Former two-division titlist Shakur Stevenson is looking to make a major mark in the lightweight division this year, and says he’s got Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, and Vasiliy Lomachenko in his sights.
Stevenson does not expect to face any of them next, but did drop the name he does anticipate will be his next opponent during an interview with Ak and Barak on The DAZN Boxing Show (sign up at DAZN.com).
On his assessment of Gervonta Davis vs Hector Luis Garcia
“The fight went exactly how I expected. I actually thought he was gonna get him out of there sooner, but Garcia was exactly what I expected. Tank is good at, like, getting inside of his range, his distance, and once he cut the distance short, Garcia don’t know enough to stop what he was doing. He didn’t pick his right hand up at all once Tank got in range, he kinda left it down.”
On belief that Tank got hit more than normal
“He don’t care about getting hit. Like, he don’t have no concern, in his brain he can take anybody’s punches. So far it’s been holding up.”
On whether it’s safe for Davis to do the same against Ryan Garcia
“No, I don’t think so, Ryan is a good puncher, but I doubt that (Davis) is going to just walk forward and take punches against Ryan Garcia. He’s a smart fighter and he’ll adjust.”
On Davis expressing that he’d be the A-side in negotiations
“He’s probably right. I ain’t taking nothing away from him. As long as I get my chance and my opportunity, that’s all I care for, so if I gotta take the backseat — he’s top dog, he put 20,000 in a stadium right now. I’m catching up slowly, but it’s his time right now. Whenever I get my chance, however I gotta take it, we’re gonna take it.”
On whether he’s still considering Joe Cordina
“The only reason he’s kinda on my mind is he keeps mentioning my name. I’m down to fight him, I think he’s a good fighter, I can’t take nothing away from that dude. But this smoke is a little bit different. He’s knocking out them dudes and I guess he’s really hyped about it, but this smoke is a little bit different. He knows what it is, so he can sit there and keep saying everything he keeps saying, but we can fight. I’m ready right now. He was saying something about waiting until he gets his title back, but I’m not fighting at 130, so why am I waiting for you to get your title back? We’re both free.”
On Jaron “Boots” Ennis’ performance on Saturday
“I’m not no critic that’s gonna say he’s not the truth. Anybody with two eyes can see that ‘Boots’ is the truth. I think what we got to see that people need to really pay attention to is his power (holding up) from (rounds) one to 12. Even in the last rounds, he still was throwing bombs. That’s something to be worried about for anybody at the 147 division. ... Just seeing the shape he’s in, he’s a dangerous fight for anybody.”
On a next potential opponent
“Right now, we’re just going down the list with the WBC. I like that money green belt, so that’s the one I’m kinda attacking. I forgot his name, he’s, like, No. 6. [Editor’s Note: Shakur is talking about Shuichiro Yoshino.] He actually stopped the Nakatani dude faster than Lomachenko did, he stopped him in five rounds.”
“This process is kinda, like, I was sitting at home chilling on a WBC order for me and Isaac Cruz to fight. That’s the fight I wanted, I didn’t think twice. Their side said no. ... They’re on the Al Haymon side, so it was all up to Al if he wants them to fight (me). With (William) Zepeda, he wanted to fight. Oscar De La Hoya — from what I heard, I think (De La Hoya) didn’t want to fight me yet, they didn’t think it was the right time.
“So we went down the list and Kambosos said he’s been through a lot in this past year, and he’s fought the best of them and I think he just needs a break from big fights.”
On Shuichiro Yoshino as an opponent
“We’ve gotta rate him off of his performance against Nakatani, being that Nakatani went 12 rounds with Teofimo (Lopez), then he fought Lomachenko — he ain’t do too good with Lomachenko, but he ended up getting stopped late in the fight. Then he fought Yoshino, and (Yoshino) stopped him faster than anybody. We know he’s got power, we know he’s tough, and for him to beat that dude, and he beat (Masayuki) Ito. It let us know he’s solid. He’s, like, a 7 or 8.”
On how he can get the big fights with Haney, Lomachenko, or Davis
“I think that I just gotta stay on the course. The course I’m going, I’ll be a pay-per-view superstar. Once you do that, all them dudes will be standing in line with their hands out. That’s how I look at it.
“With Tank, he feels like people just want to fight him. It’s different for me in my situation when it comes to him. I just feel like he’s the best and I want to fight the best. A lot of people just want to get that paycheck. But that shit don’t last. It depends on how you do it, but fuck that payday shit.”
On whether he thinks he’ll fight Devin Haney
“Devin’s got a thing with Lomachenko, they’re going that route, and then he’s going up to 140. I think we all know that he’s going to try to move up to 140 after that. He looked real dead after his last fight with Kambosos, but if the fight happens, I would definitely be down for it.”
On whether he’d fight Lomachenko without a belt on the line
“I would be interested in it, but it depends on how he does with (Haney). If he goes in there and gets smoked, we’re gonna know, like, if you put him in there with me it’s gonna be the same thing or even worse. If he gives him a good fight and just loses — I don’t see him beating Dev, but if he gives him a good fight and loses, yeah, we could line that up. ... (If he beats Haney), I’m standing in line, yeah, let’s do it. I think that’d be a perfect fight if that happens, but I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”
On who he’d pick for his next three opponents with no restrictions
“Lomachenko, Devin, and then Tank.”