It was yet another routine performance for Shakur Stevenson, as he routed Toka Kahn Clary on the scorecards over ten rounds inside the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Stevenson, (15-0, 8 KOs) a former world champion at Featherweight is now campaigning at Super Featherweight, and would have wanted a statement win to send a message to the world champions in the division, but he was forced to settle for a landslide points win instead.
Stevenson is specifically targeting the WBO belt, currently held by Jamel Herring, who is set to defend his crown against Carl Frampton in early 2021.
Here, ‘Fearless’ did what he had to do against Clary, (28-3, 19 KOs) establishing his jab early to assume control, and landing some hurtful shots in the first few rounds, an uppercut in the second round on the inside rocking Clary.
From the fourth onwards it was completely one way traffic, with the 23-year-old targeting the body of his opponent while maintaining his accurate jab.
Kahn Clary continued to chug forward, but it was to no real avail, as Stevenson was in complete control of the fight, and there was maybe an argument for Clary’s corner, that included Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, to mercifully intervene, but it never came.
Instead, Stevenson continued to go through the motions, and coasted through the final round to ensure the bout went to the scorecards.
There was no real difficulty in the scoring, as all three judges scored Stevenson a 100-90 winner, moving him to 15-0 as a professional. He didn’t take long to take aim at the current crop of champions at 130 pounds.
“I want the WBO belt first,” said Stevenson post-fight.
“The winner out of Jamel and Carl have to come see me. After that, we’re gonna go straight to (Miguel) Berchelt (WBC champion).”
These boxers and real boxing fans know what they watching, Skillfully Im on another planet dude.. I’m gone say it since nobody else is 🙄
— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) December 13, 2020
Nakatani halts Verdejo
There was an upset in the co-feature, as Masayoshi Nakatani turned the tables on Felix Verdejo to score a ninth round stoppage win. The Japanese also picked up the vacant WBO Intercontinental Lightweight title, as a result of his stunning win.
Verdejo (27-2, 17 KOs) was hoping to secure a match with Lightweight kingpin, Teofimo Lopez, but his hopes went up in smoke against a man that Lopez took a wide points win against last time out.
It all began so well for Verdejo, as he dropped Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs) in the first and fourth rounds, and he was well on top before the seventh round turned the contest upside down.
With one straight right hand, the fight turned in Nakatani’s favour, as he stunned Verdejo, and the underdog then began chipping away at his opponent, who was rapidly fading.
Midway through round nine, Nakatani landed a peach of a right hand that felled a tiring Puerto Rican face first on the canvas.
The 27-year-old bravely rose, but another sharp follow up attack forced the end of the fight.
Verdejo was well ahead on all cards at the time of the stoppage, and a rematch would be a must on any 2021 wish list.
Berlanga continues first round streak
Edgar Berlanga (16-0, 16 KOs) made it first round knockout win number 16, as he displayed his punch power in a one round wipeout of Ulises Sierra.
Sierra (15-2-2, 9 KOs) was down three times in all, the first within 90 seconds as a series of right hands forced him to take refuge on the canvas.
More power right hands with a minute to go forced a second knockdown, and the end was nigh. It duly came with 20 seconds of the frame remaining, when a hefty left hook dropped Sierra for a third time, and mercifully, the fight was waved off.
Jesse Rodriguez (13-0, 9 KOs) remained unbeaten with a statement second round knockout win against Saul Juarez (25-13-2, 13 KOs) in their Light Flyweight contest scheduled for eight.
Two-time Olympic champion, Robeisy Ramirez (6-1, 4 KOs) scored an impressive sixth round stoppage win over Brandon Valdes (13-2, 7 KOs) at Featherweight, while at Middleweight, the rematch went the way of Quincy LaVallais, (10-0-1, 5 KOs) who took a unanimous points win over fan favourite, Clay Collard (9-3-3, 4 KOs).
Two scores of 77-75 and a third at 78-74 won the day for LaVallais.
In the four rounders, Haven Brady Jr (2-0, 2 KOs) took a second round retirement win over Michael Land (1-2, 1 KO) at Featherweight, and at Welterweight, 17-year-old, Kasir Goldston (2-0, 1 KO) stopped Llewelyn McClamy (2-1, 1 KO) in two to rack up his second professional victory.