Shakur Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) wants to surmount himself as the best boxer at 135 pounds and ultimately as one of the greats in the sport. He’ll have an opportunity to take a step closer to his goal when he takes on hard-hitting Edwin De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KOs) for the vacant WBC lightweight world title at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
If successful, Shakur will, at 26 years of age, become a three-division world champion.
Edwin is a young, hungry fighter who also wants a taste of greatness. He knows that defeating Shakur will place him among the top boxers in the division, leading to bigger matches and a significant increase in monetary compensation.
Edwin has of late begun verbally insulting Shakur, calling him “Shakira Tweetwerson” and labeling himself as the true “Boogeyman.”
This could be an attempt to throw Stevenson off his game and have him change his strategic approach to the match by angering him into a brawl rather than a technical boxing match.
Shakur’s been verbally attacked by opponents in the past but has risen above the fray, having defeated them all. Edwin poses a legitimate risk in that he has the punching power to knock an opponent out. Shakur must be tactical and dictate the match.
Utilizing range and distance, effectively timing his punches and evading Edwin’s counters. Shakur has proven to be masterful at the art of hit and not get hit. He has the best Plus/Minus ratio in the sport at +20.3 (Compubox).
Edwin has nothing to lose and everything to prove. He’ll seek to place intensive pressure on Shakur and hope to catch him with a power punch that’ll send him to the canvas. Shakur should expect the early offensive attack.
Edwin tends to start early but fades in the later rounds. De Los Santos hasn’t yet fought a full 12 round match in his young career. Exposing Edwin’s stamina issues with body punches will only enhance Shakur’s offensive attack.
Shakur debuted as a lightweight against Shuichiro Yoshino (16-1, 12 KOs), defeating him in the 6th round by technical knockout. Yoshino claimed Shakur had no power, and Stevenson made him pay, dropping him twice in the fight.
At the end of the night, Edwin, much like Yoshino, could regret inciting Stevenson and suffer a painful loss.