Home Boxing News Shakur Stevenson labels lightweight rival Tank Davis “a casual”

Shakur Stevenson labels lightweight rival Tank Davis “a casual”

Shakur Stevenson. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

WBC lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson 21-0 (10) has continued his war of words with WBA counterpart Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis 30-0 (28).

Fans and pundits have long debated which of the undefeated southpaws is the best 130-pounder on the planet.

It goes without saying that the 28-year-old Stevenson of Newark, New Jersey thinks he is a better boxer than Baltimore, Maryland’s Davis, 29.

A week out from his title defence against Germany’s Artem Harutyunyan 12-1 (7) at the Prudential Center in Newark, he explained why.

“Tank is a casual, we’ve got to be honest,” Stevenson said to combat sports journalist Kevin Iole on YouTube.

“You can be a special boxer but not really have the boxing knowledge.

“He fought Rolly Romero and Isaac Cruz – when they fought each other he picked Rolly to win because of power.

“That’s a casual opinion.

“Gervonta Davis is a good fighter, but he’s a casual, he’s gonna say what casuals say.”

Stevenson was less than impressive in his last outing, a clear-cut unanimous decision win over Dominican southpaw Edwin De Los Santos 16-2 (14) in Las Vegas last November.

Stevenson won the bout by scores of 115-113 and 116-112 twice, but his low punch output left viewers scratching their heads.

The champion says he has put the criticism behind him.

“I’m that guy, and I can’t wait for that day. So, I can’t focus on the people that try to downplay my last performance,” said Stevenson.

“It’s not going to be action-packed when it’s one-sided. When you’re putting hands on people and beating people up, that’s enough.

“I feel my last performance is a testament to how great I really am, even on a bad night. Even on a bad night, I could come out on top against a really good fighter.

“I really don’t care because I’m the best fighter in the world. It’s going to come down to a day where everyone is going to have to see who really is the best and who is going to carry the sport for the next few years.”

Stevenson also defended his next choice of opponent. The 33-year-old Harutyunyan is coming off a competitive 12-round points loss to recent Davis victim Frank Martin 18-1 (12) in his last bout in Las Vegas one year ago.

“Artem is dangerous. He’s a good fighter. Now he’s training at Top Rank gym. I know it’s a dangerous fight. This guy is coming to win,” he said.

“The casuals and the people in the public may not know him, but there’s a bullseye on my back. I’m fighting an Olympian and I love it with the thrill of the risk that I’m taking. It gets me out of bed to go on those long runs.”

The Stevenson versus Harutyunyan bout will be broadcast live on ESPN.