Home Bet on Boxing Shakur Stevenson vs Toka Kahn Clary – Big Fight Preview & Predictions

Shakur Stevenson vs Toka Kahn Clary – Big Fight Preview & Predictions

Stevenson meets Clary in final bill inside the bubble

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Shakur Stevenson faces Toka Kahn Clary in Top Rank's final show of the year in Las Vegas on Saturday night
Shakur Stevenson faces Toka Kahn Clary in Top Rank's final show of the year in Las Vegas on Saturday night

Shakur Stevenson has steadily been testing the Super Featherweight waters after a short spell as WBO Featherweight champion, and he aims to put on a show this weekend to put the division on notice.

Stevenson (14-0, 8 KOs), who is the mandatory challenger to the WBO Super Featherweight crown held by Jamel Herring, meets Liberian born fringe contender, Toka Kahn Clary over ten rounds in the final show of the year inside the Top Rank at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas.

2016 Olympic Silver Medalist, Stevenson has made serene enough progress since turning over in April 2017.

The 23-year-old is backed by legendary promoter Bob Arum, and Arum is keen to move Shakur quickly.

It took him just 13 contests to become world champion when he claimed the vacant WBO Featherweight title in October 2019, widely outpointing Joet Gonzalez in Reno.

Stevenson shook off rust in very first bubble show in June, knocking Felix Caraballo out in six in his last appearance.

Stevenson scored a sixth round stoppage over Felix Caraballo on the first show behind closed doors in June Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Stevenson scored a sixth round stoppage over Felix Caraballo on the first show behind closed doors in June Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Clary (28-2, 19 KOs) shouldn’t pose too many risks for Stevenson in Las Vegas, although he is unbeaten in his last three.

Clary’s last defeat came in October 2018 in an IBF final eliminator, where Kid Galahad just had too much know-how for him, and the Sheffield-based stylist took a comfortable enough points win.

Clary was beaten on points by Kid Galahad in 2018 Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland
Clary was beaten on points by Kid Galahad in 2018 Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland

Clary has also been knocked out in a round, in 2016, caught cold by journeyman, Jhon Gemino.

Stevenson is the mandatory challenger to WBO Super Featherweight champion, Jamel Herring Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Stevenson is the mandatory challenger to WBO Super Featherweight champion, Jamel Herring Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Prediction: Stevenson will be targeting big names at 130 pounds, and he will want to look good with a dominant win over Clary. After showcasing his skills for a few rounds, he should be able to step on the gas after halfway to score a stoppage win.

Verdejo returns against former Lopez foe Nakatani

Another Olympian features at the top of the bill, as 2012 London participant Felix Verdejo attempts to finally realise his once promising potential.

The Puerto Rican lost to Vasyl Lomachenko in the quarter-finals in London, and the 27-year-old has been a professional since December of the same year.

The closest he has come to a shot at world honours was in 2017, but the then-WBO Lightweight champion, Terry Flanagan, withdrew through injury.

Felix Verdejo stopped Will Madera inside a round in July Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Felix Verdejo stopped Will Madera inside a round in July Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

He was due to face Antonio Lozado Torres as a replacement, but Verdejo (27-1, 17 KOs) was then injured himself, and 13 months later when the pair finally met, Torres stunned Verdejo with a tenth and last round stoppage.

Verdego has posted four straight wins since, the last in July, a first round stoppage of Will Madera.

Here, Verdejo takes on Masayoshi Nakatani (18-1, 12 KOs) over ten rounds at Lightweight, with the Japanese last in action in July 2019, losing a wide decision over twelve to Teofimo Lopez. That was his first venture outside Japan.

Prediction: Verdejo will obviously want to out-do Lopez, but I think he will have to settle for a wide win on the cards here.

Berlanga eyes 16 straight first round KO’s

Big-punching New Yorker Edgar Berlanga has fifteen first round knockouts from as many straight wins, and he goes for another inside three minutes when he faces Ulises Sierra (15-1-2, 9 KOs) over eight at Super Middleweight.

 

Sierra suffered his first defeat last time out when he was soundly outscored by Vladmir Shiskin, and the hope is that he will take Berlanga (15-0, 15 KOs) at least a few rounds.

Prediction: I think Berlanga may drop Sierra early, but it could take three or four rounds to fully remove the San Diego native from battle.

Edgar Berlanga made it 15 straight first round KOs against Lanell Bellows Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Edgar Berlanga made it 15 straight first round KOs against Lanell Bellows Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Another amateur standout, Robeisy Ramirez goes for win number six, when he meets Columbian, Brandon Valdes over eight at Featherweight.
Ramirez (5-1, 3 KOs) is a double Gold Medallist, but Valdes (13-1, 7 KOs) hasn’t been stopped and went ten rounds in his last contest.
Double Olympic Gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez saw off Felix Caraballo in September Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank
Double Olympic Gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez saw off Felix Caraballo in September Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank
Prediction: The Cuban should prevail on the scorecards.
Hot prospect, Jesse Rodriguez (12-0, 8 KOs) squares off against Mexico’s Saul Juarez (25-12-2, 13 KOs) who has only been stopped once in a dozen defeats.
Prediction: It’s set for eight at Light Flyweight, and the Texan should take a clear win on the cards.
Fan-friendly Middleweight Clay Collard (9-2-3, 4 KOs) is also on the bill, and he rematches Quincy Lavallais (9-0-1, 5 KOs) over eight.
Prediction: The pair fought a six round split draw in June last year, but Collard has come on since then and can take a tight points win over eight here.
Popular Middleweight Clay Collard makes his fourth appearance inside the Bubble Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Popular Middleweight Clay Collard makes his fourth appearance inside the Bubble Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
The sole six rounder comes at Super Lightweight, where Elvis Rodriguez (10-0-1, 10 KOs) should keep his knockout streak in tact with an early win over Lawrence James Fryers (11-3, 4 KOs).
There are two four rounders that make up the rest of the card. At Featherweight, Haven Brady Jr (1-0, 1 KOs) can halt Michael Land (1-1, 1 KO) inside schedule, while at Welterweight, Kasir Goldston (1-0) should take a points win against Llewelyn McClamy (2-0, 1 KOs).

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