When Shakur Stevenson failed to make weight for his bout with Robson Conceicao, he forfeited his WBO and WBC junior lightweight titles, yet he was the clear winner inside the ring. In front of his hometown, the Newark, New Jersey native finished his junior lightweight career with a convincing decision victory.
After failing to make weight on Thursday, Stevenson was forced to relinquish the belts and announced right away that he would be switching to lightweight. Stevenson made sure to put on a standout display as he outlanded Conceicao by roughly 140 total punches, perhaps costing him some credit with the boxing audience for his unsuccessful cut.
Some people called Stevenson a “boring fighter” because of his early aggression, which was greater than in some of his previous fights. Since Conceicao, a former Olympic gold medalist, whipped wild right hands, Stevenson was able to effortlessly avoid eating clean blows while hitting thudding counters thanks to Conceicao’s fighting style.
As the rounds progressed, Stevenson, one of the best defensive fighters in the sport, adjusted, taking advantage of Conceicao’s high guard and lack of effective output to ram left punches into the body from his southpaw stance. He scored a delayed knockdown in the final seconds of the fourth round, demonstrating how well his training on the body paid off.
Stevenson would keep hitting Conceicao’s body until his guard let up enough to allow cleaner headshots, which Stevenson gladly took advantage of.
Stevenson lost a point in Round 9 for smashing Conceicao to the mat following a clumsy clinch. The incident was a response to Stevenson’s one source of annoyance throughout the fight, which was Conceicao’s roughhousing in the clinch. In Round 10, he would throw Conceicao to the ground once more, but this time he did not lose any points for the foul.
As Stevenson accumulated a significant punching advantage, Conceicao was unable to locate him round after round. This resulted in wide scorecards of 117-109, 117-109, and 118-108 after 12 rounds. Just 60 blows were landed by Conceicao compared to 199 by Stevenson, 75 of which were to the body.
After the battle, Stevenson talked about his future plans as he advances to the competitive and dangerous lightweight class.
“We must challenge the champion. Prepare it, “said Haney. “After his battle against Kambosos, Devin Haney—the undisputed lightweight champion—and I can agree on a date. Let’s start now. I’ll take on Lomachenko as well.”
After losing to Oscar Valdez in a contest for the WBC junior lightweight championship, Conceicao now had a second chance to capture a world championship. When Stevenson failed to make weight, he could have walked away and taken the entire bout price, but it would have forced him into a match for the WBC championship that Haney was compelled to relinquish.