Shakur Stevenson has a happy homecoming
By Bill Tibbs
Top Rank Boxing and ESPN were in Newark, New Jersey Saturday night for a show that was focused on the homecoming of favorite son Shakur Stevenson as the 2016 Olympic silver medalist was returning for his first bout since turning pro.
The crowd was fired up to see their hometown hero who is as hot a prospect as there is in boxing. He will be looking for a title shot within the next year or so if he keeps rolling along the way he is.
Stevenson moved to 12-0 with a TKO 3 stoppage of Alberto Guevara in defense of his WBO NABO featherweight title. While the win was nice, it was really about the event as it was the first time the Newark born Stevenson had fought there since his amateur days. Stevenson, accompanied to the ring by friend, and P4P superstar, Terence Crawford is looking good these days and is the hottest prospect in the 126-pound division. Stevenson impressed Saturday night although, in truth, Guevara was slightly overmatched. There had been some opponent changes as the fight came closer but Stevenson handled the changes with the cool, calmness he fought with in the ring Saturday sending the Brick City faithful home happy. Look for Top Rank and Stevenson to return to the Garden State on a regular basis, as he closes in on a world championship; he, and his fans, like the home games. As Shakur said in pre-fight interviews, “When I win the world title I definitely want to defend it in Newark, be like Terence (champion Crawford) is in Omaha”. Saturday night was a nice step in that direction, onwards and upwards for one of boxing’s best featherweight contenders.
-Bantamweight Joshua “Don’t Blink” Geer Jr (20-1-1, 12 KO’s UD 12 over Nikolai Potapov (20-1-1, 11 KO’s).
-Welterweight Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas (14-1, 9 KO’s) TKO 7 over Manuel Lopez (14-4-1, 7 KO’s).
-Vito “White Magic” Mielnicki (1-0, 1 KO) KO 1 Tamarcus Smith (2-3, 2 KOs)
-Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KO’s) KO 1 Hevinson Herrera (24-18-1, 18 KOs).
-Super lightweight John “El Terrible” Bauza (13-0, 5 KO’s) UD 8 Angel Sarinana (10-9-2, 4 KOs)
-Two-time Indian Olympian, super middleweight Vijender Singh (11-0, 8 KO’s) TKO 4 “Iron” Mike Snider (13-6-3, 6 KOs)
-Lightweight knockout artist Joseph Adorno (13-0, 11 KO’s) TKO 2 Adriano Ramirez (10-4, 6 KOs).