Richard Quiñones (Journeymen Boxing) – Shakur Stevenson, the most sought after amateur in the U.S., inked a promotional deal with Top Rank on Thursday. A huge step for the 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, who will make his pro debut in the 126-pound featherweight division. Terms of the multi-year promotional deal were not disclosed, but this is a clear indication that Top Rank remains one of the best when it comes to developing the biggest and brightest starts in boxing.
The 19-year Stevenson, lost a chance at Gold in heart-breaking fashion in Rio de Janeiro over the summer to Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez, who won his second gold medal in a row after earning flyweight gold in 2012.
Stevenson’s raw emotion was on full display after his loss as he ended his remarkable international run with a 23-1 mark, promoting many promoters to quickly rush to try to sign him. He handled himself with class and despite tears flowing down his eyes, was able to genuinely give credit to Ramirez for beating him.
According to Top Rank’s Bob Arum, Stevenson’s professional debut will take place in April and there are rumors that he would like it to take place on the undercard of the junior lightweight title fight between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jason Sosa, which is slated for April 8 at the gorgeous new MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
A native of Newark, NJ., Stevenson is now living and training in Burke, Virginia, and to turn pro on the Lomachenko/Sosa title fight card would be a huge opportunity for him to showcase his talents as a pro.
Footage of Stevenson from the 2015 NJ Golden Gloves semi’s.
It would also make sense that Stevenson get some fights under his belt at the Prudential Center in Newark, where he will be a huge draw.
Top Rank has been very active when it comes to signing Olympic boxers of late, as Stevenson will mark the sixth fighter from the Rio Games in 2016, to ink a deal with the company.
Lightweight gold medalist Robson Conceicao of Brazil, Ireland bantamweight Michael Conlan, American flyweight representative Antonio Vargas, lightweight Teofimo Lopez, and flyweight Jeyvier Cintron, the only two-time Olympic boxer from Puerto Rico all inked promotional contracts. They also signed 16-year-old Gabriel Flores, who was one the top amateurs in the country in 2016.