ATLANTA -- Shakur Stephenson heard all the criticism loudly: Not entertaining enough; too aggressive; not mean enough.
Stevenson looked through the ropes at Timothy Bradley, ex-champion, and realized that the story can be put to rest.
Stevenson displayed the type of violence that boxing fans have been waiting for in a stunning performance.
He defeated Jamel Herring with a quick, two-fisted victory to win the WBO 130-pound title via TKO in the 10th round at State Farm Arena on Saturday. It was an extremely narrow victory.
"I wanted to fight a fun fight. Show my skills, my boxing and my power. Stevenson, ESPN's No. 1 boxer, stated that he wanted to "show everything tonight." 1 boxer at 130 pounds. "I want to be a star in the sport; it's my goal to last."
Newark, New Jersey native Herring won nine rounds with two cards. One judge only found one round for Herring. It was a shutout by ESPN, scoring 90-81.
Punch Stats Punches Herring Stephenson Total landed 87% 164 Total thrown 436 533 Percent 20% 31% 46 65 Jabs thrown 2665 249 Percent 17% 25% Power landed 41 99 Power toss 160 281 Percent 26% and 35% -- Courtesy CompuBox
In Round 9, Stevenson (17-0 and 9 KOs), opened a severe cut to Herring's right eye. The gash immediately began to bleed profusely. The former champion at 126 lbs, the challenger continued to march forward and increased the pressure in Round 10. The clean, crisp shots were rarely missed. The referee finally gave up and declared the bout over at 1:30. Herring (23-3-3, 11KOs) protested against the referee's decision but he didn't punch back.
Stevenson said that he smelled of blood. Sources told ESPN that Stevenson earned a career high $1.7 million. "I saw that he was bleeding, and I was like, OK, let's attack the cut. To make the doctor stop the bleeding, I tried to touch the area.
From the opening bell, it was clear that Stevenson had defeated Herring 164 to 87 with 99 power punches. This was a marked departure from Stevenson’s June victory over Jeremiah Nakathila, which was his most recent performance.
The Olympic silver medalist, however, stepped up against the strongest opposition and showed that there is still much to be achieved. Stevenson defeated Herring and outfought him to win the one-sided victory.
Herring tried to box off his back foot for the first round and ate punches. But Stevenson took advantage of the counterpunching opportunities, even as Herring began to assert himself.
Herring said, "I couldn’t be in that match of chess with him, so he had to bite down, so I had the courage to move forward." Herring earned a career-high $1.5million, according sources. He's smart and sharp. His hand-eye coordination and coordination are excellent. There are no excuses. He was the better man tonight."
Herring posted a tweet on Saturday congratulating Stevenson. He wrote: "He was the superior man. Even when I knew that I was down, I tried my best to keep pushing forward, regardless of what." Although there was no stopping me, overall I wish Shakur all the best!"
The 35-year old Long Island native was defending the title of junior lightweight champion he won in December 2018 from Masayuki Ito. Herring, ESPN's No. The ESPN's No. 2 130-pounder had every reason to feel confident going into the bout. He had a remarkable April performance, including a sixth-round TKO against Carl Frampton, former champion in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Frampton had reached the end of his career, and he retired after the loss. Stevenson is only just beginning.
Stevenson stated that there is only one fight remaining, and it's the largest fight in the division. "Oscar [Valdez] can't keep ducking. There is nothing to look forward too."
Boxing may soon have another star. Stevenson hopes to win the 135-pound division soon. It is a division that is full of talent and has a lot of name recognition. First, there are more things to do at 130 pounds, where Stevenson is the king.
He can do it without the "boring" label. He turns out to be quite mean. This new Stevenson trait will help him succeed as the competition gets tougher.