IN a 10-round super-featherweight bout inside Top Rank’s Bubble at the MGM Grand, Shakur Stevenson utterly dominated Toka Kahn Clary, posting a shutout unanimous decision (100-90 three times) over his fellow southpaw.
After becoming the WBO featherweight champion in October 2019, the coronavirus pandemic, and subsequent sporting shutdown, resulted in the cancellation of Stevenson’s scheduled first defence, which had been set for March this year. When boxing resumed in June, albeit behind closed doors, Stevenson shed some rust by knocking out the overmatched Felix Caraballo up at super-feather. The following month, the 23-year-old decided to vacate his 126lb title in order to become a fully fledged 130-pounder.
Clary came into the contest on the back of three straight wins, but the tough Rhode Islander was no match for the unbeaten Stevenson. Not only did the New Jersey native avoid the vast majority of what Clary threw at him, he also peppered the 28-year-old with sharp jabs, spiteful body shots and rapid-fire combinations. It was a near-flawless performance from one of boxing’s hottest young properties.
After the fight, Stevenson declared that he wants to challenge for the WBO belt next, which is currently held by Jamel Herring, who is due to defend against Carl Frampton in early 2021. The 2016 Olympic silver medallist also stated that WBC titlist Miguel Berchelt is another fighter on his hit list.
On the undercard in Las Vegas, Japan’s long and lean Masayoshi Nakatani scored a thrilling upset victory over Puerto Rico’s 2012 Olympian Felix Verdejo. Nakatani was floored in the first and fourth rounds, but he bounced back to record two knockdowns of his own in the ninth, leading the referee to halt proceedings at 1-45. It had been slated for 10 at lightweight.