Shakur Stevenson knocks out Robson Conceicao en route to decision win in junior lightweight final

Shakur Stevenson may have lost his WBO and WBC junior lightweight titles on the scales when he missed weight for his fight with Robson Conceicao, but he dominated the action in the ring. in front of his hometown.

Stevenson was forced to vacate the titles after failing to make weight on Thursday and immediately made it clear he would be moving up to lightweight. Having perhaps lost a few points with the boxing public for his botched cut, Stevenson made sure to turn in a gem of a show as he outboxed Conceicao with nearly 140 total punches.

Stevenson was more aggressive early than in some previous fights, which caused him to be labeled a “boring fighter” by some. Conceição’s style played to Stevenson’s liking, as the former Olympic gold medalist landed wild right hands that allowed Stevenson to easily avoid eating clean punches while landing counters.

Stevenson, one of the most masterful defensive fighters in the sport, made adjustments as the rounds went by, seeing Conceicao’s lack of effectiveness and high guard as an opportunity to dig in with left hands from his southpaw stance . That body work paid off in a big way in the final seconds of the fourth round as he scored a late knockdown.

The body shots would continue to come from Stevenson until Conceição’s guard dropped enough to open up more clean shots to the head, which Stevenson luckily took advantage of.

In the 9th round, Stevenson was deducted a point for knocking Conceição to the ground during an awkward clinch. The moment was a reaction to Stevenson’s only frustration in the fight, as he often complained about Conceicao’s harsh tactics in the clinch. He would drop Conceicao to the canvas again in the 10th round, but he didn’t lose a point for the offense the second time.

Round after round played out the same, with Conceicao unable to find Stevenson as Stevenson built up a dramatic advantage in punches landed, all leading to big scorecards of 117-109, 117-109 and 118-108 at the end of 12 rounds. Stevenson landed a total of 199 punches — 75 to the body — to just 60 total for Conceição.

After the fight, Stevenson addressed what’s next in his career as he moves up to join a deep and dangerous lightweight division.

“We have to fight the champion. Set it up,” Haney said. “Me and [undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney], we can lock it after he fights with Camposo. Let’s get it. I will [fight] Lomachenko too.”

For Conceicao, this was his second chance to win a world title, having previously lost to Oscar Valdez in a bid for the WBC junior lightweight crown. He could have accepted the full purse of the fight and walked away when Stevenson missed weight and probably would have ended up with a WBC title fight that Hanney was forced to vacate.

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