25
Nov
2020

Shakur Stevenson tipped to ‘exceed performances of Floyd Mayweather’

Shakur Stevenson Floyd Mayweather

Bob Arum has given Shakur Stevenson high-praise indeed as the Top Rank boss believes the young champion is a southpaw version of Floyd Mayweather.

Speaking ahead of boxing’s return to the MGM Grand on Tuesday, Arum is adamant he has someone special on his hands.

Shakur is,  said it when we did our first fight, a future star in the sport of boxing, a future superstar,” stated the Hall of Fame promoter. “And I look at him as the southpaw version of Floyd Mayweather. I think he will exceed the performances by Floyd.

“I just think he’s a rare, rare talent, and I think that he’s a young man who’s growing in size and so I think 130 pounds will be a brief stop in his career because he’s growing into a welterweight and maybe even a junior middleweight.”

On what big fights could be on the horizon for Stevenson, Arum added: “Again, we’re in uncertain times… who knows when we’ll be able to do events with spectators?

“That’s a fight that needs spectators and I know that the promoters over in the UK are working towards that.

“We’re working towards that, absolutely, whether it’s going to be in the States or in the UK, we want that fight, the (Josh) Warrington fight, to happen. I promised that to Shakur.

“Now, if, on the other hand, he feels that he’s better off going to 130, we’ll go along with that. In other words, I’m not going to force a fighter to fight at a weight which he shouldn’t be fighting at because it takes too much out of them to make the weight.

“So, Shakur has great people with him, great technical people, his corner people, his manager, James Prince. They’ll discuss it with him and discuss it with us.

“But certainly, if he decides to stay at 126, I’m going to, one way or the other, make the Warrington fight happen,” he said.

Stevenson himself is looking forward to putting on a show against Felix Caraballo before bigger tests down the line.

Gary Russell Jr. has been mentioned alongside Brit warrior Warrington.

“That’d be a hell of a fight with me and Gary. I think we really are the best two featherweights, skill-wise, in the division. So I think that’d be a hell of a fight.

“Gary knows I’m the only one that… I see how he talks about everybody else, he doesn’t respect a lot of the other fighters, but he respects me a lot because he’s been around me. He knows I’m a boxer. He knows what I’m about.

“Of course. Of course, I think that the champions at 130 are all decent fighters. I’ve already pictured myself in the ring with all of them already. So I’ve already been thinking about that.

“I’ve been thinking about being in the ring with Oscar Valdez, with Russell, {Leo} Santa Cruz, Jo Jo {Diaz}, even Jamel {Herring}, if I have to.

“I think that’d definitely be an easier fight with Josh Warrington. With Josh Warrington, there comes a lot of business and politics with that like…. as far as the money being made for the fight and stuff like that.

“So, I think them fights would be a lot easier because like Valdez and Berchelt and them guys. They’re with Top Rank. Jo Jo is with Golden Boy.

“I just fought a Golden Boy fight in my last fight {Joet Gonzalez}. So I think them fights would be a lot easier than a Warrington fight.”

On working with legend Andre Ward and current pound for pound star Terence Crawford, Stevenson added: “It’s good to have those people around me, and I appreciate having them.

“Andre Ward is a big blessing to me. He helps me out in a lot of ways inside and outside the ring.

“So, Terence is also like… Terence keeps me competitive. He keeps my mindset competitive because I’m just as competitive as him. But he’s so competitive, it makes me be even more competitive.

“So, like those guys in my life and in my career, it helps me a lot.”


GEORGE FLOYD – FLOYD MAYWEATHER

In conclusion, Stevenson was quizzed for his opinion on the current demonstrations around the United States following the death of George Floyd.

“Honestly, I’ve been more focused on my fight. I understand everything that’s going on. I’m with my people in everything that’s going on. But I got a fight coming up so I’ve been in the gym every day, {and then} going home.

“When I go home, I’m watching boxing. I’ve been in camp so I’m not really too focused on anything that’s going on outside. I’m more locked in on what’s going on the inside as far as boxing.”

Exceeding Floyd Mayweather? That is some name to live up to.

In other news, Stevenson will be without trainer Kay Koroma due to rules regarding coronavirus.

Koroma was also training Mikaela Mayer, who tested positive earlier this week and as removed from the bill.

Due to the close proximity of Koroma and Mayer, the coach has been told to stand down for now.

On Saturday, Koroma was tested and the result came back negative for COVID-19.