July 22, 2024

Shakur Stevenson Needs A “Floyd Mayweather Moment” To Boost Popularity, Says Teddy Atlas

WBC lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson needs a “Floyd Mayweather moment,” according to Teddy Atlas, to build his popularity in the boxing community.

Atlas points out that earlier in his career, Mayweather beat up and stopped a big puncher, Diego Corrales, in a fight that increased his fanbase. Mayweather did it as a big puncher, and that helped his career.

A Knockout Performance Needed

Shakur (21-0, 10 KOs) isn’t facing a slugger this Saturday in his defense against Artem Harutyunyan (13-1, 7 KOs) at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

It would still help if Shakur abandoned his usual safety-first fighting style and went for a knockout in their ESPN-televised clash against the Germany-based 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Harutyunyan.

Ups and Downs, But Still Next-Level

“He has a great amateur background, an Olympian. As a pro, he’s been moving along very fast, progressing great,” said boxing expert Chris Algieri to Probox TV, talking about WBC lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson.

Shakur has only had two fights since moving up to lightweight, beating Edwin De Los Santos by a close twelve-round unanimous decision in a fight that appeared to be a draw last November, and Shuichiro Yoshino.

Stevenson was supposed to look good against De Los Santos, but he really struggled. Afterward, his excuses about being injured didn’t convince anyone. He just looked scared out of his wits by De Los Santos’ power, and we’d seen the same thing from Shakur in his fights against Jeremiah Nakathilia and Joet Gonzalez. You can only conclude that he’s timid, unless he was injured in those fights too,

“He’s had some ups and down in terms of what people think about his performances, but all boxing people understand what they’re watching, understand that he’s a next-level guy. He would give anyone trouble if not beat everyone around him,” said Algieri.

The problem is that Shakur hasn’t shown next-level ability. He looks like a poor man’s version of Guillermo Rigondeaux, minus the huge power that he had. Shakur’s running makes him unwatchable, and he always fights that way, not just for the De Los Santos match.

“I think a lot of people still in the group that would say that he could beat all of these guys, and he can,” said Algieri about some fans believing Shakur can beat all the top lightweights. “He definitely has that ability. The pound-for-pound guys are always the guys with the best defense. Defense is what separates champions.”

Some fans think Shakur can beat all the 135-pounders, but most don’t. Several fighters will take advantage of Shakur’s timid style of fighting to load up on him.

Not the Most Exciting Fighter

“The elite guys don’t get hit. Shakur is one of the best defensive fighters in the game today, and he creates a lot of openings. The issue is he’s not the most exciting fighter at all, which is me being nice. A lot of guys think he’s very boring,” said Algieri.

“To the boxing purists, they love what he does, but to the boxing fans that are looking for exciting fights, they probably dislike Shakur Stevenson,” said Algieri.

“He’s not only hard to beat but to look good against. That’s why a lot of guys don’t want to fight him,” said Teddy Atlas about Shakur. “There’s no getting around it. He’s boring. It depends on what your taste is.

“If you want to see home runs, you stay at home. You’re not watching Stevenson.”