Stevenson Misses Opportunity to Build Brand

December 5, 2023
3 months

There will be plenty of big-money fights in Shakur Stevenson’s future. The American three-division world champion hopes that there will be better dance partners in the future. When Stevenson fought Edwin De Los Santos on Nov. 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, neither man landed many punches during their fight for the WBC lightweight title.

De Los Santos made boxing history by landing 40 punches in a 12-round fight. That was the lowest figure in the history of CompuBox, which has been tracking boxing statistics for 38 years. Neither man landed double-digit punches in any round. De Los Santos made the mistake of employing a conservative style against Stevenson.

Stevenson utilized the lack of output to put on a clinical boxing lesson. Stevenson landed 19 power punches in the fight, while De Los Santos only connected on 14. This was another defensive masterpiece from Stevenson, who hasn’t stopped as many fighters as other top young fighters. Stevenson is 21-0 in his career but only won 10 of those bouts by knockouts.

According to online boxing news, Stevenson is still one of the top prospects in the sport. Where the American goes from here will be interesting. While many people were unhappy with the pace of the fight, Stevenson has the quality to make people quickly forget about him.

Here’s a look at some other results from November in boxing.

Performance of the Month: Taylor Gets Revenge

Irish boxer Katie Taylor, the 2012 Olympic champion, didn’t get the unanimous victory she sought over Chantelle Cameron. But Taylor scored a majority decision victory at 3Arena in Dublin to win the undisputed light-welterweight championship. The two fighters had previously met in May 2023 at the same venue, where Cameron picked up a majority decision that dropped Taylor’s record to 22-1 on her career.

In the rematch, one judge scored the bout a draw, while the other two saw it for Taylor, 98-92 and 96-94. Taylor and Cameron’s fight was physical from the outset. A clash of heads in the third round opened a cut on Cameron’s head.

There was a controversy in the first round. Cameron dropped Taylor with a left jab in the first round, but it was ruled a slip by referee Roberto Ramirez. Taylor would like to do another fight to settle who is better in a trilogy.

Mikaelian Uses Knockout to Stake His Claim

One of the top knockouts of the month came from Noel Mikaelian. Mikaelian, a German fighter of Armenian descent, became the first German champion to win a world championship on American soil since Max Schmeling did it 90 years ago. There was little doubt that Mikaelian dominated on his way to the WBC Cruiserweight title.

Mikaelian’s performance against former champion Ilunga Makabu was an impressive one. Makabu was a former cruiserweight champion making his first attempt to reclaim the belt. Makabu had previously lost the belt in a 12th-round TKO loss to Badou Jack in February 2023. 

Mikaelian put the pressure on Makabu from the outset. He would end up rocking Makabu in the third round a minute in. Mikaelian would land a combination that sent Makabu spilling toward the canvas. He couldn’t beat the count, and Mikaelian picked up the victory.

Navarrete Can’t Earn Decision

Mexican boxer Emanuel Navarrete is known for being willing to stay in the pocket and bang it out with his opponents. That strategy always makes Navarrete fun to watch. It doesn’t make it easy for Navarrete to win decisions, though.

When Navarrete fought former Brazilian Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceição in Las Vegas, a few early struggles prevented him from earning the decision. Instead, the two men fought to a majority draw.

Knockdowns in the fourth and seventh rebounds allowed Navarrete (38-1) to hold onto his WBO junior lightweight title. Conceição outlined Navarrete 213 to 116. Conceição was also much more active, throwing 852 attempts to 487 from Navarrete.

Because of how the fight ended, there will likely be a rematch. Navarette said after the fight, he wanted to grant Conceição a rematch. The timeline for that is uncertain, as Navarette had surgery to fix his hand.

Cordina Earns Majority Decision against Vazquez

Welsh fighter Joe Cordina didn’t do enough to impress all three judges during his IBF super featherweight title fight to earn a unanimous decision. But he did enough to win a majority decision over Edward Vazquez in Monaco.

Cordina won the super featherweight title in 2022 and now has defended the crown twice. Cordina is 17-0 in his career. The win was necessary for the Welshman to set up bigger fights against two strong opponents. WBC champion O’Shaquie Foster and fellow British fighter Leigh Wood are an option.

December Already Off to Hot Start

The boxing calendar won’t go quietly into 2024. December will feature several exciting bouts shaping the championship picture heading into next year. Ryan Garcia had a bizarre press conference criticizing Oscar De La Hoya before knocking out Oscar Duarte.

It was an important win for Garcia, who had been stopped in his last fight against Gervonta Davis. Devin Haney and Regis Prograis will meet for the WBC super-lightweight world title in San Francisco. But the world’s eyes will likely be drawn to Saudi Arabia around Christmas time.

Anthony Joshua will battle Otto Wallin and Deontay Wilder will fight Joseph Parker in a pair of heavyweight bouts. There is a thought that Joshua and Wilder are preparing for a super fight between the two former heavyweight champions. Heavyweight boxing news shows a lot of uncertainty at the top of the division right now.

While Francis Ngannou isn’t a traditional boxer, his fight against Tyson Fury made people wonder if he could hang with some other top heavyweights.

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