Promoter Eddie Hearn says retired Shakur Stevenson needs to stop “sulking” and throwing a “tantrum” and return to boxing to get back in action.
Shakur retired a week ago in what some feel was due to frustration at not getting the big names to fight him, and the final straw being Emanuel Navarrette moving up to 135 to face #2 Denys Berinchyk for the vacant WBO lightweight title instead of choosing him.
Hearn labels the unbeaten WBC lightweight champion Shakur (21-0, 10 KOs) as “Boring,” which is kind on his part because fans view his fighting style as unwatchable and bad for the sport, causing people to lose interest in boxing.
Stevenson’s Retirement “Tantrum”
“It’s ridiculous. Shakur Stevenson, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet, is so boring. How old is the guy? 26. Of course, he’s not retiring. Just say to him, ‘Alright, mate. Bye. Come back to us when you’ve finished your tantrum,'” said Hearn to Fighthype.
You have to feel sorry for Top Rank promoter Bob Arum because he still has the 2016 Olympic silver medalist Shakur under contract for one more fight, and who knows when he’ll be ready to return to the ring.
Despite Shakur running from Cuban Robeisy Ramirez and losing to him in their gold medal match in the 2016 Olympics, Arum signed him, believing he could turn him into a star and safety-first fighting style, which on a level that made he would have railed about years ago.
Arum has mellowed since his days of promoting Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, whom he used to complain about not having a fan-friendly style. Shakur makes Rigondeaux look like the most exciting fighter on earth, which won’t change. Stevenson’s fighting style is fixed permanently at this stage of his career.
Hearn’s Advice: Focus on Fighting, Not Twitter
“What Shakur Stevenson should be doing is getting off Twitter,” said Hearn. Do you think a fan wants to read about Shakur Stevenson sulking about the politics of boxing and saying he’s retiring, and then when he comes back, what do you expect people to support him even more? ”
Hearn is missing the point. Fans won’t “support” Shakur, not because of his preaching about the “politics of boxing” and retiring. They don’t like watching runners, and Shakur is arguably the running-est fighter in the sport with Devin Haney a close second. It’s safe to assume that Top Rank won’t re-sign him.