Shakur puts lightweight division on the alert; ‘Bam’ Rodriguez keeps winning, can he be stopped?

Shakur Stevenson mentioned it wasn’t essentially probably the most in rhythm he is been in a combat. Nevertheless it needed to be shut.

If Stevenson, now at light-weight, can proceed to carry out like that on this division, there’s little cause to imagine he will not find yourself holding a belt — or belts — right here, too. The competitors might be difficult, and a combat in opposition to the winner of the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko bout on Might 20 can be an apparent one to make towards the top of the yr with “combat of the yr” potential.

But when Stevenson can discover a approach to proceed so as to add the kind of energy and accuracy he confirmed Saturday in opposition to Shuichiro Yoshino in opposition to Haney or Lomachenko, he might be very powerful to beat. And Stevenson is aware of that. Stevenson, for what it is price, believes Haney will beat Lomachenko.

After which, nicely…

“I feel it will be straightforward work. I feel I will smoke him,” Stevenson mentioned of Haney. “I feel I will shock everyone by smokin’ him, making it an actual straightforward combat. Individuals be like, ‘Rattling, you is who you say you is.'”

After Saturday evening, it is easy to grasp why Stevenson has that degree of confidence at this level in his profession. He is top-of-the-line defensive fighters in boxing. On Saturday, he additionally confirmed his capacity as an offensive fighter. It has been there earlier than. It is there once more now.

And now, at a heavier weight, he is placing himself able to have among the finest fights of his profession — whether or not it is Haney, Lomachenko or another person — over the following 12 months as a result of at age 25, Stevenson stays a rising fighter.

That ought to concern everybody who’s up a weight class — or two — above light-weight. — Michael Rothstein

Can Jesse Rodriguez be stopped?

“Bam” Rodriguez is amongst boxing’s finest younger skills. At 23, he has huge wins on his résumé and is now a two-division champion after beating Cristian Gonzalez on Saturday evening to win the vacant WBO flyweight title.

Rodriguez has set the bar extremely excessive for himself after knocking out Carlos Cuadras and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai final yr. It’s time to recalibrate the expectations for Rodriguez with one thing extra affordable.

The win over Gonzalez and his September 2022 victory over Israel Gonzalez weren’t ones he thought of a few of his higher performances. Towards Cristian Gonzalez, Rodriguez suffered a damaged jaw in the course of the combat on his approach to successful by unanimous determination in 12 rounds.

As soon as Rodriguez gained management, he began to press for an enormous end in entrance of a passionate hometown crowd in San Antonio who needed to see a showcase outing. In the end, that is likely to be what injured Rodriguez, forcing him to go the space and inflicting a possible setback.

Within the postfight interview with DAZN, Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn mentioned IBF flyweight champ Sunny Edwards possible wants an interim combat earlier than dealing with Rodriguez in a unified title combat.

Rodriguez is an unimaginable expertise with many good years forward. How he beat Cuadras and Rungvisai implies that something lower than spectacular will not be amongst his finest.

However at this level in his profession, dominating performances must be greater than sufficient as he continues to make his mark amongst boxing’s subsequent technology of stars. — Ben Child

Jared Anderson must step up in competitors — now!

Anderson confirmed once more why he is top-of-the-line younger heavyweights on the earth — totally dominating George Arias in a three-round demolition in Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday evening. After the combat, Anderson mentioned he desires to face the highest heavyweights, and he is “not ducking” and “not operating.”

Nor ought to he.

At age 23, Anderson is the way forward for the heavyweight division. In a division the place he and Daniel Dubois are the 2 primary fighters underneath age 26 (Dubois is 25), there are a lot of choices. An intriguing subsequent step for Anderson can be a fighter like Otto Wallin (whose solely loss got here to Tyson Fury) or Efe Ajagba. Jermaine Franklin has misplaced his previous two fights, however they have been to Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua — so it could possibly be a great litmus check combat. And what a couple of declining Joshua?

Prime Rank has finished a great job of constructing Anderson and there nonetheless is time — a variety of time — to construct his profession. However it is time to give him a real check. Arias wasn’t that. Not shut. Anderson knew it, primarily being targeted and taking his time within the early rounds earlier than ready for the flurry to be unleashed.

When it occurred, Arias was finished in a matter of moments, and it is now time to see extra of what Anderson can do. — Michael Rothstein

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