Shakur Stevenson is now a world champion after just 13 fights in the paid ranks.
Stevenson easily outboxed Joet Gonzalez in a matchup of two of the sport's brightest up-and-coming stars with a dominant 12-round performance to capture the vacant WBO featherweight title. Stevenson won the title with all three scorecards being 119-109 in favor of Stevenson.
The first half of the fight was all Stevenson. Thanks to his speed and ability to take multiple steps back whenever Gonzalez moved forward, Stevenson was able to outclass Gonzalez and barely got hit with anything in the first six rounds. Gonzalez started to eventually find some success in the second half of the fight by cornering Stevenson and attacking the body, but any moments that Gonzalez had where he was the better fighter were very few and far in between.
Gonzalez tried to bully Stevenson but for all the power and ability to punish his opponents’ bodies that he had, it didn’t do anything good if he wasn’t able to land anything on the 2016 Olympic silver medalist.
But now Stevenson has set his sights on a potential matchup against IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington. A fight against Warrington has been one that Stevenson has asked for throughout the year, even before a bout against Christopher Diaz at Madison Square Garden this past April. Now that Stevenson can call himself a world titleholder at 126 pounds, a matchup between the two champions is suddenly much more attractive now.
The title fight between Stevenson and Gonzalez came together as a result of Oscar Valdez vacating his belt so he could move up in weight. Originally, Valdez was ordered by the WBO to fight Stevenson, but Valdez elected to jumpstart his campaign to being a multi-divisional champion, leaving the sanctioning body no choice but to order Stevenson to fight Gonzalez, the next highest-ranked available contender at 126 pounds.
The opening bout of the main card on ESPN+ saw rising bantamweight contender Joshua Greer Jr. narrowly escape with his lengthy win streak and title aspirations intact with a 10-round decision win against Antonio Nieves. The fight was competitive and Nieves found opportunities to stagger and hurt Greer, even dropping him in the final round to make it a close bout on the scorecards. Greer ended up winning the fight by unanimous decision with scores of 95-94, 95-94 and 96-93.
In a fight that was marketed as a “special attraction,” women’s super featherweight contender Mikaela Mayer had another dominant performance, winning her 12th pro fight. Mayer beat Alejandra Zamora to retain her NABF title after Zamora’s corner stopped the fight after the sixth round. Mayer is now 12-0 as a pro and will target a world title fight for 2020.
Below are the full results of the October 26 Top Rank on ESPN+ card from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada:
- Shakur Stevenson defeated Joet Gonzalez by unanimous decision (119-109, 119-109, 119-109) to win the WBO featherweight world title
- Mikaela Mayer defeated Alejandra Zamora by TKO, round 6 to retain the NABF Female super featherweight title
- Joshua Greer Jr. defeated Antonio Nieves by unanimous decision (95-94, 95-94, 96-93) to retain the WBC Continental Americas and WBO NABO bantamweight titles
- Xander Zayas defeated Genesis Wynn by TKO, round 1
- Albert Bell defeated Frank De Alba by unanimous decision (80-72, 80-72, 80-72)
- Mike Sanchez defeated Diego Elizondo by unanimous decision (39-36, 38-37, 38-37)
- Francisco Esparaza Jr. defeated Matt Conway by split decision (76-75, 75-76, 76-75)
- JJ Mariano defeated Sean Cerveny by unanimous decision (40-36, 40-36, 40-36)
- Andy Vences defeated Mark Bernaldez by unanimous decision (79-73, 79-73, 79-73)
- Jason Sanchez defeated Adeilson Dos Santos by TKO, round 4
- Jared Anderson defeated Daniel Infante by KO, round 1