After missing weight (and incidentally forfeiting the super featherweight WBC & WBO belts last September), undefeated Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) returns to the ring as a lightweight. Welcoming Stevenson to the division will be a fellow undefeated: Japan’s Shuichiro Yoshino (16-0, 12 KOs). The two lightweights are set to headline an eight-fight card on Saturday, April 8, at the Prudential Center in Stevenson’s hometown of Newark, New Jersey.
For round-by-round updates, check back here on Saturday night.
Stevenson has had a brilliant career thus far, but he is still looking to head full steam into this next chapter. The lone blemish on his fighting resume is not even a loss, but the fact that he came in too heavy against Robson Conceicao his last time out. Since being stripped of his belts, Stevenson has only increased the chip on his shoulder. With masterful ring command and slick defense, Stevenson is a problem for anyone in the lightweight division.
Yoshino is entering his first fight outside of his home country. With that, he also has the daunting task of going into Stevenson’s backyard: Brick City aka Newark, New Jersey. Still, Yoshino is a respectable boxer with devasting punching power for a lightweight. He has won his past three fights via knockout, stopping his opponents in 75 percent of his professional matches. With that said, Yoshino will have his work cut out for him trying to square up Stevenson.
Shakur Stevenson comes into the bout as the favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. He is a -1600 favorite while Shuichiro Yoshino is an 8/1 underdog.
Shakur Stevenson vs. Shuichiro Yoshino round-by-round results
Round 1: Stevenson 10-9
Quick pace here to begin, each fighter trying jabs and dodges to test each others guard. Stevenson with a nice left hook followed by a sweet right hand. Yoshino slowing his pace down here, looks a little overwhelmed by the stronger Stevenson. Before the ref separates the two during a late tie up, Yoshino lifts his left foot MMA style.
Round 2: Stevenson 10-8 (Stevenson 20-17)
Stevenson presses forward and down goes Yoshino, however, the ref promptly rules it not a knockdown. Yoshino starting this round more aggressive but not landing much. Straight left hand from Shakur and this time Yoshino hits the deck hard! He gets back up, Stevenson proceeds to pour it on here, more lefts and rights, Yoshino getting a nice warm welcome to Newark tonight, this is getting ugly.
Round 3: Stevenson 10-9 (Stevenson 30-26)
The counter speed of Stevenson has been incredible so far, Yoshino firing off and Stevenson capitalizing with plenty of punches in return. Right hand from Stevenson connects, now another to the body, Yoshino getting worked. Another left hand upstairs for Shakur and the hometown kid can smell a stoppage. Stevenson up big time.
Round 4: Stevenson 10-8 (Stevenson 40-34)
The counter left hand of Shakur Stevenson flat out killing Yoshino every time. Yoshino’s punches not enough zip behind them, Stevenson surgically picking him apart. Left hand to the body connects for Stevenson. Another counter left and the sweat from Yoshino’s head flies. One-two floors Yoshino again, this time he has the look of defeat. He gets back up and Stevenson gives him another left, Yoshino’s corner has a decision to make here.
Round 5: Stevenson 10-9 (Stevenson 50-43)
Stevenson picks up where he left off, tough right hand to the grill of Yoshino. Left, right from Stevenson and Yoshino is seeing ghosts just not responding enough. Right hand after left and Yoshino is just trying his hardest. Stevenson all the way.
Round 6: Stevenson wins by TKO
Stevenson and this counter left has controlled the fight, Yoshino failing to make any adjustments getting hit by it each time. Another counter left from Stevenson and the ref has decided like us at home, this is enough. TKO win for Shakur Stevenson in dominating fashion and he gets his first win at 135 pounds!