Shakur Stevenson has been racing around Sin City in recent days promoting his Nov. 16 vacant WBC lightweight title fight against Edwin De Los Santos at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The Thursday night fight on ESPN is set to take place on the same day as the beginning of the highly-anticipated Formula 1 race, and Stevenson has been front and center during the Nov. 5 NFL game between the Raiders and Giants and the Nov. 8 NHL game between the Golden Knights and Kings bringing attention to his bout.
Fresh off a new shoe deal with Reebok, the southpaw slugger Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) is promising to kick his performance into second gear in order to stop the surging De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KOs).
“I hope the fans come out and full support. I just hope it’s a good outcome with the fans and everybody is paying attention to me because I plan on putting on a great show,” Stevenson said in an interview with Ben Thompson of FightHype.com.
“I don’t know how the fight is going to go. I think I’m going to surprise a lot of people. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole career. On fight night, I’ll be doing what I’ve been consistently doing, and that’s been dominating.
“That’s what I look to do every fight. I look to dominate. I don’t look for close fights. So I’m coming to surprise everybody.”
The two-division champion and 2016 Olympics silver medalist Stevenson looked dominant during his lightweight debut against Shuichiro Yoshino in April, scoring a sixth-round stoppage win in a homecoming fight in Newark, New Jersey.
The 24-year-old Dominican De Los Santos has looked dominant as well at times since suffering his only professional loss to William Foster III in January 2022, stringing three straight wins against the credible trio of Luis Acosta, Jose Valenzuela, and Joseph Adorno.
Foster recently opined that De Los Santos has a legit shot at shocking Stevenson to score the upset win.
The 26-year-old Stevenson doesn’t sound too concerned, however.
“Edwin De Los Santos is someone who has been calling my name. He’s been pulling a ‘me on me.’ I respect it, but now I have to answer the phone call. He called me out and went to my city and made a video. He kind of said my name in it, and he was calling me out. I don’t take it personally. I’m just ready to beat him up for it,” said Stevenson.
“I’m going in there to be myself. I’m not worried about anything else.
“All that matters is I please myself. At the end of the night, I want to look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘Okay, that was a great performance.’ I can’t control what others do and the higher powers. I can only control myself. I’m showing up on fight night 100 percent ready.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.