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Andre Ward sees Shakur Stevenson having “all-time great” potential

Stevenson stopped an overmatched opponent last night, but showed signs of rounding out his game.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Following Shakur Stevenson’s flawless victory over Felix Caraballo last night on ESPN, manager Andre Ward breaks down what he saw from Stevenson and how he’s liking his career progression to this point. Check out some excerpts below...

Ward on what he thought of Stevenson’s performance:

“Man, he did everything he was supposed to do. I mean, Caraballo was tough, he probably put up a tougher fight than a lot of people thought he would. You know, as soon as the name came out about who Shakur’s gonna fight, you see a bunch of people writing and tweeting ‘ah, why is he fighting this guy?’

“It’s the right guy at the right time given the circumstances and Shakur or his team, none of us owe an explanation. He’s a young fighter, he’s developing, you know, I think he has the skill to be an all-time great as he stays focused. But that doesn’t mean you rush that. You take your time with that, you let that develop at the right time and he did what he was supposed to do. He boxed tonight, he dealt with early pressure — never panicked, stayed patient. This the most deliberate and viscous body attack that I’ve seen him put on his whole career.

“He and I talk about that all the time, about the next phase of his game which is mid-range and in-close. He delivered tonight and that’s what got the job done.”

On it appearing like Stevenson injured his hand during the fight:

“Yeah, he’s at the doctors right now getting checked out so hopefully it’s nothing. Fractures, microfractures, that kind of stuff for a fighter is normal. I hope it’s nothing major. He wants to get back in there as soon as possible. So hopefully it’s just a punch he landed the wrong way and caught his thumb in an awkward position, but hopefully it’s nothing.”

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