.The fight was stopped just after the beginning of the sixth round with the ringside doctor ruling that Brito was cut too badly from an earlier clash of heads to continue. Stevenson won every round on every judge’s scorecard. Fresh off his ’16 Rio Olympics appearance Shakur Stevenson announced he had signed to promoter Top Rank Boxing shortly after.
“I have to admit, I’m a little jealous. Shakur Stevenson has the opportunity to fight at The Garden in his second fight, where as I’ve fought over 30 times and have yet to have a fight on that sacred ground,” said two-division world champion Andre Ward, who co-manages Stevenson. “Actually, I guess that’s the way it’s supposed to be. The next generation going further than the older generation. I’m super excited for him, he shines the brightest on the biggest stage. There are not too many bigger stages than The Garden in boxing, and really all of sports.”
“My first fight there was exciting being that it was Madison Square Garden, but it was in The Theater. I didn’t get to fight in the Big Room in my first fight like Shakur,” said Crawford. “I’m excited to fight in the Big Room being that there hasn’t been a Top Rank show there since Miguel Cotto. I’m glad Shakur will be on the card with me.”
“It’s been a long time since I fought so close to home and I can’t wait to perform in front of my friends and family,” said Stevenson. My city has always supported me and I know that Newark is going to come out on May 20. There have been so many huge fights at Madison Square Garden and I’m excited to fight in the Big Room where so many greats have fought before.
Shakur Stevenson looks to be the goods and carries a lot of experience for a fighter under 20 years. Shakur has sparred with other top-level skilled young talents such as Devin Haney and Richardson Hitchins. In addition Shakur Stevenson helped Gervonta “Tank” Davis prepare for his January title shot against former IBF champ Jose Pedraza. Pre-fight Stevenson predicted his sparring partner and friend Davis would win via knockout. That prediction turned out to be correct as Davis knocked out former IBF champion Pedraza in the 7th round.
Stevenson has also shared the ring [in sparring] with the main event, the very talented ambidextrous Terence Crawford of Omaha, NE. During an interview with ThaBoxingVoice.com, Stevenson admits Crawford got the best of him in sparring. Nonetheless this is great experience and a valuable lesson for the young Newark Native.
Courtesy of ThaBoxingVoice/YouTube:
Top Rank does a great job of molding fighters (especially their young fighters) coupled with the powerhouse team of Andre Ward & J. Prince who are in place to help manage and oversee Shakur Stevenson’s career this is a good look. Stevenson seems to have bounced back mentally very well after coming up short in the Gold Medal match in the ’16 Olympics and is on the fast track to success with his activity as a pro. Roy Jones Jr. and Floyd Mayweather Jr. showed the mental fortitude to bounce back as dominant pros. Although Jones Jr. and Mayweather Jr. were Robbed of rightful wins and a chance at Olympic gold, unlike Stevenson who lost a competitive match against Cuban Robeisy Ramirez. Shakur Stevenson thus far, seems to have the same temperament to overcome that Olympic defeat. It will be exciting to see how his journey unfolds.
After an impressive debut in L.A., @shakurstevenson heads home May 20 to the East Coast on the #CrawfordDiaz card. See it LIVE at @thegarden. Shakur Stevenson/Instagram
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