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Shakur Stevenson: “I’m ready to fight”

Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank via .

LAS VEGAS (June 10, 2021) – Shakur Stevenson doesn’t know much about his opponent this Saturday, Namibian puncher Jeremiah Nakathila, but don’t expect him to take his foot off the gas. Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs), a former WBO Featherweight World Champion, will battle Nakathila (21-1, 17 KOs) for the vacant WBO Interim Junior Lightweight World Title at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. This will be Stevenson’s third fight at 130 pounds, and a big step toward a possible showdown with WBO junior lightweight world champion Jamel Herring or WBC monarch Oscar Valdez. Nakathila has won 10 fights in a row, all by knockout, since the only loss of his career.

Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank via .

In the 10-round junior welterweight co-feature, former two-division world champion José “Sniper” Pedraza (28-3, 13 KOs) will fight Julian “Hammer Hands” Rodríguez (21-0, 14 KOs). ). The winner will be in line for a potential world title shot.

This is what the fighters and legendary promoter Bob Arum had to say, two days before the fight:

Bob arum

“A year ago, when ‘La Burbuja’ started, do you know who the first main event was? It was Shakur Stevenson. And now, thank goodness, the bubble is behind us. Shakur will be the first main event we’ve held here in Nevada at {100% capacity}. I am very happy that I was able to do it. Shakur knows that as his work increases, the fights get harder and the opponents will be looking to take him down. Many experts say that for years to come he will be the face of boxing. We’ll see how he does it against a tremendous puncher that he will face on Saturday. Every fight at this level is a tough fight. No one at this level will be a walk in the park. “

Shakur stevenson

“It feels good knowing that Bob thinks I’ll be the next superstar in the sport, and I have to live up to the hype.”

“I feel like, when I’m at my best, it doesn’t matter who the opponent is. It has been like this my whole career, since I was a fan. You don’t know who you are going to fight in the fans. You come and you just have to fight with whoever it is ”.

“At the end of the day, I hear the praise, but you can’t get too excited. You have to complete the task. I try to stay in the middle. I try to ignore everything I hear. I try to make sure I do what I am supposed to do. My preparation was good. My weight is fine. I am ready to fight on Saturday ”.

Jeremiah Nakathila

“First of all, I would like to thank Top Rank for the opportunity. I come here to win it all. I had never prepared myself for a fight like this. I’ll prove it on Saturday ”.

“Those who underestimate me will be shocked Saturday night.”

“I know I can knock out anyone in this 130-pound division. I can destroy anyone at 130 pounds. They’ll see it on Saturday night. I’m going to destroy Shakur. “

Jose Pedraza

Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank via .

“Julian is a great fighter. Has a lot of power. He is a young and strong fighter. But I have the experience and I am well prepared for Saturday ”.

“It would mean a lot to join all the greats of Puerto Rican boxing who have won world titles in three weight classes.”

“After the loss to Zepeda, I focused a lot more on the training and the training styles that I am going to show on Saturday, everything that I have been working on.”

Julian Rodriguez

“It is a pleasure to be here once again. I am thankful to have fought twice during the pandemic here, thanks to Bob Arum and Top Rank. It’s just another fight for me. It is a great step forward. I had a tremendous camp. All went well. Without any injuries. I’m ready for Saturday ”.

“I had a lot of good sparring partners throughout camp. In Las Vegas I sparred Yordenis Ugas, a 147 who is quite big. I trained with Ismael Salas and all those Cuban Olympians, a lot of left-handers. I have had hundreds of fights in my life. I’ve been fighting since I was 7 years old, so I doubt I will come out with a style that I haven’t seen before. And if it does, I’ll be ready for it. “

“There were some setbacks with the injury I had a few years ago, but I think I’m at that higher level. Many people who were in my class growing up, the same age group, are world champions now. I feel like that’s where I belong, and that’s what I’m going to show on Saturday. “

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