Shakur Stevenson and Andre Ward shadowboxing

By Boxing News - 02/16/2022 - Comments

By Allan Fox: Andre Ward and Shakur Stevenson did some shadowboxing on Wednesday in an entertaining workout.

The unbeaten WBO super featherweight champion Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) displayed his superior hand speed and reflexes against the older 37-year-old former two-division world champion Ward and was backing him up.

One got the sense from watching the exercise that the 24-year-old Stevenson, who is big for a super featherweight, would give Ward problems if the two sparred for real with gloves on.

Stevenson would do well until Ward caught up to him and began targeting his midsection, which is the easiest place to hit him. Shakur still has an amateur style and hasn’t developed any power.

That might be one of the reasons why Shakur has not moved up to lightweight to face the popular fighters in that weight class.

Shakur must be more aggressive 

Stevenson will be facing WBC 130-lb champion Oscar Valdez in a unification fight in the next two months on April 30th.

Image: Shakur Stevenson and Andre Ward shadowboxing

Shakur is going to need to be able to stand his ground for him to win that fight with the much stronger punching Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) because the defensive style that he uses won’t impress the judges.

One of the problems that are going to limit Shakur’s career is his lack of power and his purely defensive style.

Bob Arum used to complain about how the network executives weren’t happy with the way Guillermo Rigondeaux fought with his defensive focus, but he at least had power.

Rigondeaux scored knockouts and would mix it up. Stevenson doesn’t have power and puts a lot of energy into his defense.

Rigo was far more entertaining to watch than Shakur, even now at 41. Rigondeaux has a more entertaining style and is capable of standing his ground to win fights without pulling back each time he throws a lot the way Stevenson does.

With that style, it’s going to be difficult for Shakur to beat Oscar Valdez because he’s going to be landing the harder shots in every round, and he’ll be the one that is pushing the fight.

Assuming that Shakur is going to pull back each time he throws a punch, it’s going to be very boring to watch, and the judges made not favor that style.


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Rolly says Shakur has “Zero power”

“[Oscar] Valdez seems like he’s a little bit stronger than he was at 126,” said Rolly Romero to Fighthype in previewing the Oscar Valdez vs. Shakur Stevenson fight.

Stevenson is a good boxer but no power. If you have zero power against a dude that can crack, you’re going to run into problems regardless,” said Rolly about Shakur potentially facing a ton of issues against Oscar Valdez.

“I really don’t know how good Valdez is. Don’t get it confused. Floyd can punch. Stevenson cannot punch at all. Stevenson, if you put a piece of paper there, he can’t rip it with a punch.

“Don’t get that s*** confused. I’m sorry. You cannot compare the two [Mayweather and Stevenson]. Floyd has real respectable power. Also, [Jamel] Herring doesn’t have much power to keep Shakur off.

Stevenson will run into problems

“Like I said, it comes down to the end of these pro fights, and if Valdez is not the one, it’s going to be somebody that can crack that is going to hurt him,” said Stevenson. “There’s not no 130-pounders that can crack like that right now.

“For instance, I think Tank belongs at 130 and would kill everyone at 130. Hands down, there would be no questions asked. There’s not even a fight close on that,” said Rolly.

If Tank Davis were fighting at 130, Stevenson would be in a world of hurt because if the two ever fought, he would be running all night and getting booed by the fans.

With Tank’s power, he would eventually catch up to Shakur and likely take him out. If Shakur ran from Tank all night as he did in his fight with Jeremiah Nakathalia, he would be booed out of the arena.

“Because ESPN is hyping him up,” said Rolly when told that a lot of boxing fans believe that Shakur Stevenson is more skilled than Gervonta Davis. “This is the Olympics. However, he [Stevenson] has no power, and he’s not a puncher.

“So once he moves up to 135 or whatever because he’s going to have to move up, he’s going to be in a really big problem, and he [Shakur] has zero power. When you have no power, you’re automatically f**** in pro boxing, and it’s sad. You can only go so far.

“That was unique,” said Rolly when reminded about Willie Pep, a fighter that found success as a purely defensive fighter during his long career in the 1940s to 1966. Just being purely defensive can not win fights during this day and age.

“I think there was a lot of stuff behind Willie Pep that made it so he could do that stuff. He didn’t lose a lot of fights [Pep’s record: 229-11-1, 65 KOs] as well. That’s an outstanding record.

“That’s also a different era. You can’t compare that era to this era. In this era, you have to be more aggressive, and in this era, you’re not selling so they’re going to take your fight if you don’t sell either way.

“I know sure as f***, he [Stevenson] ain’t filling up an arena because he put everyone to sleep when he fought that African dude [Jermiah Nakathilia]. That was probably one of the most horrible fights in the history of boxing.

“There were two or three punches per round. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if they give it to Valdez, even if it’s a competitive fight. I don’t really watch Valdez like that. It was a monster knockout of El Alacran Berlchelt, and he’s a warrior.

“He [Valdez] literally fought with his jaw broken against [Scott] Quigg. I remember because I went to that fight at the StubHub. He fought with a broken jaw, so it’s going to take a lot to keep Valdez off of Shakur. I would say Valdez [beats Stevenson],” said Rolly.

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