EXCLUSIVE: World Champion Asa Stevens ends Olympic bid, reveals Manny Pacquiao interest
Fast-approaching his nineteenth birthday, it seemed to be full steam ahead for US World Amateur Youth Champion Asa Stevens in regards to an Olympic bid.
The 2019 National Golden Gloves Champion was yet to qualify for Tokyo 2020. He had a final chance to do so at USA Boxing’s Olympic Qualifiers in Oxnard, California.
WBN was informed this week that Stevens withdrew on November 6th due to weight issues.
One of the clear favorites to land a medal next year, the 2018 Youth World Championships gold medalist is now left to contemplate his next move.
A run in the pro ranks lies in wait for the Hawaiian, who could begin his run in the paid ranks at 118 pounds.
Representative Tim VanNewhouse revealed Asa’s thoughts behind his decision.
“Asa withdrew from the tournament after struggling to make the 114 weight category,” VanNewhouse exclusively told World Boxing News. “He won his first bout here at the Nationals via Unanimous decision. Then he felt extremely weakened by the weight-cut.”
The man himself was obviously devastated. Stevens plans to take some time before making an official confirmation on his future.
With health and safety concerns at the forefront of his head trainer’s mind, both were in tandem with the final outcome.
“It was very emotional for me as my Olympic dreams are over,” Stevens told WBN. “I sacrificed for many years in the gym. I know it did extremely well to position myself to be the number one guy in my weight division.
“The pros are near now, I know that. But I just need a few days to let this all soak in.”
There’s expected to be a scramble to land the signature of Stevens, who has already sparked a legend into enquiring about his availability.
“We have some interest from Manny Pacquaio promotions and a couple of other promoters,” Stevens revealed. “I plan to begin working on things at the start of next week.
Stevens was one of five World Champions competing in the tournament, all of whom have yet to secure their berth in the Olympic Trials.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News and an Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay