One of boxing’s young prominent stars returns to the ring this Friday, as Shakur Stevenson closes out his time in the junior lightweight division against Robson Conceição. The event will take place at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey with the main card getting underway at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+.
This fight turned on its ear a bit at Thursday’s weigh-in. Stevenson came into the 130 pound bout weighing 131.6 pounds. He was given two hours to cut weight, but instead chose to vacate his titles. The fight is still happening, but only Conceição can win the belts. Stevenson has decided to move up to the 135 pound lightweight division for his next fight, and thus would vacate the belts even if he had made weight.
Stevenson comes into the bout off a dominating performance versus Oscar Valdez in which he captured the WBC and Ring Magazine titles by unanimous decision. The 25-year-old Newark native is entering what many consider his prime and will look to close out his time in the 130 pound division with another dominant win.
Conceição (17-1, 8 KOs) is no stranger to world title fights and gets his second opportunity to steal one. His lone loss, came from Oscar Valdez back in September 2021, Conceição failing to capture the WBC super featherweight title losing by unanimous decision.
Shakur Stevenson comes into the bout as the favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. He is a -1300 favorite while Robson Conceicao is a +750 underdog.
Update 11:30 p.m. ET Both fighters are on their way to the ring, and we’re about to be underway in Newark!
Update 12:30 a.m. ET Shakur Stevenson wins by unanimous decision (117-109, 117-109, 118-108)
Shakur Stevenson vs. Robson Conceicao round-by-round results
Round 1: 10-9 Conceicao
While a left hook from Stevenson might have been the best punch, Conceicao made the most of his offense even though they weren’t exactly much with damage.
Round 2: 10-9 Stevenson
The southpaw Stevenson is just not getting touched despite more punches being thrown by the challenger. The two best lands from the round were lefts from the Newark kid, and he evens the fight.
Round 3: 10-9 Stevenson
Tough round to score as both fighters made unusual adjustments. But Stevenson is just landing more even if not with tremendous power.
Round 4: 10-8 Stevenson
As Conceicao kneels on the canvas just before the bell, he stands up immediately and is counted to eight. The best round from Stevenson so far, who looks more powerful than he has in previous bouts yet still showing plenty of quickness.
Round 5: 10-9 Stevenson
More body shots with power by the newly-stripped champion, who is clearly the better fighter so far. Conceicao seems to know his only path forward is a magic punch, and he’s taking even more awkward angles and lines to try and find it. 30-3 on body punches for Stevenson so far.
Round 6: 10-9 Stevenson
Just as soon as Conceicao starts to show some offense, all the body shots from Stevenson start to force the challenger to defend low, and then the lefts to the head start coming. The best punch of the fight was a straight left with about :20 left in the round from Stevenson.
Round 7: 10-9 Stevenson
Another clinic, as you can see the punches starting to take their toll on the Brazilian. He’s starting to drop his hands, and everything he throws is a mile wide or not close. Stevenson seems like he can end this before the 12th with just the right opening.
Round 8: 10-9 Stevenson
Conceicao is just awkwardly flailing and wrestling at times, though he’s found a path to the head on a couple occasions. But the power and ring generalship goes to Shakur, who is being wrestled and attacked very wide, but not truly being threatened.
Round 9: 9-9 Stevenson
A perfectly-executed hip toss that would have made Arn Anderson proud got referee David Fields to deduct a point from the local kid. It was so unnecessary the ref even said “you don’t have to do that!” immediately afterwards. That’s how much Stevenson is winning by here, as it feels like it’s just a matter of if or when Stevenson will get the KO.
Round 10: 10-9 Stevenson
More of the same, but a bit less action as both fighters slow down. Stevenson threw Conceicao to the canvas again on a break, but this was less egregious and Fields didn’t give another point deduction.
Round 11: 10-9 Stevenson
Some great lefts from Stevenson, who has his man looking to survive more than thrive. The punches are clearly adding up, but will Stevenson be able to finish him in the final round is the only question. A boxing clinic in the 11th.
Round 12: 10-9 Stevenson
More of the same, and while Stevenson couldn’t finish it early, he leaves the junior lightweight division with another victory. He’s now 19-0 with 8 KO’s in his career, and he’ll now attempt to challenge for the belts at 135 lbs.
Final card: Stevenson wins 118-108