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Is Stevenson Retiring For Real? Arum Claims Comeback, Doubts Linger

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Promoter Bob Arum says Shakur Stevenson will be continuing his career and expects him to perform much better than he did in his last outing against Edwin De Los Santos.

Shakur still hasn’t confirmed that he’s coming out of retirement, but his Top Rank promoter, Arum, says, “In his next fight, he’ll be terrific.”

This means that Shakur’s retirement wasn’t real, and he was just frustrated, as they say, after discovering that Emanuel Navarrete was planning on fighting for the vacant WBO lightweight title next against Denys Berinchyk.

Earlier this week, the 26-year-old Shakur (21-0, 10 KOs), who holds the WBC 135-lb title, announced his retirement on X, saying he’s done with this “weak boxing game.”

“Well, you know, Shakur had an underwhelming appearance in his last fight. That happens, but we know he had a number of injuries training for the fight,” said Top Rank promoter Bob Arum to the 3 Knockdown Rule, discussing what direction Shakur Stevenson would be going with his career.

Defensive Style: A Roadblock to Stardom?

The reason that Shakur isn’t able to get fighters like Navarrete, Vasily Lomachenko, Frank Martin, and Gervonta Davis to face him isn’t just because of his recent performance against Edwin De Los Santos last November. It’s because he’s overly defensive and retreats all around the ring when attacked.

Shakur is this era’s version of Guillermo Rigondeaux, and he likely will never become a huge star. Stevenson is a poor man’s Rigondeaux.

We saw how the two-time Olympic gold medalist Rigondeaux failed to become a draw; he had far more talent than Shakur, and he was a bigger puncher, too. If you watch Rigondeaux’s fights during his prime, he was a much better fighter than Shakur, and fans didn’t want to watch him in high numbers.

Is Shakur Always Injured?

“People took him to the doctor every other day for ailments that he was undergoing. We think in his next fight, he’ll be terrific, and we’ll see. I think Shakur is a big, big talent, and I don’t think his last fight [against Edwin De Los Santos last November] is indicative of how good he really is and how exciting he is,” said Arum about Stevenson.

The injury excuse Arum is giving doesn’t explain why Shakur always fights in the same way he did against De Los Santos. Has Shakur been injured his entire pro and amateur career?

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