Shakur Stevenson vs. Robson Conceicao Aftermath: Time to Move North

This weekend Shakur Stevenson dominated Robson Conceicao in his final match at super featherweight. Drama ensued as Shakur missed weight by a pound and a half which led to him being stripped of his WBC and WBO titles he won against Jamel Herring and Oscar Valdez. Due to this, Conceicao was the only fighter able to win the titles. Now Shakur Stevenson is headed north and there are some lucrative fights ahead for him which we can talk about. Let’s dive into the fight with this week’s Aftermath segment!

Shakur Stevenson still growing

The fight was quite impressive and was a beautiful showing of the impregnable defense of Shakur Stevenson. Stevenson held Conceicao to a mind boggling 60 of 483 in the punches landed stat. That brings Conceicao in around 12% of his punches landed. Stevenson showed that, once again, his defense is among the elite. He showed a great aptitude of the range, just how much to move his head on the slip, and dropping his elbow to protect the body. All night, Conceicao threw wild punches and Stevenson would parry away the shots from the Brazilian contender.

With Stevenson putting on such a clinic, I want to take a look at two specific sequences in rounds 3 and 5. Stevenson is not only great as a defensive fighter and incredibly hard to hit, but he’s also creative and smart as a southpaw. He’s always worked the outside foot well as we’ve seen in his past fights. Today we will take a look at just that.

Shakur Stevenson pivot
[Figure 1] Shakur Stevenson using the pivot to open up a body shot on Robson Conceicao
In Figure 1 above we take a look at the pivot in round three from Stevenson. In a southpaw versus orthodox matchup (Stevenson is southpaw, Conceicao is orthodox) the two fighters are toe to toe and it opens up the option to have the outside foot advantage. In the first frame (1) Stevenson will do just that. He will step on the outside of Conceicao’s lead foot which opens up options for Shakur, specifically the angle. With Stevenson stepping into range, (2) Conceicao will throw out a jab to keep Stevenson at range where he can land a big shot. But Stevenson shows more of that great defense and parries down that jab. You’ll also notice in the frame that Stevenson has stepped to the outside as mentioned earlier in frame 1.

With Conceicao having thrown the jab, Stevenson knows that the next punch comes from the right when fighting Conceicao, who is looking for that power shot. (3A) Knowing this, Stevenson has both of his hands in the lane to disrupt the power punch of Conceicao should it come. (3B) To create the angle and open up a power shot of his own, Stevenson will pivot his rear foot out to his right to open up the aforementioned angle.

(4) In the next frame, Shakur Stevenson is now in an advantageous position. Conceicao hasn’t moved and is facing where Stevenson was and not where he is. He is not in a position to throw any meaningful offense and properly defend power shots from Shakur Stevenson. Stevenson has also set up the power blow with his left hand. (5) With the angle, Stevenson lands a huge left to the body, a blow that just zaps the cardio out of an opponent.

Shakur Stevenson Pivot
[Figure 2} Shakur Stevenson pivoting for another body blow
In Figure 2, we look at a similar sequence from the first. Here we come in (1) with Stevenson already having grabbed the outside foot advantage, setting up the pivot. With Conceicao’s guard high, Stevenson looks to split the guard with a big left hook. Conceicao, luckily, blocks it. But Stevenson is not finished. (2) To set up his next set of attacks Stevenson will, once again, pivot his left foot to his right to open up the angle.

(3) Once again, Conceicao does not follow the pivot of Shakur Stevenson. This angle provides a good look at how much Stevenson has pivoted out. He’s gone around with his foot about 45 degrees. With Concecao not facing Stevenson, the former champion loads up his lead hook this time, instead of his power shot. (4) In the final frame, Stevenson lands the lead hook to the midsection, pounding away the cardio of Robson Conceicao.

Stevenson’s footwork is the best out of anyone in the 130 pound division. But there are some boogey men in the lightweight division that will really test the maturity of Shakur Stevenson…

The Destination North: Devin Haney, Vasyl Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis

Now heading up to 135, there are massive names for Shakur Stevenson. Perhaps the most exciting is a matchup with Devin Haney, who owns four of the belts. Haney is a very young but very disciplined boxer. Against Conceicao, we saw Shakur get frustrated with his opposition holding and he did some goofy things that saw him deducted a point. With Conceicao being a bit bigger, it will be interesting to see if the bigger fighters like Haney will be able to frustrate Stevenson. Haney also has a fantastic jab and has been a problem for George Kambosos Jr., Jojo Diaz, Yuriorkis Gamboa and loads more. He’s sound with his footwork and won’t just let Stevenson pivot out. This fight will be two young men who are hall of fame bound fighting in one of the more technical fights in the division. That is the second most technical…

Vasyl Lomachenko is my dream fight for Stevenson and that fight could happen sooner rather than later. Loma fights on October 29th at MSG against Jamaine Ortiz. This gives Stevenson some time to find a tune up fight at 135 before jumping in the deep end in 2023. Lomachenko captured a World Title at only 3-0 and we all know his 400+ fight amateur fight career. Lomachenko will be the first fighter to be faster and more technical than Shakur Stevenson. But that doesn’t mean Stevenson can’t win. It’s a high level fight and one the fans will be treated to sooner rather than later.

Then there’s Gervonta Davis, the heavy hitter who has incredibly fast hands. Tank hits like…well he hits like a tank. This fight, however, will be harder to make. Davis is notoriously protected by TMT, Floyd Mayweather’s promotion. Shakur Stevenson presents a specific threat to Davis and could be held away until he has a belt that Davis and his team want.

These men will test Stevenson like no other and will make him dig down deep. They are all battle tested, as is Stevenson. But the high level experience of fighters like Diaz, Kambosos, and Lomachenko, who are not even champions right now, will be tough for Stevenson with their championship level experience. Ryan Garcia is also out there and he’s ranked fourth in the world by Ring Magazine. The path ahead is tough, but glory bound for Shakur Stevenson. Now, we just have to figure out the politics.

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In addition to covering Olympic wrestling for My MMA News, Blaine Henry, the author, also analyzes fights from all combat sports across the globe. 

Blaine Henry can be found on Twitter, and Substack.

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