WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson 13-0 (7) has denied he is the next Floyd Mayweather, insisting he is his own fighter.
His comments come after promoter Bob Arum labelled him the heir apparent to the retired former pound-for-pound king.
“I definitely see myself as my own man,” Stevenson said to iFL TV. “It’s a compliment still because it’s Floyd Mayweather. I get what they’re saying.
“I watched my last fight and my fight before my last. And I see certain similarities where we got the game mastered of hit and not get hit. I see some similarities, but I’m my own person. I came up with my own style.
“And I learned and took some things from Floyd, but I learned and took some things from a lot of different fighters also. It’s cool that they’re saying that, but I’m my own person. I’m the first Shakur Stevenson and not the next Floyd Mayweather.
“I know for a fact that I’m going to be the king of boxing in the future. I’m 100 percent sure. You can come back and look at these interviews later on down the line. ‘He been telling everybody this, and he’s been saying this before.’ Everything I’ve been saying is coming true, and it’s going to keep coming true.”
Stevenson was scheduled to defend his 126-pound belt against seasoned campaigner Miguel Marriaga 29-3 (25) at New York’s Madison Square Garden on March 14 but the bout was scrapped due to global coronavirus pandemic.
The plan now is to move up to the super featherweight division for his next fight.
“Yeah, I’ll fight at 130 in my next fight. I was staying to fight [IBF featherweight champion Josh] Warrington depending on how long the wait is, but it doesn’t seem like that’s what he wants. He’s talking about fighting Can Xu,” Stevenson said.
“They already got a deal set-up. If that’s what he [Warrington] wants to do, then I’ll jump straight up to 130 because I don’t have a choice. After all, that’s the fight I was chasing.
“I’m a top guy. All the fans kept talking about Warrington and myself. I don’t have any choice but to go up to 130. And I didn’t hear anything, and now I hear he got a fight [against Can Xu]. I was willing to come to the UK still, and I was ready to fight in March and then come back in May if that’s what I must do.
“And I wanted to work with him, but I didn’t want to wait until May to fight. I fought in October, and that would be a real long time until my last fight.”
The number one target for Stevenson is former WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez 27-0 (21).
“We got unfinished business,” Stevenson continued. “I want his title and got his title. I know he’s got to feel some kind of way about it now that I’m at his weight class. It’s like, ‘what do you want to do?’.
“He don’t got no belt. That would just warm me up for the other champions at 130. But he doesn’t got no belt, but I’m still willing to fight him early. I think it would be a big fight for the fans anyway.”
Another name on Stevenson’s hitlist is WBA super featherweight boss Leo Santa Cruz 37-1-1 (19), who has been linked to a fight with Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis 23-0 (22).
“If Tank doesn’t get the Santa Cruz fight, that’s the fight I want at 130,” Stevenson said. “That’s a fight that I want bad. If Tank doesn’t get the Santa Cruz fight, then maybe Bob [Arum] and Al [Haymon] can work together again and create some kind of Shakur vs Santa Cruz and make it a big fight.
“What’s Santa Cruz’s hometown? Cali? I respect him as a champion too. If that’s the case, I’ll go to LA, where all his Mexican fans are at. I’ll go beat him up. But that’s just a hope that if he don’t fight Tank.”