Devin Haney has no problem with Shakur Stevenson’s performance
On June 12, former WBO Featherweight champion Shakur “Fearless” Stevenson (16-0, 8ko) was taking on unknown WBO #2 ranked fighter Jeremia “Low Key” Nakathila (21-2, 17ko). The talented 23-year-old New Jersey native outclassed the lesser known fighter. Still, fans and pundits felt the performance was underwhelming, including the commentary team of ESPN.
As the fight went on, it was becoming clear that if Fearless was to pick up the pace, he could have finished off Low Key. Instead, the fight went the whole twelve rounds. Stevenson was buckling the legs of his opponent with every hard left-hand shot fired.
First ballot Hall of Famer Andre Ward was calling for his former protégé to pick up the pace. He especially was aware that Fearless has the ability to do so and end the night early. Former two-divisional champion Timothy Bradley indicated that Stevenson got a taste of Nakathila’s power early, and he did not like it. This was the reason for him not being more aggressive.
ESPN veteran commentator Mark Kriegel could not be in attendance. However, his criticism hit the hardest after being read live during the broadcast.
“Either Shakur starts throwing some combinations against this amateur or do not be surprised when people start calling you a boring fighter.”
GET THE WIN AND LOOK GOOD IN THE NEXT FIGHT
In fairness to Stevenson, it was a masterclass performance from a defense standpoint. However, Fearless has been barking loudly about wanting to fight for a championship. In the case of WBO champion Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring present, fans typically want the fighter to back up their words by leave a lasting impression. Stevenson, believing that it was a let-down performance, took to social media to apologize to the fans and vowed to impress in future fights.
WBC Lightweight champion Devin “The Dream” Haney took to social media in defense of Stevenson’s performance. He has been on the end of these kinds of talks for most of his career. Often fans have accused him of being a safety-first type of fighter. Understanding what this could do to a young fighter’s psyche, Haney offered words of encouragement.
By: Garrisson Bland