- Tarrian Rodgers
Shakur Stevenson flexes his star power capturing WBO title via 10th round TKO
Shakur Stevenson is a star. There’s no if and’s or but’s about that. There comes a time in every athlete's life when they have that one career defining performance and yesterday’s was Stevenson’s as he captured the WBO 130 pound championship via 10th round TKO.
"I wanted a fun fight: to show my skills, my boxing, my power. I wanted to show everything tonight," said Stevenson, ESPN's No. 1 boxer at 130 pounds. "I want to be a superstar in the sport; I'm here to last." The 24 year old Newark New Jersey native blitzed Jemel Herring early and often completely overwhelming his opponent to win all nine rounds before the stoppage the scorecards read 90-81.
Stevenson was like a shark who smelled blood in the water especially after opening a really bad cut over Herring's right eye in Round 9, the cut bled profusely. Stevenson continued to land jab after jab hard shot after hard shot. The crisp, clean shots rarely missed their mark. Finally, the referee saw enough and waved the bout off at 1:30. Stevenson outlanded Herring 164-87, with 99 of them being power punches.
"I smelled blood," said Stevenson, "I saw he was bleeding and was like, 'OK, I have to attack the cut.' I was trying to touch the cut to make the doctor try and stop it." This was a huge win for Stevenson. Herring was a worthy champion for so long making the fourth defense of the junior lightweight title he won from Masayuki Ito in December 2018. Herring was ESPN's No. 2 130-pounder, Herring was just coming off a career-best performance in April, a sixth-round TKO of former champion Carl Frampton in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Herring took to Twitter late Saturday night congratulating the young star "He was the better man, and even when I knew I was down I [tried] my hardest to push forward, no matter what. There was no quit in me, but overall I wish Shakur the best!"
Stevenson's future is ahead of him and has lofty goals after capturing a major belt. "There's only one fight left, the biggest fight in the division," Stevenson said. "Oscar [Valdez] can't keep ducking. There's nothing else to look forward to."
It's hard to overlook Stevenson after yesterday’s performance and boxing is a better sport as long as it has young stars it can build around like Stevenson.