By Chris Williams: Newly crowned WBO super featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) is targeting a future big-money fight against Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis following his tenth round knockout victory over 130-lb champion Jamel ‘Semper Fi’ Herring (23-3, 11 KOs) last Saturday night at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Stevenson wants to fight five of the six lightweights in the division above him in Tank Davis, Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr., and Ryan Garcia.
Shakur not mentioning Lomachenko’s name
Interestingly, Shakur leaves out Vasily Lomachenko’s name when talking about the fighters he wants to face at 135, even though Loma is with the same promotional company as him in Top Rank.
It’s obvious why Stevenson isn’t mentioning Lomachenko. Even now, Shakur is astutely aware of his limitations as a fighter so that Lomachenko will be treated as the equivalent of the dangerous third rail in a subway.
If Stevenson touches that third rail in a fight with Lomachenko, he could get jolted into reality. Please don’t hold your breath waiting for Stevenson to suddenly start showing interest in facing Lomachenko unless he gets old.
“I think all of those guys are really good, Devin Haney, Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta Davis, Jojo Diaz, Ryan Garcia, and there’s going to be big fights between all of us,” said Shakur Stevenson about future fights for him after his win over Herring. “But I feel like me and Tank down the line will be an amazing fight.”
A fight between Shakur and Gervonta likely won’t happen for many years, and even then, it’s questionable. Stevenson will need to move up to 140 at the very least for him to fight Tank (25-0, 24 KOs), and it’ll come down to the negotiations.
Shakur showed more offense
“This was exactly what Shakur Stevenson needed to show the world that the talent has always been there,” said Chris Algieri to Fight Hub TV on Stevenson’s win over Herring. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen him step up.
“I said this after his last fight. We were talking about the [Jeremia], and I said, ‘Throw him in a big fight because he’s going to do the same thing’ because he’s going to dominate and he’s going to control.
“We saw more offense from him [Shakur] tonight, which was really, really impressive against his best opponent to date. The kids, for real.
“I think it was the best that we’ve seen so far, but I don’t think it was the best yet,” said Algieri when asked if Jamel Herring brought the best out of Shakur Stevenson.
“I still think there are things that he [Shakur] hasn’t shown. “That’s hard to tell because fans are funny,” Algieri states when asked if Stevenson will sell tickets for future fights after his performance against Herring.
“You really don’t know what sells all the time, and it’s not just great performances—a lot of times, its consistency and personality and things like that.
“So we don’t really know, but I wasn’t very hard on Shakur’s last fight [Jeremia Nakathilia]. He won every round, every second, and he had a tough guy.
“He said he didn’t like his performance, and I understand that. You should feel certain ways, but he silenced all the critics tonight,” said Algieri.
Shakur still has much to prove
It’s going to take more than a win over 35-year-old Jamel Herring to convince the boxing public that Stevenson has improved his game.
Herring looked closer to 45 than 35 in a physical appearance last Saturday night. His power was nowhere near the level of the top guys like Oscar Valdez, Tank Davis, Ryan Garcia, or Teofimo Lopez.
Chronologically, Herring is 35-years-old, but he looks much older than that, seemingly in his 40s.
For that reason, you can’t get all that excited about Stevenson beating an old guy with no punch who happens to be promoted by the same Top Rank company that he is.
This was an in-house fight last night, and it wasn’t a case of Shakur taking on the BEST at 130, and not someone on the level of Vasily Lomachenko, Tank Davis, Devin Haney, Teofimo, or Ryan Garcia.
You can argue that Herring was a step down from Stevenson’s last opponent Jeremia Nakathilia, a murderous puncher, and Shakur was using his ugly ‘pull-back’ style of fighting the entire contest after getting a taste of Namibian’s power early in the fight.
Stevenson = next Floyd Mayweather Jr?
“It was his hand-eye coordination, his judge of range, and his punch selection,” said Algieri when asked what he likes about Stevenson’s performance against Herring.
“He was so precise. Jamel has great defense. Most fighters cannot hit him, and Jamel could not defend himself against the combination punching of Shakur tonight.
“Was it too early when Floyd [Mayweather Jr.] said he was going to do it? I mean, you never know,” Algieri said on being asked if Shakur’s performance shows that he’s the next Mayweather. “That’s part of the story.”
Chris Williams doesn’t see Shakur as being anything like Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the type of talent he possessed at a similar age.
You can argue that Stevenson is a poor man’s version of Mayweather, but nowhere near the fighter, he was when he was 24.
A better comparison would be someone like Pernell Whitaker or David Reid. I don’t see Shakur being on the same galaxy talent-wise as Mayweather unless we’re talking about him in his 40s.
The real question is, can Shakur Stevenson become popular like Mayweather was and make the same kind of dough as he did.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to happen unless Stevenson moves up to 147, and it’s doubtful that his body can pack on another 17 pounds without him losing his speed.
If you threw Stevenson in the ring with Terence Crawford, Jaron Ennis, or Vergil Ortiz Jr last night, he would have been butchered by all of them.