American Shakur Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) and Dominican Edwin De Los Santos (16-2, 14 KOs) did something unclear. A fight in which there were so few strikes and active actions that it was as if it had not happened. And this is without exaggeration. De Los Santos landed the fewest power punches in CompuBox history.
The fans were so unhappy that they buzzed both during the fight and already during the final interview of the new champion in three weight categories.
Shakur talked about Lomachenko and Haney. But De Los Santos was the most incomprehensible fight in the American’s career
Shakur Stevenson is certainly a talented boxer. This cannot but be obvious even to people for whom boxing is an infrequent spectacle. But to evaluate the level of his skill, we need appropriate opponents.
Most people only perceive tops. In people’s minds, if you are considered one of the best, you should only beat the same opponents. But there are practically no such rivals. That’s why there are some of the best, pound-for-pound, and these are all the selections.
But this confrontation with less media opponents does not make things any worse. They become worse when fighting styles and methods intersect with other problems. How it happened in Las Vegas on the night of November 16-17.
In fact, we had a confrontation with a 24-year-old prospect, who in the previous three fights destroyed three very, very strong opponents. He knocked out two undefeated boxers who were predicted to have a great future, and defeated one experienced counterpart. He was up against a two-category champion, a potential pound-for-pound leader and the future of all boxing.
Sounds cool, right? Let’s add stylistic features. The prospect is a left-hander with a heavy punch who can counterattack, throw multi-hit streaks, and simply score on opponents. Has a great jab and a stubborn character. The favorite is also left-handed, also has a punch, and most importantly, knows how to deliver it in such a way that it hurts especially. Works great both to the body and to the head, and has such timing that it is impossible to understand how he does it.
In theory, this looks like a perfect matchup. Perhaps not the brightest, but aesthetically beautiful. This is a boxing product that will be very pleasant to watch. So, all this did not come true.
What did we get in the end? A shootout of jabs, in which one did not want to take risks, and the second tried – he couldn’t and also didn’t want to.
Getty Images/Global Images Ukraine. Shakur Stevenson and Edwin de Los Santos (left)
In fact, it all ended when De Los Santos realized that Shakur was actually a better boxer than him. Stevenson fired him with jabs and hit him towards him several times. He neutralized the initial attempts. Edwin realized that it wouldn’t work, he tried several more times, but again it didn’t work.
And then he took minimal risks, because he couldn’t, and Shakur, because it was normal for him anyway. The fight was heading towards victory, Stevenson met, and when he didn’t have time, he left on his feet so quickly that his opponent could not do anything.
Who’s the problem? Probably in both. And the fact is that this is how the circumstances developed. But they turned out poorly, first of all, for the fans who came to see the confrontation between young Americans, and received some kind of incomprehensible show without respect for the audience.
People in the audience booed and left the arena. They buzzed when Stevenson tried to say something after the fight. Everyone understood that this was not a show. This is generally something far from boxing. High-class and technical, but not boxing as an element of the show. And not even sparring, because there were minimal risks.
CompuBox is a dubious system that raises questions among many. But in our case, she recorded everything very clearly. De Los Santos landed the fewest strikes in 38 years of CompuBox statistics. Once again – for the entire history of CompuBox. Stevenson landed 65 accurate strikes (out of 209), De Los Santos – 40 (out of 316). Shakur had 46 jabs, his opponent had 26. In total, the fighters landed 33 power blows.
Well, why did this happen?
Shakur immediately admitted that he had a bad fight. He called his boxing “not the best performance,” and also said that he felt bad before the fight, but this is not an excuse, because the fight was still bad.
There will be no revenge, of course. Who needs him when the first fight went like this, and who will go for it?
Next, Lomachenko is being prepared for Shakur. Vasily will box at the beginning of 2024. According to Bob Arum, everything is almost approved. By the way, it is far from a fact that George Kambosos will be his opponent, because when asked about this, Vasily’s manager Egis Klimas said:
“Title not available yet.”
That is, either the fight with Kambosos is not for the IBF belt, or not against George. Against whom – we’ll find out very soon.
This will be followed by the Shakur vs. Lomachenko fight. If Vasily wins, of course. And the fact that Stevenson was completely overwhelmed today does not mean that he will not defeat the Ukrainian boxer. Young, strong, big and precise. Even feeling bad, he easily, although very boringly, outboxed a dangerous opponent. It will be incredibly difficult for Lomachenko.
Getty Images/Global Images Ukraine. Shakur Stevenson and Edwin de Los Santos (right)
On the other hand, Stevenson has never fought anyone like Lomachenko. And is it important. Because it’s one thing to beat boxers or Japanese who are similar in style, and another thing to fight against a Ukrainian. And it’s one thing to do this in sparring, and another thing to do it in a full fight. It will be interesting for sure.
What will happen to De Los Santos? He will return on the undercard of some fight and box well. Nothing has changed in this guy’s life. He left the ring with a minimum of missed punches, but with money in his account. Perfect.
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