There have been questions about the power of top featherweight prospect Shakur Stevenson, and he may have answered some of those tonight.
The 21-year-old from Newark scored three knockdowns and stopped veteran Viorel Simion at the end of the first round tonight on ESPN, improving to 9-0 (5 KO) with the victory.
Stevenson put Simion (21-3, 9 KO) down with a right hook first, and the second knockdown may have been a slip. But the third knockdown was another hook that clipped Simion, 36, on the chin and sent him wobbling to the canvas. Referee Curtis Thrasher took a look and justifiably stopped what wound up a complete mismatch.
It’s a very nice win for the young Stevenson, a 2016 silver medalist at the Rio Olympics, as Simion had only suffered defeats to Lee Selby and Scot Quigg in the past, and both of those guys have been world champions. There’s still work and time for Stevenson, of course, but it’s an encouraging victory, make no mistake, and if he can keep showing this sort of explosiveness to go with his speed and skill, the sky may indeed be the limit.