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Stevenson shines in homecoming against Guevara

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Stevenson shines in homecoming against Guevara

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Stevenson shines in homecoming against Guevara

Ever since he turned pro following the 2016 Olympics, featherweight contender Shakur Stevenson wanted to return home to Newark. In front of 5,150 fans at Prudential Center, Stevenson, the WBO No. 1 contender, knocked out two-time world title challenger Alberto “Metro” Guevara (27-5, 12 KOs) in the third round of a scheduled 10-rounder.

“That was a great performance I put on for the city of Newark. Top Rank, y’all have to give me better competition I want the IBF and WBO {titles}. I would love to go to England to fight Josh Warrington,” Stevenson said after the fight. “I surprised myself today. I was going to the body a lot. I saw him at the weigh-in. He didn’t look like he was in shape.

“There is only one way to describe tonight – amazing! Seeing all of my family, friends and everybody from the city come out to support me was incredible.”

Stevenson (12-0, 7 KOs) dominated the opening round, scored a pair of knockdowns in the second and finished things off with a knockdown in the third. It was a short, brutal and just what the crowd wanted.

Greer Jr. Edges Potapov in co-main event

The knockout didn’t come, but bantamweight Joshua “Don’t Blink” Greer Jr. ultimately got the job done. Greer (21-1-1, 12 KOs), the Chicago-born bantamweight puncher, bested Nikolai Potapov by majority decision (114-114, 115-113 and 116-112) to the earn the IBF No. 2 ranking and the NABO belt.

Greer swept the 12th round on all three judges’ scorecards to secure the win in what was a tactical affair. Potapov (20-2-1, 11 KOs) snapped Greer’s seven-bout KO streak, with several ringside observers believing he did enough to pull off the upset, including the ESPN team broadcasting the fight.

“He’s very awkward with the Russian style. But at the end of the day, this is the pros. And at the end of the day, I pulled it out,” Greer said. “The booing didn’t bother me. I know I won the fight. Every time I hit him to the body, I hurt him. I didn’t get the knockout, but I got the win. Next time out, you’ll see the pillow again.”

In other action on this card:

After nearly two years out of the ring, super lightweight Julian Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KOs) needed only 59 seconds to knock out Hevinson Herrera (24-18-1, 18 KOs) in front of his devoted Northern New Jersey fans.

Rodriguez, only 24 years old, was out of the ring due to assorted injuries.

“I was very confident in my preparation, so I felt like I had to go in there and do what I had to do,” Rodriguez said. “That’s what {the fans} like about me. When they come here, they see a show.” 

Vijender Singh (11-0, 8 KOs), a three-time Olympian and the fighting pride of India, had a successful United States and Top Rank debut, knocking out Mike Snider (13-6-3, 8 KOs) in the fourth round of a scheduled eight-round super middleweight bout.

“It was excellent getting back in the ring after a long time off. It’s great to be here in the USA and get the win. It was really exciting,” Singh said. “It took me about four rounds to get back in the swing of things. I expected it to take two or three rounds, but it took me four. I felt good.”

Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno (13-0, 11 KOs) continued his rapid rise up the lightweight ranks, knocking out Adriano Ramirez (10-4, 6 KOs) in the second round of a scheduled eight-rounder. Adorno knocked down Ramirez a pair of times in the second, and referee Sparkle Lee immediately called a halt to the bout following the second knockdown.

Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas (14-1, 9 KOs) won his eighth fight in a row, knocking out the rugged veteran Manuel Lopez (14-4-1, 7 KOs) in the seventh round of a scheduled eight-round welterweight bout.

Super lightweight prospect John “El Terrible” Bauza (13-0, 5 KOs) was dominant in notching an eight-round unanimous decision over Angel Sarinana (10-9-2, 4 KOs) by identical scores of 80-72.

Vito Mielnicki Jr., a 17-year-old high school senior from Roseland, New Jersey, knocked out Tamarcus Smith (2-3, 2 KOs) in 1:16 in his professional debut. A savage right hand put Smith down and out for the count in the scheduled four-round welterweight bout.

Marquis Johns

Marquis Johns is a unknown humorist and avid boxing fan. His love for the sweet science goes back to when matches were 15 rounds and has been covering fights since closed-circuit pay-per-views. Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth is not only a quote by Mike Tyson, it's also a pretty good reminder to keep your guard up.

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