How high is Shakur Stevenson’s ceiling in 2021?

Once again, Shakur Stevenson was dominant.

In a rapidly scheduled fight against Toka Kahn Clary, the increasing junior lightweight had no challenges on Saturday night time in Las Vegas. Stevenson remained undefeated and received by unanimous decision, 100-90 on all 3 scorecards, in no way even coming shut to dropping a minute in opposition to the outmatched Kahn Clary.

Stevenson is 1 of quite a few proficient youthful contenders all around the 130-pound division, and he has big options in 2021 to acquire some titles from them. It could set for a pleasurable next few of many years with all the exciting rivals at junior lightweight, and Stevenson has the likely to be the greatest of the bunch.

But did he display more than enough on Saturday’s Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card to exhibit he’s on the verge of dwelling up to that possible? Cameron Wolfe and Ben Toddler have some differing viewpoints on the 23-yr-old’s evening.

Wolfe: Shakur Stevenson opened up the ESPN boxing bubble with a knockout get in June, and he closes the yr with a shutout determination earn above Kahn Clary. Stevenson is on his way to getting one particular of boxing’s top rated stars in the near upcoming, in my mind. I know the criticism will be that he failed to knock him out, and I get it. So Ben, I know you’ve got been skeptical of Stevenson — particularly his energy and amusement stage. Did you see anything from him Saturday to transform your intellect?

Newborn: Upon rewatch of his previous pair of fights, Stevenson was a small a lot more entertaining reside than I remembered. And sure sufficient, versus Kahn Clary, Stevenson was extraordinary from the commencing. He was precise, active and landed some really hefty straight pictures that saved Kahn Clary retreating.

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Shakur Stevenson improves to 15- soon after shutting out Toka Kahn Clary in a unanimous decision victory.

Even so, Saturday evening it was a bit of a letdown. Stevenson experienced the ability to get Kahn Clary out of there by the center rounds. And yet in the 10th, Kahn Clary was continue to coming forward and failed to appear to be also discouraged despite currently being dominated for all 30 minutes.

And which is been a person of my major problems with Stevenson. I comprehend he won’t have the electric power that other fellas have, but at some position, a dominant efficiency really should culminate with a exclusive instant, and I failed to see that from Stevenson against Kahn Clary.

Cam, I know you’ve got been major on Stevenson for a while. Did Saturday’s functionality present you that he can truly contend with some of the prime names in the division?

Wolfe: Absolutely. It was complete dominance of a good fighter. I’ll consider Stevenson in excess of any one at present at junior light-weight, together with WBC titlist Miguel Berchelt. What I love most about Stevenson is that he’s not the strongest dude and not the speediest dude, but his strategy and savvy separate him. He’s just 23, so he isn’t even in his key nevertheless and only obtaining much better and superior.

I get it, however. Stevenson is not an Edgar Berlanga or a Gervonta Davis who is going to make opponents panic his power. His fights are hardly ever likely to land on SportsCenter’s leading 10. So permit me change it back again to you: Stevenson explained to me he sees a 2021 in which he faces the winner of Jamel Herring-Carl Frampton, then the winner of Berchelt-Oscar Valdez and potentially Joseph “JoJo” Diaz right before the conclusion of the 12 months. How do you see him faring in people contests, if that’s how it goes, and where by do you rank Stevenson in the junior light-weight division?

Newborn: Like you said, the issue for Stevenson at 130 will be his power and if he has more than enough of it to command respect towards elite guys. But Stevenson does more than enough of the other factors very well that he does in all probability defeat the relaxation of the Prime Rank prospective clients in that division.

Of that group, Berchelt might be the only just one who can genuinely test Stevenson. Berchelt has gained his earlier five fights by stoppage and has the complex capabilities to be ready to match ring acumen with Stevenson, who does a wonderful position of not throwing away punches or effort and hard work in the ring.

Of course, considering the fact that Stevenson is less than the Leading Rank umbrella, the massive dilemma is whether or not he’s completely ready for Vasiliy Lomachenko in 2021.

Wolfe: I would like to see Stevenson hold out for Lomachenko. As I described before, I will not believe that Stevenson is in his primary yet, but his top-quality ability established should really support him have achievement versus some of the other champions in his division this kind of as Herring and Diaz. Lomachenko is really similar to Stevenson in that both equally fighters depend on procedure, IQ and defense, so it would be fairly of a mirror, with the veteran having much more working experience. I feel Stevenson can hold with him, but I feel his most perfect chance to conquer him arrives in 2022 or 2023, immediately after he gains a small a lot more energy.

The greatest fight for Stevenson in 2021 ought to be Berchelt, who is also beneath the Top rated Rank umbrella and considered by lots of to be the ideal fighter in the junior lightweight division. It would be the quintessential boxer vs. large puncher battle, and although Stevenson will not likely have the electricity to knock Berchelt out, I assume he has plenty of to outbox him.

Ben: Irrespective of whom Stevenson matches up with in his subsequent struggle, he demands to switch it up a notch the upcoming time he is in the ring. If he desires to be the future Floyd Mayweather or Sugar Ray Leonard, he requires to be additional imposing. Kahn Clary was the excellent opponent for Stevenson to dial up the strain, decide up a stoppage and demonstrate why he’s on the route to staying one particular of boxing’s top rated attracts.

Wolfe: I would have beloved to see Stevenson get the stoppage, and he required it, also. My largest criticism of Stevenson is he hasn’t proven the regular electrical power yet to make overwhelmed opponents quit, and Saturday was an example of that. But profitable is all that should really matter, and no one has come near to beating Stevenson nevertheless. In the end, I think Stevenson can have a Lomachenko-stage ascension in his vocation. The major takeaway from this fight for me is Stevenson’s dominance — Kahn Clary landed only 9% of his complete punches and failed to appear near to profitable a round. Stevenson is ready for the smoke.

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