Once in a great, while a prospect comes along that checks off all the boxes. A fighter that checks off all the boxes inside and outside the ring is an even rarer bread. One such prospect is Newark New Jersey’s favorite son and 2016 silver medalist, Shakur Stevenson. Stevenson posses the ring generalship, speed, defensive responsibility, reflexes, and power, yes power, that will elevate him to the highest of highs. If there were any questions about Shakur. any possible limitations, it was perhaps his punching power. The Newark Native quickly answered the naysayers with a destructive first round stoppage of rugged and game veteran Viorel Simion. Simion who had been in the ring with multiple world-class and elite level fighters had not only never been stopped but had never even been floored. Two streaks that were about to come to a screeching halt against the sensational New Jerseyite.
In the co-main event of the most watched US boxing card of the year, Stevenson put forth the best effort of his career. In front of the sold-out crowd at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Stevenson caught the 36-year-old Simion cold with a picture perfect right hook midway through the first round sending the Romanian to the canvas, able to beat the count Simion was never able to recover and seemingly never get his legs back underneath him. Stevenson jumped on his injured opponent flooring him for a second time just moments later with a swarm of power shots. The rugged veteran was somehow able to get to his feet and fight on and it looked like perhaps he would even make it out of the opening stanza. Just then the featherweight from Brick City landed another massive right hook that sent Simion to the canvas for a third and final time. This time forcing the ref to fo his duty and bring a halt to the bout. The official time of the stoppage was at 3:00 of round 1.
Coming off such a sensational knockout victory on one of the most watched boxing cards of the year puts Shakur Stevenson in the catbird seat and able to call out pretty much anyone he wants to. And Stevenson did just that immediately following his destruction of Simion he red-hot prospect called out all the right names to cash in on and showed no hesitation to travel across the pond to the UK in calling out bothLee Selby and IBF Featherweight champion Josh Warrington. The latter of the two Brits seem to be the fight that Stevenson would prefer, as it would not only be for a world title but it would also be a massive payday as Warrington is sent to defend his IBF strap in Manchester against Carl Frampton in December. Should Warrington be successful it would make a 2019 fight between the young unbeaten perhaps the number one hottest fight in the smaller weight classes.