Edwin De Los Santos says he saw fear in the face of Shakur Stevenson during their face-off yesterday at the weigh-in, and he feels he’s got “chicken” in him and will run tonight from the opening bell in their headliner on ESPN at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
De Los Santos could steal the victory with his bravery, aggressiveness, and heavy hands in tonight’s main event contest for the vacant WBC lightweight title.
That belt would be a valuable pawn piece for De Los Santos to transmute into a giant payday against Gervonta Davis for next year.
De Los Santos could make untold riches from a fight with Tank Davis and live like a king in a beautiful mansion if he can get that fight. But first, he must defeat Top Rank’s guy, Stevenson.
Bob Arum is giving Shakur a huge push, believing that he’s got the potential to be a major PPV attraction and the face of boxing.
There are a lot of doubts about Shakur, as he folded in the Olympics from pressure fighter Robeisy Ramirez in 2016, and he looked plain awful against puncher Jeremiah Nakathilia in the pro ranks.
Shakur (20-0, 10 KOs) insists he won’t fight defensively, saying that his last four fights are proof of that, but he hasn’t faced a puncher since his contest against Jeremiah Nakathilia in 2021.
Stevenson’s last four opponents weren’t big punchers, so it was easier for him to stand in front of them at times rather than resorting to the usual safety-first style he’s used his entire professional and amateur career.
Is Shakur’s confidence gone?
“The weigh-in was interesting. The tension. I have him nervous. I have his hairs standing up. The chicken has died,” said Edwin De Los Santos to Top Rank Boxing about Shakur Stevenson ahead of their fight tonight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “No one hates Shakur with the consistency and passion that I have.”
The way that Shakur talked a mile a minute, studdering, his words didn’t match his body language during the face-off with De Los Santos. Shakur had the look of someone that was worried about what could happen to him when he starts getting hit hard by De Los Santos.
It doesn’t help that a video was leaked showing Shakur getting beaten up by his sparring partner, 140-pounder Kevin Johnson. Moreover, the rumors of Shakur getting knocked out by Liam Paro in training camp are floating around, and they could have truth to them.
“He’s sharp, he’s ready. He’s going to go out there and shine,” said Terence Crawford about Shakur. “He’s going to make it do what it do.”
“Man, there’s some people who don’t worry about. I don’t worry about him,” said Andre Ward, talking about Stevenson. “You got a guy that takes a lot of punishment, and it depends on if he’s going to be tougher than the other guy; you got a lot to worry about.
“If you’ve got a master boxer like that [Shakur], I don’t worry about him,” said Ward.
“Shakur doesn’t need much motivation at this point. For his opponent, Edwin. He’s done what he’s supposed to do, acting like he wasn’t scared, but I could see it in his face that he wasn’t really sincere about what he was saying,” said Wali Moses of Team Shakur.
“During the face-off, he [De Los Santos] started laughing. It’s not a time to be laughing and joking. He may think it’s that. I don’t know how he does on this level, but I promise you, he is going down,” said Moses.
De Los Santos’ trainer predicting victory
“It’s going to be a war. I see a good fight going down and my man victorious,” said De Los Santos’ trainer, Chelo Betancourt, about his battle tonight against Stevenson.
“I got all my trust in my guy. It’s been a hell of a camp, and we’re ready, man. We ready.”
“Shakur is locked in, and the fact that he’s got somebody that is talking to him the way that Edwin De Los Santos is, I think has sparked something in Shakur, and that is going to make for a better fight,” said Bernardo Osuna of ESPN.
“I love the sport of boxing. I love everything about boxing. For now, I’m enjoying the moment. I can’t tell you when I’m going to retire, I can’t tell you none of that stuff,” said Shakur Stevenson.
“I love it. I’m married to boxing. That’s my other wife right there. I want to be in the most competitive fights, which is why I’m fighting Edwin De Los Santos. I just want to push myself and keep getting better.
“I want to fight whoever, whenever. As long as the business is right, I’m ready for it. Everything happens for a reason, and I’m going to get my just do when it comes time,” said Stevenson.