Shakur Stevenson: ‘Jeremia Nakathila is scared of me’
By Brad Slotnick: Unbeaten Shakur Stevenson says he saw fear in the eyes of Jeremia Nakathila when the two stood for their face-off on Thursday. The winner of Saturday’s Stevenson vs. Nakathila fight will be the mandatory for WBO 130-lb champion Jamel Herring.
However, Stevenson says he wants WBC super featherweight champ Oscar Valdez next because he sees that as the biggest fight that can be made at 130. Valdez is coming off a big 10th round knockout win over the previous #1 fighter in the division in Miguel Berchelt last February.
Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs) says he’s going to whoop #2 WBO Nakathila (21-1, 17 KOs) this Saturday night when the two battle in the headliner for the vacant interim WBO super featherweight title on ESPN at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Nakathila came on his social media site and started DMing Stevenson this week, and he didn’t like that. Shakur said it was “weirdo” stuff, and he was shocked to found out that Nakathila is a “cop,” and he says no way is he going to let a cop beat him.
#1 WBO Stevenson is a heavy favorite to defeat the 31-year-old Nakathila on Saturday. As long as Stevenson doesn’t get hit by one of Nakathila’s huge Deontay Wilder-like right hands, he expects to do well.
This is by far the biggest puncher the 23-year-lold Stevenson will have been in with as a professional, and it’s going to be exciting to see how he takes away Nakathila’s power without spoiling and looking bad.
Stevenson says Nakathila sounds scared
“I just told him that this is not social media,” Shakur Stevenson said to Fighthype when asked what he told Nakathila during their face-off on Thursday.
“He came on my DM and started DMing me. ‘This isn’t social media, ‘I’m right here in front of you. So what are you going to do?’
“He sounds scared. He didn’t want to look me in the eyes. And he was scared, I’m telling you. I know fear when I see it.
“I normally just go in and fight, but when somebody starts commenting and DMing me and all kinds of weirdo s***, I want to see what you do in person.
“And I don’t know what he was talking about. I ain’t ever losing to no cop. I didn’t even know he was a cop. And I just found out he’s a cop, that’s crazy,” Stevenson said about Nakathila.
Shakur vowing to whoop Nakathila
“He’s not coming in there to bring the pressure, I’m telling you,” said Shakur about what he thinks Nakathila will do on Saturday.
“He’s going to come in there, try and keep his reach and throw a big punch like Deontay Wilder. I’m going to whoop his a**.
“Yeah, he’s going to look for a big punch, but it ain’t going to happen. It’s different when you’re actually in there with me.
“I’m going to see when I get in there. And I’m going to adjust as I go. I’m one of the best adjusters in boxing. Once I adjust to his style, it’s over,” Shakur said.
Stevenson will have to be mindful not to get hit by one of Nakathila’s right-hand shots because this guy punches like a 140-pounder, and he’s someone who can do damage regardless of who e’s up against.
There are certain fighters in boxing that possess so much power that it cancels out the superior skills of their opponents. It comes down to physics.
If Nakathila lands one of his devastating right-hand shots cleanly on the chin of Stevenson, he’s going to go. Nakathila is a Julian Jackson type of fighter that punches with massive power.
He could pull off the upset if Stevenson stands in front of him like he did his last two opponents at super-featherweight.
Since Shakur moved up to 130, he’s turned into a brawler in his fights against Toka Kahn Clary and Felix Caraballo. Those guys aren’t big punchers, though, which enabled Stevenson to fight in the trenches against both of them at times.
Stevenson wants Oscar Valdez next, not Herring
“I got to be honest with you; Jamel [Herring] is 35. He’s got two losses,” said Shakur when asked about his thoughts on potentially challenging WBO champion Herring.
“Me and [Oscar] Valdez is a big fight. Valdez is undefeated and in his prime. Me and Valdez would be the biggest fight at 130 lbs.
“I think that fight should be next. The thing is, we know I’m going to beat Herring.
“With all due respect to Jamel, we know I’m going in there to torch Jamel, and it’s going to be easy work.
“Valdez is a higher threat. He’s a bigger risk fight. Why not fight the big fight? I’m prepared to do whatever route that goes, but the route I want is me and Valdez in the ring.
“It’s the biggest fight, a 130 lbs. We got unfinished business. Valdez is coming off the biggest victory of his career, and he beat the number guy [Miguel Berchelt] in the division.
“You got to respect Valdez. I’m the best young fighter at 130 lbs and in boxing. I got to have it,” Stevenson said.
Shakur will need to talk his promoter Bob Arum into allowing him to fight Oscar Valdez next rather than Herring. As of Thursday, Arum said that Stevenson would be facing Jamel Herring next.
That’s a fight that Arum seems to really want, and it’s unlikely that he’ll be dissuaded from making the Herring vs. Stevenson match.
Tank Davis & Haney future targets
“That’s down the line; they’re at 135 lbs, and I’m at 130,” Shakur said when asked about him fighting Gervonta Davis and Devin Haney. “I want all the smoke. I want all the action.
“After I conquer two or four belts here, I’m definitely going to move up to 135.
“I heard an interview where he said he’s staying at 135 and he’s not going down, and all that kind of stuff,” said Haney when asked about a fight between him and Vasily Lomachenko.
“And I train my hardest for these fights, I get ready,” said Stevenson when asked ‘what makes him so confident?’
“I gave my all for this camp. And I did what I was supposed to do with no shortcuts. When you train hard, you build confidence. You know what you’re going to do.
“You go into the fight knowing that you’re about to put that work in. That’s what I’m going to do Saturday.
“I’m comfortable. This is my element. This is what I do,” said Shakur. “I love boxing. I have a passion for the sport. This is what I do.”
Stevenson will likely need to move up to 135 to get fights against Devin Haney and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis at some point.
Once Stevenson fights Oscar Valdez, he should consider moving up to lightweight because there are bigger fights up there for him.
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