Home Boxing News Shakur Stevenson pitches virtual shutout but fails to impress – again

Shakur Stevenson pitches virtual shutout but fails to impress – again

Shakur Stevenson lands on Artem Hartunyunyan. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

WBC lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson 22-0 (10) might’ve retained his title against Artem Harutyunyan 12-2 (7) via unanimous decision at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday night, but he would have won few new fans.

The 27-year-old southpaw from Newark did what he does best: he jabbed, he moved, he kept the fight long and he stayed defensively sound. It was effective but hardly eye-catching stuff.

Judge Mark Lyson scored the bout 119-109, judge Guido Cavalleri had it 118-110, while judge Lynne Carter saw it 116-112, all for Stevenson.

There was a lot riding on the fight for Stevenson. His promotional pact with Top Rank expired at the conclusion of the bout and the Las Vegas-based behemoth has shown no appetite to re-sign him.

An impressive performance was needed from Stevenson to send a message to potential promotors that he was worth the investment. He failed to deliver that.

In fairness to Stevenson, Germany’s Harutyunyan, 33, brought a negative style to the ring that was hard to look good against. Still, the expectation was that Stevenson would be able to find another gear and cut off the ring more effectively against an opponent boxing to survive.

“I want to fight the best fighters in boxing. That’s how you’re gonna get to see the best version of me, when you put me in there with somebody else who fights back,” said Stevenson after the fight.

“It’s kind of hard to prove [you’re that guy] when you don’t have a fighter who’s trying to fight back. I’ve got to cut off the ring a little bit more.”

The Harutyunyan bout came eight months after Stevenson’s bout against Edwin De Los Santos that was widely panned for its lack of action across 12 slow-paced rounds.

Stevenson has been calling out WBA champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis 30-0 (28) and Vasiliy Lomachenko 18-3 (12) in recent months, but it’s hard to see any promotor rushing to make these fights based off his recent performances.

“I love boxing,” Stevenson said. “But if they don’t want to fight me, I’ll stay in the gym and keep busy.”

In the main support bout, Robson Conceicao 19-2-1 (9) won a world title on his fourth attempt with a controversial split decision win over O’Shaquie Foster 22-3 (12) to claim the WBC super featherweight title.

It appeared to be a fairly clear-cut win for Houston’s Foster, 30, and judge Ron McNair agreed, turning in a scorecard of 116-112 for the reigning champion. His card was overruled by judges Tony Lundy and Paul Wallace, who scored the bout 116-112 and 115-113 respectively for the 35-year-old Brazilian.

“I don’t know, man. I thought it was easy,” a perplexed Foster said after the fight. “I thought it was an easy fight. I didn’t get touched except with a headbutt.

“I don’t know, man. I’ll be back. But I want the rematch. They stole this from me. They stole this fight from me. I just wanted to show the world I could bang it out and if I want to, I don’t have to get touched. I guess it wasn’t good enough for the judges.”