USA’s gold-medal boxing hope: a Newark kid named after Tupac


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It has been 12 years since anyone from the US Olympic men’s boxing team won a gold medal. Shakur Stevenson hopes to end that drought next month in Rio de Janeiro.

“It’s very important for me to be the first person to win a gold medal since 2004,” Shakur told The Post during a recent interview from Rio. “I’m hyped about it because I know how much I’ve prepared for this and I know I have the mentality to do it. I can’t wait until I’ve actually done it and I’m on the podium with a gold medal around my neck.”

If Stevenson’s dream comes true, he’ll be the first American male to win a boxing gold medal since Andre Ward captured gold in the light heavyweight division at the Athens Games in 2004. There hasn’t been much to brag about since then, with the only men’s medal coming when current WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder earned a bronze at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Stevenson, a 19-year-old bantamweight out of Newark, has a chance to become an Olympic hero the way Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya did. He has an ear-to-ear smile, an engaging personality, fast fists, an unbeaten record in international competition and the kind of background that warms hearts.

Rio is a long way from the housing projects in Newark, where Stevenson grew up as the oldest of nine children. His mother, Malikah Stevenson, named him after the famed rapper Tupac Shakur, who had been murdered in Las Vegas nearly a year before her son’s birth. Shakur Stevenson was 5 years old when his grandfather started taking him to the gym in Newark where Wali Moses kept youngsters off the street by teaching them how to box. It was love at first punch.

“Once I went in and saw all the people in the gym training and saw the sparring, it looked like fun,” Stevenson said. “I wanted to give it a try. Boxing kept me in a safe place because Newark was rough sometimes. There were nine of us sleeping in one room. It definitely wasn’t easy.”

After one of Stevenson’s cousins was fatally shot in Newark, his mother decided her 16-year-old son should move in with family in Hampton, Va.

“I was getting in a lot of trouble back home,” Stevenson said. “I got kicked out of one school, and then my cousin died. It was getting hectic. My mother felt like it was the best move for me to go to Hampton. It was a way better environment.”

Before long, his coach, Kay Koroma, who was based in Alexandria, Va., convinced Shakur’s mother to let her son move in with him. Since then, Stevenson has flourished as an amateur. He is the first US male boxer to win both the junior and youth world championships and a 2014 Youth Olympic Games gold medal. He arrives in Rio with a 23-0 record in international competition with his only setbacks being two losses to American countryman Ruben Villa in 2015.

In response, Stevenson put a picture of Villa celebrating his victory on his cell phone and waited for a chance to avenge the loss. It came at the Olympic Trials last December, where Stevenson defeated Villa to earn a spot on the US Olympic team.

“I hate losing,” Stevenson said. “When I trained for the Olympic Trials, I threw away the fact I was fighting for the Olympics. I just focused on going there to beat him. I wanted to get that back so bad, which I did.”

Stevenson is 5-foot-8 and will compete at 123 pounds. His first bout in the Olympics isn’t until Aug. 10. He will have been in Rio for almost three weeks by then.

“I would rather just get into it because my patience isn’t that good,” he said. “But I guess it is what it is, so I’ve got to deal with it. I’ll keep training and watching my weight.”

A gifted southpaw who is naturally right-handed, Stevenson has a peppery jab and a quick counterpunch. He stays busy, firing hooks and combinations to the head and body, a style that works well in the amateur ranks. He has been compared to a young Floyd Mayweather, and has gotten advice from Ward and former Olympian and unbeaten welterweight contender Errol Spence. He also got an encouraging shout-out from junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford after his pay-per-view victory over Viktor Postol on Saturday.

“It means a lot to know all these great fighters are behind me,” Stevenson said.

There is a new tattoo on the back of Stevenson’s right shoulder that reads: Rio 2016 over the Olympic rings. There’s more he wants to add.

“I still have some work to do,” he said. “I’m going to edit it some once I win the gold.”

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who the fuck watches ammy's anymore anyway?


watching them is like watching paint dry...or rigondeaux, lara, and bricky's favorite calderon.

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I watch always looking for next guy from any country

with the changes in qualifying we arent even sending full squad  US only sending 8 fighters  not the usual 12  

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/29/2016 at 7:37 AM, blackrican23 said:

When my lil homie gets it done  I will be serving crow with a side of asparagus to you chaps


marinating crow today bad_2.gif

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It's all good B, I'm on your side now, he did well from what I read I have not seen the fight as of yet. But he was up against a Cuban and as we know those Cuban's go from the womb to the ring.

He will do well as a pro and especially if he is with TMT.

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Was a good fight G , think he fatigued  a bit in last round it was all on the table , the cuban imo sealed it with a final punch combo last 30 secs . Very proud of my homie but i am more proud to be American, we showed very well in these games  *inserts usa flag emoji* 

as far as him turning pro tmt money is nice but lets hope tmt can develop him which tbh they havent shown they can , jessie vargas had been the best they had till i guess badou jack now . Shakur has been training with the best along time now hope he can reach world champion levels but still nothing beats being a Gold medalist . Rumors of a parade in Brick city plan on being there if so   

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  • 3 months later...



I guess he did not want anything to do with TMT :? 


Shakur Stevenson was wined and dined by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Rio at the Olympic Games this summer, leading to speculation he would sign with the recently retired fighter.

That could still happen. However, Tuesday’s news suggested he may go in a different direction. Stevenson, who captured silver in Rio, announced he has signed a managerial deal with James Prince, attorney Josh Dubin and light heavyweight champion Andre Ward, whom he is close with. While Ward is signed with Roc Nation Sports and is guided in his career by Dubin and Prince, a spokesperson for Stevenson said he has yet to sign with a promoter or plan a date for when he intends to turn pro in 2017. He expects to campaign as a featherweight.

“I know I have a great team behind me with J. Prince as the head of it, working with Josh Dubin and Andre Ward,” Stevenson said in a prepared statement. He is the most accomplished U.S. male boxer since Ward won gold in 2004. “I know that these guys can get me where I want to be and I feel very comfortable with them behind me,” he went on. “I’m so focused and I promise to put 110 percent into making sure we become great as a team and I plan on becoming one of the best boxers on the planet — which is my main goal. Now, it’s on me to prove to the world that I can be just as great as the legends before me and trust me, I’m up to the task!”

Dubin is a longtime boxing attorney, who has worked with the likes of Paulie Malignaggi, Lennox Lewis, Bryant Jennings, and Kermit Cintron, among others. He is a frequent collaborator with Prince, a Houston rap mogul who once guided Mayweather Jr. Stevenson has spoken of turning pro in early 2017 and of fighting in his home city of Newark, New Jersey at the Prudential Center. Stevenson has been courted by many of the sport’s biggest promoters, such as Golden Boy, Top Rank, Roc Nation Sports and Mayweather Promotions.

“It is an honor and a privilege to represent this young man,” Prince said in a statement. “Andre, Josh and I know we have the next superstar in the sport. Shakur is not only a gifted fighter, but someone that has the ability to be an icon. Our first goal is to sign him with the right promoter.  Then, we will be with him every step of the journey toward greatness.”

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  • 3 months later...
On 12/7/2016 at 7:53 PM, JoshB said:

I trust Floyd to do great when he's in the ring fighting, but running a succesfull promotional company is different.

Do they have any top tier fighters? Do the have any big names?

I think he will do an amazing job. I just hope heart is part of his company when it comes to dealing with hopefuls... No everyone will be the GOAT but they can still be the best they can be!

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