Claiming Illness Shakur Stevenson Apologized For Lackluster Win
While a win is a win, unbeaten Super Featherweight contender Shakur Stevenson was less than spectacular in his Saturday night non-title main event victory in Las Vegas. And, the former WBO Featherweight World Champ who’s performance wasn’t great was actually was apologetic for it post fight.
First, Stevenson scored a lopsided easy 12-round decision win over Jeremiah Nakathila in the Top Rank Boxing/ ESPN main event from the Virgin Hotel and Casino on the Vegas Strip. The former US Olympian Silver Medalist was in complete control, especially with great counterpunching and did not lose around on any of the judges cards over his 12 round unanimous decision victory.
However, as ESPN broadcasters Joe Tessitore and former world champs turned analysts Tim Bradley and Andre Ward continued to point out, Nakathila proved to be a very limited fighter without much strategy or adjustment. This included standing right in front of Stevenson, flat-footed and letting himself get hit round after round after round.
Stevenson, who’s one of the rising American stars in the lower weight classes knew that the performance was not spectacular and took to social media shortly after to apologize himself
I apologize to all my fans I didn’t feel good tonight but I did what I had to do to win.. Thank you for all da support I promise better for further fights to come 💪🏾
— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) June 13, 2021
Stevenson’s tweet was the first that anyone knew that he was apparently not feeling well, and would explain some of his lack of aggressiveness and not finishing his opponent before it went the full 12 rounds.
In the end, the large, lopsided decision victory for the now 16 – 0 Stevenson was being met with some apathy online or as some inside of the venue began to do, booing and displeasure in the late rounds due to the lack of action and the fact that Stephenson couldn’t “step on the gas” and in the fight earlier.
Still, Stevenson is clearly a fighter that Top Rank wants to feature and they have building to have him fight the WBO World Champ at 130 lb., Jamel Herring. Herring was ringside in attendance and made clear to the media before and after the Stevenson win that he would be willing to make that fight.
However, Herring and another Top Rank fighter who has two of the Super Featherweight belts, Oscar Valdez could be a sexier match up this Winter. And, certainly, as spectacular as Herring and Valdez were in their last fights, both winning by KO, it would be more attractive to have them meet.
And if that is the fight instead of Stevenson, no apologizing for why he wasn’t much better Saturday in Vegas will be why Stevenson is watching and waiting.