Shakur Stevenson vs. Toka Kahn Clary – Live Results
By Matt Lieberman: Unbeaten super featherweight contender Shakur Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs) pounded out a dull 10-round unanimous decision over Toka Kahn Clary (28-3, 19 KOs) in the main event on ESPN in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The scores were 100-90, 100-90, and 100-90. Those scores echo the 100-90 Boxing News 24 scored the fight.
Kahn Clary, 28, was over-matched and he looked like he was there to survive, and not try and win.
With the victory, Stevenson, 23, will likely not fight again until he faces the winner of the Jamel Herring vs. Carl Frampton fight. Stevenson is mandatory for World Boxing Organization super featherweight champion Herring.
But even if he wasn’t, he’d still be in a position to challenge him or Frampton for the title because he’s with the same promoters at Top Rank.
In a big upset, lightweight Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs) got off the deck twice and rallied to stop highly ranked Felix Verdejo (27-2, 17 KOs) in the ninth in a scheduled 10-round fight. The fight was stopped at 1:45 of the ninth.
Nakatani dropped the exhausted and hurt Verdejo twice in the ninth round to get the knockout, and possibly end the Puerto Rican talent’s career.
Knockdown number one came from a stiff jab from Nakatani that Verdejo walked into, and it was like getting hit with a baseball bat. Verdejo went down like a rock on the canvas. You could tell after Verdejo got back up, he was going to be in trouble as soon as the action resumed.
Sure enough, Nakatani calmly walked forward and nailed Verdejo with a textbook chopping right hand that knocked him down face-first on the canvas. It was similar to the knockout of Jake Paul of Nate Robinson. The referee stopped at once when he saw the condition Verdejo was in.
Things looked bleak for the 31-year-old Nakatani going into the eighth round, as he’d been dropped by the former blue-chip prospect Verdejo in the first and fourth round.
Unfortunately for Verdejo, 27, he gassed out and started taking punishment in the eighth.
Things started to go wrong for Verdejo when he was hurt by a right hand in the seventh by Nakatani. That punch changed the whole complexion of the fight, resulting in Verdejo getting on his bike and trying to get away from Nakatani.
In the eighth, both fighters were hurt, but Verdejo got the worst of it. The fatigue level of Verdejo was at a point where he couldn’t take any more punishment. He couldn’t handle the jabs from Nakatani, and he was getting beaten up by his power shots.
Nakatani continued to pound away at the tired and hurt Verdejo in the ninth, and put him down twice.
The loss for Verdejo is his second since 2018 when he knocked out in the 10th round by journeyman Antonio Lozado Torres.
Top Rank, the promoters for Verdejo, are going to need to make a decision on whether it’s worth it to keep him with their stable or cut their losses and given up on the idea of turning him into a star. It’s obviously not going to happen. That dream ended tonight.
Berlanga keeps his knockout streak alive
Super middleweight contender Edgar Berlanga (16-0, 16 KOs) kept his perfect first-round knockout winning streak going by stopping Ulises Sierra (15-2, 9 KOs).
The time of the stoppage was at 2:40. Like in the 23-year-old Berlanga’s previous fights, we learned nothing about his talent and ability to deal with incoming.
We already know Berlanga can punch, but his opposition has been too poor to find out if this kid is the real deal or not. The fight was stopped at 2:40 of the first round with just 20 seconds left.
Had Sierra stayed on his feet to make it out of the round, he would have ended Berlanga’s first-round knockout streak. The first knockdown came when Berlanga trapped Sierra against the ropes and tagged him with five consecutive right hands to the head.
Sierra got back and was met with withering fire, causing him to stumble into the ropes. The referee ruled it as a knockdown due to the ropes holding Sierra, and that was a good call.
After the action resumed Berlanga lit Sierra up with left hooks and right hands to the head. The final shot was a big right to the head that put Sierra down on his hands and knees. At this point, the referee stopped the fight because it was clear that Sierra was badly hurt.
The power of Berlanga looks for real, and you can tell that he would trouble for anyone in the 168-lb division. No one punches like Berlanga at super middleweight, not even Canelo Alvarez, Callum Smith, or David Benavidez.
Top Rank needs to step Berlanga up
With that said, we don’t know how well Berlanga can deal with getting hit back by someone with power, nor do we know how he’d deal with a boxer that takes him beyond the first round.
It’s arguably bad for Berlanga’s development for Top Rank to keep matching him with stiffs because he’s starting to look really sloppy with the urgency that he’s showing in trying to keep his first-round knockout streak going.
Berlanga left himself wide open for shots against Sierra, but he didn’t have to worry because this guy had no punching power. Eventually, the soft match-making that’s being done on Berlanga’s behalf by Top Rank will end, and he’ll need to face the music.
For the casual boxing fans that don’t remember, welterweight Thomas Dulorme started his career with the same kind of knockout streak that Berlanga has going. When Dulorme was finally put in with quality opposition, he was beaten repeatedly.
It’ll be interesting to see how long Top Rank waits before they start matching Berlanga against quality opposition. Can they turn Berlanga into a star by matching him the way they’re doing?
- Middleweight Quincy LaVallais (10-0-1, 5 KOs) stayed unbeaten with an eight-round unanimous decision over the always entertaining Clay Collard (9-3-3, 4 KOs). The scores were 78-74, 77-75, and 77-75.
- Flyweight Jesse Rodriguez (13-0, 9 KOs) stopped journeyman Saul Juarez (25-13-2, 13 KOs) in the second round. The time of the stoppage was at 2:05 of the second round.
- Two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez (6-1, 4 KOs) destroyed his opponent Brandon Valdes (13-2, 9 KOs) by a sixth-round knockout. The time of the stoppage was at 2:49 of the sixth. The Cuban Ramirez is starting to show the talent that he had back in his amateur days, and putting distance behind him and his shocking four-round split decision defeat against Adan Gonzalez in 2019. Robeisy, 26, defeated Shakur Stevenson by a 2-1 score in the 2016 Olympics to take the gold. Stevenson fought too defensively, as always, and was outworked by Robeisy. It would be interesting to see Robeisy and Stevenson mix it up in the future if the two wind up in the same weight class. Shakur took the defeat hard and was quite emotional when he failed to get the nod on the judges’ scorecards.
- Featherweight prospect Haven Brady Jr (2-0, 2 KOs) defeated Michael Land (1-2, 1 KOs) by a second-round stoppage. The fight was halted by referee Kenny Bayless at 3:00 of round two.
- Kasir Goldston defeated Llewelyn McClamy by a second-round knockout. The fight was stopped at 1:35.
Shakur Stevenson battles Toka Kahn Clary
Former WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson (14-0, 8 KOs) needs a good tonight against Toka Kahn Clary (28-2, 18 KOs) in this showcase fight on ESPN.
Shakur Stevenson will be taking on Toka Kahn Clary tonight on ESPN with the live results below for their card in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada:
Top Rank is putting Stevenson in a position to impress the casual boxing fans before he challenges for the WBO super featherweight title against the Jamel Herring vs. Carl Frampton winner in 2021. It’s up to Shakur to hit it out of the park with an exciting win tonight against Kahn Clary.
Top Rank has put together a great card tonight with Shakur Stevenson, Edgar Berlanga, Felix Verdejo, and Robeisy Ramirez all competing tonight.
Edgar Berlanga vs. Ulises Sierra
The super-middleweight knockout artist Edgar Berlanga (15-0, 15 KOs) will be facing Ulises Sierra (15-1-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-round fight.
Berlanga, 23, is being a small step up fight against Sierra in hopes that he can continue improving, but this fight may not go past the first round. If so, that would make it 16 straight first-round knockouts for Berlanga.
Edger says he’s going to be moving his career to the next level in 2021 against some of the top fighters at 168. He says he’ll be ready to challenge for a strap at super middleweight by 2022, and he wants Canelo Alvarez and David Benavidez.
Whether Top Rank will be able to grant Berlanga his wish for a fight against either of those guys will be interesting to see. It will be a shame if a talent like Berlanga doesn’t take full advantage of his ability.
Berlanga says he believes he’ll be one of the biggest moneymakers in the sport within a short time. For that to happen, he’ll need to at 168 because the 175-lb and 200-lb divisions aren’t as popular with boxing fans.
Felix Verdejo vs. Masayoshi Nakatani
Lightweight Felix Verdejo (27-1, 17 KOs) will be trying to show that he belongs among the best at 135 tonight when he takes on Masayoshi Nakatani (18-1, 12 KOs) in a 10 round fight.
Verdejo, 27, is going to get a chance to try and outdo what Teofimo Lopez did in beating Nakatani last year in July.
Teofimo had all he could handle in beating the 5’11” Japanese fighter Nakatani by a 12 round unanimous decision in a fight that was closer than the scores handed down.
If Verdejo is able to stop Nakatani and beat him with ease, he earns the right to be mentioned alongside the other top lightweights. I mean, he obviously won’t be viewed in the same light as Teofimo, but he’ll at least show that he’s not the bust that many boxing fans see him as.
Other fights on tonight’s card:
- Clay Collard vs Quincy LaVallais
- Jesse Rodriguez vs. Saul Juarez
- Elvis Rodriguez vs. Larry Fryers
- Oscar Valdez wants Gervonta, Lomachenko, Santa Cruz & Shakur
- Shakur Stevenson livid at not making top 10 in ESPN rankings
- Jamel Herring calls out Oscar Valdez, no mention of Shakur Stevenson
- Shakur Stevenson to fight on June 12th on Espn