Though Shakur Stevenson’s planned WBO featherweight title defense meant to happen yesterday was scrapped, promoter Bob Arum doesn’t want anyone to forget his rising star, and is going hard in hyping the 22-year-old, who won an Olympic silver medal in 2016.
“He’s the second coming of Floyd Mayweather,” Arum told ESPN. “Shakur is tremendously confident in his abilities, just like Floyd. He is a super defensive fighter, just like Floyd. And he is like a genius in the ring, the way Floyd was.”
It’s high praise, certainly, and while some of it is simply promoter-speak — how many “next ___”s have come and gone over the years? — you can also see the reasons Arum is making the comparison, and the hope he has that Stevenson will turn out to be a major star and drawing card for Top Rank. (Although Mayweather became a major drawing card after he left Top Rank, really, which no doubt Arum learned from.)
Stevenson (13-0, 7 KO) was meant to face Miguel Marriaga on Saturday, and was expected to retain his title without much trouble. He is now, like much of boxing, in wait mode as the sports world is on hold at the moment, but as soon as things get at least somewhat back to normal, I’m sure we’ll have a new fight date for him.