Future superstar? Shakur Stevenson shines in one-sided win over Jamel Herring

·Combat columnist
·3 min read

When he’s on, which is most nights, talent oozes out of every pore of Shakur Stevenson’s body. The 2016 Olympic silver medalist is the kind of fast, thoughtful and tough fighter who could eventually become the top pound-for-pound fighter in boxing.

He fought that way Saturday in a one-sided victory over Jamel Herring, dominating the Marine and swiping his WBO junior lightweight title with a 10th-round TKO stoppage at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Stevenson was too fast, too strong and too smart for Herring, who, try as he might, could never really mount an attack. Stevenson beat him in every aspect and won it in the 10th when he was walking Herring down and landing clean, undefended left hands to the head. Referee Mark Nelson finally saw enough at 1:30 of the 10th, giving Stevenson his 17th win without a loss and his second title in as many weight classes.

“He’s going to take over and continue to be great,” the vanquished Herring said. “Shakur is going to do great things.”

He did plenty of great things on Saturday. He took the center of the ring in the opening seconds and never gave it up. He was ripping Herring with a hard jab, a powerful right hook and plenty of straight right hands. Stevenson boxed superbly and was rarely in danger.

The rounds had an eerie similarity, as Stevenson never lost focus and Herring wasn’t quick enough or strong enough to force him to change his pattern.

Stevenson thanked ESPN ringside analyst Timothy Bradley after the bout for motivating him to raise his game. Bradley criticized Stevenson’s performance in a June 12 win over Jeremia Nakathila and it caught Stevenson’s attention.

“I want to thank Tim Bradley,” Stevenson said. “Tim Bradley was criticizing me, calling me boring. So I wanted a fun fight and I wanted to perform. I wanted to show my skill, my boxing skill, my defense and my power. I thought I showed everything tonight.”

Stevenson’s performance was reminiscent of the legendary Floyd Mayweather’s first title-winning effort over Genaro Hernandez at the same weight class 23 years ago, in 1998. Mayweather raised his game considerably and stopped Hernandez in eight one-sided rounds.

Stevenson did much of the same and never let Herring get on track. Herring trainer Brian McIntyre, who worked with Stevenson in the past, was impressed.

“He’s younger and was faster and Shakur was sharp,” McIntyre said.

Stevenson called out WBC champion Oscar Valdez for a unification fight. It would be a fun bout, but if Stevenson fights like he did on Saturday, not only are few going to be able to beat him, few are going to be able to even be competitive with him.

He hasn’t always been on, but he was on Saturday and showed the look of a future superstar.

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 23:  (L-R) Shakur Stevenson punches Jamel Herring in their lightweight fight at State Farm Arena on October 23, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Getty Images)
(L-R) Shakur Stevenson punches Jamel Herring in their lightweight fight at State Farm Arena on Oct. 23, 2021, in Atlanta. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Getty Images)
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