Shakur Stevenson and Robeisy Ramirez – Their contrasting futures
By Gav Duthie: The greatest male American hope since Andre Wards gold medal in 2004 has fallen at the final hurdle. Shakur Stevenson boxed well but was eventually outworked by now two time Gold medalist Cuban Robeisy Ramirez. Stevenson drops to 26-1 in international competition and was distraught after the decision but at only 19 he has a bright future ahead. The financial lure will likely turn Shakur professional before the end of the year and he will still return home a hero and possibly a millionaire by the years end as promoters vie for his signature.
Being a silver medalist was no disgrace against Ramirez. Being from the UK it reminded me of 2004 when 17 year old Amir Khan lost in the final to Mario Kindelan, he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a professional boxing as an amateur, a multiple world champion that never was, Robeisy Ramirez could be the same so should he turn professional?
Stevenson has already stated he is now a pro boxer and currently a free agent. Many thought he would sign with Mayweather but it would be naive of him to do so when every promoter will want to sign him. He may end up with Floyd but he is within his right to secure the best deal. Conversely Robeisy Ramirez will return to his homeland a hero and 1/5 Cuban’s to win double Olympic gold medals.
There is an increasing number of Cubans defecting in order to turn professional and make a living. Some of the best fighters around like Guillermo Rigondeaux and Rances Berthelemy have defected and other Olympic gold medalists like Odlandier Solis and Yuriorkis Gamboa but even non Olympians like Erislandy Lara, Richard Abril and contender level fighters like Mike Perez and Yoandris Salinas are taking the risk.
Ramirez and the other two gold medalists Arken Lopez and Julio Cesar La Cruz have big decisions to make on their futures. Ramirez would certainly make a great professional but at 22 years old he could arguably go for at least another two gold medals which would make him the most successful Olympic boxer in history.
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