The pride of Newark, New Jersey, Shakur Stevenson, is wasting no time returning to action. It was announced today that the silver medalist will have his second pro fight on the undercard of Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz on May 20th.
“It’s been a long time since I fought so close to home and I can’t wait to perform in front of my friends and family," said Stevenson via press release. “My city has always supported me and I know that Newark is going to come out on May 20. There have been so many huge fights at Madison Square Garden and I’m excited to fight in the Big Room where so many greats have fought before.”
Stevenson, made his pro debut, on April 22, defeating Edgar Brito via a six-round featherweight technical decision. The fight was stopped just after the beginning of the sixth round with the ringside doctor ruling that Brito was cut too badly from an earlier clash of heads to continue. Stevenson won every round on every judge's scorecard.
The fight was featured on a world championship tripleheader pay-per-view telecast at StubHub Center in Carson, California where Oscar Valdez successfully defended his WBO featherweight belt against Miguel Marriaga.
“I’m training out in Colorado with Terence Crawford and I’m happy I get to fight on his card in such a historic arena,” Stevenson continued. “My pro debut was great, I had two Olympic gold medalists walk me out and my hero Andre Ward ringside yelling instructions to me. My opponent was tough and tried to make it dirty but I learned a lot and am going to put that knowledge to good use on May 20 in my first east coast professional fight.”
In last year's Summer Games, Stevenson sailed though every stage of his Olympic competition in Rio De Janeiro before losing a close split decision in the bantamweight championship fight to 2012 flyweight Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba. Ramirez swept the judges' scorecards in round one with Stevenson returning the favor in round two.
In the third and final round, the closest of the three, two of the three judges gave the round to Ramirez and the gold medal, by the slimmest of margins. It was the best finish for an American male boxer since Andre Ward captured the gold medal in the Athens Games of 2004.
The oldest of nine children, Stevenson, who is named for the late rap star Tupac Shakur, was introduced to boxing by his grandfather at age 5. Now based in northern Virginia, Stevenson is trained by Moses and Kay Koroma.
The only boxer to make Forbes "30 Under 30" in its sports category, Stevenson was selected by a panel of judges comprised of NBA star James Harden, Nike Chairman Phil Knight and Casey Wasserman, Chairman and CEO of the Wasserman Group.