In an period with a wealth of younger, thrilling expertise, Shakur Stevenson could have the best ceiling. On Friday night time, Stevenson will probably be trying to proceed the unbeaten run to his profession when he defends his WBC and WBO junior light-weight titles towards Robson Conceicao (ESPN and fuboTV — 10 p.m. ET).
Stevenson (18-0, 9 KO) may very well be wrapping up his marketing campaign at 130 kilos with this combat. After successful the WBO featherweight title with an October 2019 win over Joet Gonzalez, Stevenson made the transfer to junior light-weight. 4 fights later, Stevenson placed on certainly one of his extra spectacular showings when he stopped Jamel Herring in 10 rounds to win the WBO title. In April, Stevenson gained the WBC belt with a call over Oscar Valdez, turning into a unified champion at simply 24 years outdated.
There’s a lack of interesting fights for Stevenson at 130 kilos. Earlier this yr, Emanuel Navarrete entered negotiations to maneuver up in weight to face Stevenson just for the talks to shortly disintegrate. With the longer term trying considerably dim at 130, a transfer to light-weight, even with the division having misplaced Teofimo Lopez and Ryan Garcia, has many greater potential fights for somebody of Stevenson’s expertise. Fights with Vasiliy Lomachenko, Gervonta “Tank” Davis and undisputed champion Devin Haney would all have boxing followers salivating.
To pursue such main fights, Stevenson first has to deal with enterprise towards Conceicao.
Conceicao (17-1, 8 KO) gained the light-weight gold medal on the 2016 Olympics in entrance of his residence nation Brazil. He turned professional later that yr and rattled off 16 consecutive wins to land his first problem for a world title.
Conceicao would find yourself on the unsuitable facet of a barely controversial determination towards Oscar Valdez in a bout for the WBC title. Whereas many felt Conceicao deserved the nod, most took subject with a 117-110 card turned in for Valdez. That scorecard was so egregious it led to a real rarity in boxing, with choose Stephen Blea issuing an apology and stepping away from judging to “bear a radical coaching and evaluation program.”
Valdez additionally failed a pre-fight VADA drug check however was nonetheless allowed to defend his title, including an additional layer of controversy to Conceicao’s first profession defeat.
He now takes his second shot at successful a world title, together with the WBC belt that Stevenson gained with a dominant displaying towards Valdez.
Stevenson vs. Conceicao combat card, odds
Odds by way of Caesars Sportsbook
|Shakur Stevenson (c) -3000||Robson Conceicao +1300||WBO and WBC junior light-weight titles|
|Keyshawn Davis||Omar Tienda Bahena||Light-weight|
Outcomes towards shared opponents do not all the time create math that interprets to being predictive. Nonetheless, it is arduous to miss the benefit with which Stevenson dealt with Valdez and the struggles Conceicao had towards him. Stevenson is a grasp boxer with good protection and an outstanding means to handle distance, which is what allowed him to select Valdez aside whereas Conceicao went to a good determination that he could or could not have deserved to win.
Stevenson’s expertise have led to lots of his fights getting tagged with the “boring” label. It isn’t completely unfair. He doesn’t take pointless dangers, even towards fighters the place he might clearly step on the fuel and rating spectacular finishes. However blame additionally has to fall on opponents for not having the ability to pressure him out of a mode that’s so efficient and has gained him a number of world titles throughout two weight courses at such a younger age.
The considering is, an opponent must strain Stevenson, take away his means to dictate the vary and tempo of a combat and hit arduous sufficient to harm Stevenson to make him hesitate to throw counters. Sadly for Conceicao, he simply does not have a lot pop in his punches. He might be aggressive and has strong technical expertise, however the lack of energy signifies that one of many cornerstones of the gameplan to beat Stevenson is lacking.
Stevenson is simply higher all over the place the combat can go and since Conceicao is not prone to crack Stevenson’s chin, the largest query is that if Stevenson decides to attempt to make a press release and search for a knockout. Choose: Shakur Stevenson by way of UD