Shakur Stevenson may smile when the cameras are rolling but the former Olympic silver medalist loves a good scrap.
After winning his first world title at 126 pounds, then moving up in weight to pilfer more trinkets at 130, Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) believed that the lightweight division would be his home for an incredibly long time.
At the moment, Stevenson is getting accustomed to life at 135 pounds. His opponents might be a bit bigger and stronger, but the 26-year-old has the sort of skills that you simply can’t teach. Just a few months ago, in his lightweight debut, Stevenson got rid of Shuichiro Yoshino, beating him down and stopping him in the sixth round.
Now, with Yoshino out of the way, Stevenson painted a bullseye on the back of Devin Haney, the division’s undisputed champion. Stevenson did it all. He openly and brazenly called out his man whenever a microphone was present. When that didn’t work, Stevenson turned to social media, going as far as to say that he would make it look easy if the two faced off.
For the most part, Haney ignored him. So, with Stevenson running out of ideas, he took the comical approach. Ironically enough, both Stevenson and Haney appeared at the same outdoor party earlier this year. Stevenson spotted the undisputed champ and sent over a bottle with a message saying “Sign the contract.”
Laughs and giggles aside, Haney reportedly did send Stevenson a contract, but one that Stevenson believed was underselling his monetary value. Although he wishes they could have protracted their conclaves, Haney is now going in another direction.
Currently, the 24-year-old is deep in contract negotiations with WBC 140-pound champ, Regis Prograis.
For Stevenson, he isn’t exactly interested in cutting short his time at 135 pounds. However, when it comes to a match against Haney, Stevenson might be willing to move up and chase him.
“I mean, I ain’t gonna count it out," said Stevenson when asked if he would move up to face Haney next. "I wouldn’t count it out.”