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The next young and bright boxing superstar has arrived.

With only 13 fights into his professional boxing career, Shakur Stevenson is a world champion, defeating Joet Gonzalez to win the vacant WBO featherweight championship.


The two men did not like each other heading into the fight, largely a product of Stevenson dating Gonzalez’s younger sister. But rather than an animosity-fueled contest, Gonzalez had to resort to attempting to chase down the slicker and more technical Stevenson from the opening bell. Stevenson slipped, bobbed and weaved while using his footwork to slide out of range and tag Gonzalez throughout the fight, popping the underdog with simple combinations seemingly at will.

Stevenson’s speed helped give him an early edge in the fight, as Gonzalez had trouble finding the mark in the opening rounds. Every time Gonzalez would go in to attack Stevenson’s body, the Newark-born fighter would move back and force Gonzalez to reset.

Stevenson was simply too fast for Gonzalez, who wasn’t able to get much offense going. In the end, Stevenson won by scores of 119-109 on all three cards.

“This is a great feeling. One of the best feelings of my life,” said Stevenson. “I have a lot of respect for Joet (his girlfriend’s brother). He is a great fighter. I have nothing against him. If he decides to be cool with me, I’ll be cool with him.”

Stevenson already knows what he wants the next challenge in his career to be.

“Josh Warrington! You are a champion, now I am a champion. Let’s do this! I want to unify titles.”

Stevenson became the first male Olympian from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games to become a world champion.