Top Rank star Shakur Stevenson elevated himself into the big time with a performance to savor at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on Saturday night.
Stevenson is now a world champion after fulfilling a prophecy dating back to his amateur days.
The former Olympic medalist displayed all his boxing skills and completely neutralized Joet Gonzalez (his girlfriend’s brother) to conquer the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight title in front of 2,828 fans.
Stevenson became the first Team USA male fighter of the 2016 Rio Olympics to conquer a world title.
“This is a great feeling. One of the best feelings of my life,” said Stevenson. “I have a lot of respect for Joet. He is a great fighter. I have nothing against him. If he decides to be cool with me, I’ll be cool with him.”
Stevenson already knows what he wants the next challenge in his career to be.
“Josh Warrington! You are a champion, now I am a champion. Let’s do this! I want to unify titles.”
Mikaela Mayer, the former Olympian and now one of the biggest attractions in women’s boxing, defeated Alejandra Zamora by technical knockout in the sixth round to retain her NABF super featherweight title.
Mayer was the aggressor from the opening bell and connected strong blows looking to finish the fight early, but surprisingly Zamora took everything Mayer threw at her. It was not until the end of the fifth round that Zamora’s corner did not allow the Argentinian to continue fighting.
“I am ready for the next challenge. Now, I want a world title,” said Mayer. “I think that for the last two years I have shown that I am ready for a world title. I’ve shown it by easily dispatching all the fighters that have been put in front of me. I know I’m ready.”
Undefeated bantamweight contender Joshua ‘Night Night’ Greer retained his World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas title and captured the World Boxing Organization (WBO) NABO belt by defeating Antonio Nieves by unanimous decision.
Greer, who improved to 22-1-1, 12 KOs, raised the intensity level from the sixth round on and took control of the fight. Nieves dropped Greer in the final round, but Greer recovered without problems and managed to finish the fight.
“I am a champion. I know how to win,” said Greer. “At the end of the day, I go home a winner, and he will go home a loser. I am ready for a world title opportunity. It doesn’t matter who they put in front of me, I will get the job done and I will be victorious.”
• Super feather contender Albert Bell (16-0, 5 KOs) dominated Frank De Alba from bell to bell to secure an easy win by unanimous decision in an eight-round fight. CARDS: 80-72 (x3)
• In his pro debut, former Team USA’s top-ranked heavyweight and now highly touted heavyweight prospect Jared “Big Baby” Anderson (1-0, 1 KO) scored a first-round knockout against Daniel Infante.
“It felt great in my pro debut! I took control of the fight and dominated my opponent with my jab right from the very first bell. I got him with a solid body shot and he went down for the count. But if he had gotten back up, I was going to take him out of there quickly anyway.”
• Promising 17-year-old Puerto Rican prospect, Xander Zayas (1-0, 1 KO), dropped Genesis Wynn a couple of times on his way to a first-round knockout victory, in his pro debut. Zayas knocked down Wynn with a quick straight right hand and immediately repeated the dose, forcing the referee to stop the fight at 1:24 of the first episode.
“I felt super great. Even though it was my pro debut, I was very relaxed and focused because I knew we had done the hard work in the gym. I’ve followed the game plan my team established. I have a great team around me. This is just the beginning.”
• Super featherweight contender Andy ‘El Tiburon’ Vences (23-1-1, 12 KOs) bounced back from the first defeat of his career by scoring a unanimous decision victory against Mark Bernaldez. CARDS: 79-73 (x3)
• Former world title challenger Jason Sanchez (15-1, 8 KOs) returned to the winning route by securing a fourth-round knockout against Brazil’s Adeilson Dos Santos in an eight-round featherweight match. The end of the bout came at 2:59 after Sanchez sent Dos Santos to the canvas for the count.
• Francisco Esparza Jr. defeated Matt Conway by split decision in an eight-round lightweight contest. CARDS: 76-75 (x2) for Esparza Jr., 76-75 for Conway.
• Mike Sánchez improved his record to 6-0, 3 KOs, and stunned local prospect Diego Elizondo with a unanimous decision victory. CARDS: 38-37 (x2), 39-36
• Reno’s own, welterweight prospect J.J. Mariano (2-0, 1 KO) scored a unanimous decision win over Sean Cerveny.