At the age of 26, Shakur Stevenson started a new chapter in his boxing career as he defeated Edwin De Los Santos (16-2, 14 KOs) by unanimous decision and won the vacant WBC lightweight world title on Thursday night November 16th at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas.
The bout lacked excitement and the fans demonstrated their frustrations by booing for the majority of the fight. However, Shakur Stevenson was able to box, and limit his opponent’s offense as he cruised to victory, and enhanced his list of career accomplishments, as he’s now officially a three-division world champion.
Stevenson started his pro career as a highly touted prospect. In his second year as a pro back in June 2019, the 2016 Olympic Silver medalist became a world champion when he defeated Joet Gonzalez by unanimous decision and won the vacant WBO featherweight title.
Two years later, Stevenson would move up and win the WBO super-featherweight title by defeating Jamel Herring. On the night of November 16th in only his second bout as a lightweight, Shakur Stevenson was fighting for the chance to become a three-division world champion.
On fight night Stevenson made a legendary ring walk as he walked out with Andre Ward to his left and Terence “Bud” Crawford to his right. The ring walk was phenomenal, but the actual fight between Stevenson and De Los Santos was extremely dull.
In the first round, Stevenson looked focused as he worked off his jab. Midway through the opening round, De Los Santos used his quick first step to charge forward and get inside, but Stevenson was ready for the aggression as he landed a solid counter right hook.
De Los Santos attempted to land the jab to the body in the second round, but Stevenson was able to avoid the shot on multiple occasions by quickly stepping straight back. At the midway point of the round, De Los Santos finally managed to land a left hand shot to Stevenson’s body.
In the third round De Los Santos fought the entire round without a vital piece of equipment, as his corner man forgot to put his mouth piece back in his mouth. De Los Santos still was unable to close the distance in the fourth round, so he decided to utilize multiple feints in the fifth, but the tactic didn’t produce any results.
Shakur Stevenson was content with controlling the fight by landing the jab and staying sharp on defense. The jab was utilized by Stevenson all night long, but for some odd reason he threw a limited amount of power shots.
Overall, Shakur Stevenson dictated the pace and made the bout resemble a glorified sparring session, while De Los Santos never attempted to sell out and force Stevenson into a fire fight. In the end, Shakur Stevenson earned the unanimous decision victory by the scores of 115-113, 116-112, and 116-112.
With the win, the Newark, New Jersey native Shakur Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) collected the WBC lightweight title and he’s now a three-division world champion. Shakur was the winner on the night of the 16th, but it was a bittersweet victory.
Stevenson won another world title, but he didn’t win the approval of the fans, as the crowd at the T-Mobile arena were very displeased with the lack of action that was taking place inside of the squared circle. During his post-fight interview Stevenson admitted he wasn’t at his best.
“I had a bad performance tonight, that’s all I’m really focused on,” Shakur said. “I wasn’t feeling too good, so I’ll live with it, it’s okay, I came in got the victory, and that’s all I wanted to do.”
The Dominican boxer Edwin De Los Santos was obviously disappointed with the results, but he was also frustrated with the way the boxing match unfolded.
“I came to fight, he came for a track meet, and I wouldn’t say I’m on his level, I would say I’m above his level,” De Los Santos said. “I came to fight tonight, I came to put on a fight, and Shakur Stevenson decided not to fight. He was gifted a title, but I am the champion of the people.”
During the 12-round world title fight, Shakur Stevenson made his opponent miss, but he didn’t make him pay. Some are speculating that Stevenson’s left hand may have been injured due to the fact that he used it sparingly throughout the fight.
Whether he was injured or not, the bottom line is that if Shakur Stevenson’s main objective is to become a pay-per-view attraction, his performance on the night of November 16th has taken him well off the course of achieving that particular goal.