Stevenson loses belts on the scales earlier than dispensing a beating to Conceicao, writes Nigel Collins
A RECORD crowd of 10,107 at Newark’s Prudential Centre was available to welcome house native son Shakur Stevenson who hadn’t fought there since July 2019. The previous U.S. Olympian was scheduled to defend the WBO and WBC super-featherweight titles in opposition to Brazil’s Robson Conceicao, however didn’t make weight and was stripped of the belts on the scales.
The truth that their homie had simply surrendered two titles with out throwing a punch actually didn’t dampen the viewers’s enthusiasm. They only needed to see the native hero kick some ass, which he did after forfeiting a negotiated portion of his purse to Conceicao. Stevenson’s 12-round unanimous determination wasn’t spectacular but it surely showcased his abilities and skill to dominate.
Conceicao was the light-weight gold medalist on the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the identical 12 months the left-handed Stevenson received bantamweight silver. Robson’s solely prior loss as a professional was to Oscar Valdez, a current Shakur sufferer.
Combating below ring lights that appeared like an enormous spider, each boxers took turns advancing rigorously behind pawing jabs within the opening spherical. They had been nonetheless comparatively cautious within the second, till Stevenson scored with a proper to the pinnacle and a left to the physique, forcing Conceicao to again off.
Stevenson, 25, landed a tough physique shot within the third that compelled the 33-year-old Conceicao to seize and maintain. Later within the spherical he jarred Robson with an uppercut. Conceicao fought again however his punches had been nowhere close to as sharp as his adversary’s. When Stevenson linked it gave the impression of crack of a bullwhip, whereas Conceicao’s choices had been extra slap than flak.
One can see why Conceicao did so nicely as an novice the place touching an opponents is commonly scored the identical as stiff punch. That fashion appears to have adopted him into the professionals ranks, and on prime of that he was up in opposition to a boxer thought-about one of many slickest defensive specialists within the enterprise.
Extra physique blows and mixtures to the pinnacle had Conceicao in hassle within the fourth. It was Stevenson’s most sustained assault of the combat and simply earlier than the bell Robson collapsed, a delayed response to a malicious left to physique. He beat referee David Fields’ rely and walked to his nook, nonetheless standing regardless of taking a protracted pummeling.
Conceicao was nonetheless in survival mode early within the fifth. He’d endured the worst after which had a number of second of success as they exchanged, however he simply couldn’t punch exhausting sufficient to show issues his means. Nonetheless, the Brazilian tried to rally once more within the sixth however pale when Stevenson tagged him with two left hooks.
The defiant Conceicao had yet one more go within the eighth and managed to land a few rights and twice caught his head in his tormentor’s chest and bulled him into the ropes. Stevenson, maybe miffed by the tough stuff, hip rolled his antagonist to the canvas, a transgression that prompted referee Fields to deduct some extent.
By the tenth Conceicao was throwing simply sufficient punches to outlive. Maybe annoyed he couldn’t end the job Stevenson flipped him to the ground once more however acquired a warning moderately than one other penalty.
Conceicao legs wobbled within the eleventh when Stevenson strafed him with a pair of lefts to the pinnacle and close to the tip of the spherical discovered a house for his proper hand.
Resulting from his braveness and strong chin, Conceicao was nonetheless making an attempt to get one thing going within the final spherical. He should have identified it was a misplaced trigger however pleasure stored him going.
The decision was by no means unsure. Judges Lynne Carter and Steve Weisfeld scored the bout 117-109, whereas John Signorile had it 118-108 all in Stevenson’s favor. The one-sided match was removed from a thriller however oddly sufficient it was Conceicao’s sport effort that made it tolerable.
No opponent has come near beating Stevenson in 19 professional bouts. It stays to be seen what occurs now he’s moved as much as the light-weight division, the place an array of compelling expertise reminiscent of Devin Haney, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis, George Kambosos Jnr and Teofimo Lopez Jnr await—and so they all punch significantly more durable than Conceicao.
The intense-eyed Stevenson is brimming with confidence, wanting to tackle the perfect fighters in one in all boxing’s hardest divisions.
“We gotta combat the champ. Me and Devin [Haney] may lock in,” Stevenson stated. “After he fights Kambosos [in a rematch on October 16], let’s get it on. I’ll combat Lomachenko, too!”
Stevenson has already crushed numerous superb fighters in decrease weight courses. Will 5 kilos make any distinction?
Within the chief preliminary precocious light-weight prospect Keyshawn “The Businessman” Davis, Norfolk, Virginia, had no issues stopping Omar Tienda, Guadalupe, Mexico, on the 1-38 mark of the fifth spherical of a scheduled eight rounder. Davis knocked down Tienda with a proper that landed simply above the ear. The Mexican regained his toes however referee Earl Brown rescued him quickly afterward.
It was solely Davis’s sixth professional combat and he handily defeated a 30-fight veteran who had received seven of his most up-to-date bouts, albeit in opposition to modest opposition. Davis didn’t actually open up till the fifth spherical when he erupted with a fusillade of fast, correct punches that dispatched Tienda posthaste.
The High Rank promotion was televised by ESPN.
THE VERDICT: Stevenson now has to show he’s nearly as good at light-weight as he was within the division beneath.