LAS VEGAS — American Shakur Stevenson currently holds three division titles and is the former silver medalist from the Olympics. Last Thursday he won the WBC lightweight title in Las Vegas after a hard-fought victory over Edwin De Los Santos.
The official Compubox statistics show that in the course of the 12 rounds, De Los Santos(16-2, 14 KOs) from the Dominican Republic only managed to land 40 punches. Since the system’s inception 38 years ago, these have been the fewest punches ever recorded in a 12-round bout.
“I had a bad performance tonight, that’s all I’m focused on,” said Stevenson in media reports. “I wasn’t feeling too good. I’ll live it, it’s OK, I came here to get the victory and that’s all I wanted to do,” he added.
In response to inquiries concerning his left hand which he only landed 21 times during the competition, Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) refused to comment on whether a sickness or injury had affected his performance.
“I ain’t got nothing to say about that – I’m not going to make excuses,” he said. “I just didn’t feel good before the fight,” said Stevenson.
For the majority of the fight, De Los Santos kept Stevenson moving backward, but he frequently found himself chasing and losing opportunities.
“I came to fight, he came for a track meet,” said De Los Santos in media reports.
“I came to fight tonight, and Shakur Stevenson decided not to fight. He was gifted the title but I am the champion of the people,” he added.
Stevenson stated that after preparing for the previous seven months, he would prefer to take “like two months” off.
“I think that he has to go back and reassess … what changes he needs to make,” said mentor and former champion Andre Ward.
“He looked a bit flat tonight. He’ll determine what that reason is. He does need rest … he’s never not in the gym. He’s an elite fighter, and for elite fighters who are used to dominating, when you don’t have a dominating performance, it can almost feel like a loss,” he added.
“That’s what he’s working through right now. But it’s also good for him, it’s sobering. It just reminds you that the game don’t always love you back,” he continued.