Shakur Stevenson has taken umbrage at the notion that he doesn’t merit comparison with boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Stevenson, the highly skilled lefty from Newark, New Jersey, has been pilloried by fans and pundits in recent days after his sleep-inducing performance against Edwin De Los Santos in their vacant WBC lightweight bout last Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Stevenson outpointed De Los Santos by unanimous decision to win the WBC strap to become a titlist in three divisions, but his achievements were undercut by his skittish, overly defensive performance that had fans booing lustily from their seats.

The reception wasn’t better online, with many suggesting his fight was one of the worst they had been subjected to.

De Los Santos, to be fair, did not do much either to make the fight passably entertaining.

Stevenson has been criticized for playing it too safe in the past, but he seemed to have turned over a new leaf in his recent fights by electing to stand his ground and trade with his opponents, such as Shuichiro Yoshino and Robson Conceicao.

In 2021, against Jeremiah Nakathila, Stevenson was roundly lambasted for his tedious style.

Nevertheless, Stevenson has been regarded as one of the most technically sound fighters of his generation, drawing comparison to Mayweather, who was known for his defensive savvy.

But in a recent post on X, formerly Twitter, writer Steve Kim pointed out that Mayweather was an exciting two-way fighter in his prime—something, Kim suggested, that Stevenson lacked.

The comment prompted Stevenson to respond.

“And I didn’t put on Great fights and great performances that entertained the fans?” Stevenson wrote in a post on X. “I change[d] my style to [become an in-the-] pocket fighter for the fans over the last few years now one fight go by where I wasn’t 100% myself and had used my legs and grab the W now I’m not entertaining lol.”

Stevenson himself has owned up to his paltry performance immediately after the win and has promised to be in better form in his next fight. His promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, said that Stevenson suffered from “various ailments” leading up to the fight with De Los Santos.

“Never changing for nobody!” Stevenson wrote in a previous post. “Taking the criticism that come wit it but patiently chilling until my come again I’m happy I got the win and won another belt in a whole different weight class.”

“I been here before no worries [I ain’t] tripping  … I’m gone let y’all have y’all moment lol.. I’m gone enjoy my family and rest up see y’all soon.”

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.