Brick by Brick: Shakur Stevenson Defends Lightweight Crown in Newark Homecoming

Photo Courtesy: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

NEWARK, N.J. (July 6, 2024) — There is no place like Newark for Shakur Stevenson. The WBC lightweight world champion defended his crown in front of the hometown faithful with a unanimous decision over Artem Harutyunyan on Saturday evening at Prudential Center by scores of 119-109, 118-110, and 116-112.

Stevenson (22-0, 10 KOs) never was threatened by his Armenian-born, German-based challenger, who entered the fight coming off a nearly yearlong layoff. Harutyunyan (12-2, 7 KOs) was hurt with body shots on multiple occasions, and while Stevenson fought on his front foot for much of the fight’s second half, he was unable to finish off his stubborn foe.

“It’s kind of hard to prove it if you don’t have a fighter who wants to fight back. He’s just trying to make sure he survives. He’s a good fighter. He’s tough. He’s strong. I would’ve wanted him to try a little harder, so that way it could be a more fun fight,” Stevenson said. “I have to cut off the ring a bit more. He’d go one way and then go the other way, so I gotta go back in the gym and work on cutting off the gym.”

Harutyunyan said, Of course it was fun. Boxing is not a game. You have to fight. You get hit and have to hit back. It’s normal.”

O’SHOCKED! Conceição Dethrones Foster

The fourth time was the charm. Robson Conceição upset O’Shaquie “Ice Water” Foster by split decision to win the WBC junior lightweight world title in a tactical affair. Conceição fell short in world title bids three times before but did just enough to edge the defending champion in a verdict that sparked immediate debate.

Nonetheless, Conceição( 19-2-1, 9 KOs) prevailed by scores of 116-112 and 115-113, while Foster held a 116-112 edge on the third card. Foster, who won the belt in February 2023, made two title defenses before Saturday night’s stunner. 

“This is for my daughter. I promised this to my daughter, and I was able to fulfill that promise. I’m the champion of the world,” Conceição said.

Foster (22-3, 12 KOs) outlanded his challenger, 109-76, and vehemently disagreed with the verdict.

“I don’t know, man. I thought it was easy. I thought it was an easy fight. I didn’t get touched except with a headbutt. I don’t know, man,” Foster said. “I’ll be back. But I want the rematch. They stole this from me. They stole this fight from me. I just wanted to show the world I could bang it out, and if I want to, I don’t have to get touched. I guess it wasn’t good enough for the judges.”

Keyshawn Dominates Madueno

Lightweight contender Keyshawn Davis overcame the persistent pressure of Miguel Madueno and a plethora of roughhouse tactics, grinding out a unanimous decision to improve his record to 11-0.

Davis, the Olympic silver medal star from Norfolk, Virginia, kept calm and used his well-timed counter shots to triumph by scores of 99-91 3x. The two tussled after round six ended, and in the seventh, Madueno (31-3, 28 KOs) lifted Davis off the canvas in a maneuver that would make a WWE wrestler proud.

Davis found his offensive groove in the ninth and 10th rounds and outlanded Madueno at a more than 3-to-1 clip.

“He’s a rough type of a guy, a real physical type of guy,” Davis said. “We were doing a lot of rough tactics in there, just trying to get under each other’s skin. We were both tough in there, and neither of our wills got broke.”

In other results:

Lightweight: Cleveland-born prodigy Abdullah Mason (14-0, 12 KOs) opened the ESPN telecast with a flourish, knocking out Luis Lebron in the third round. Lebron (20-6-1, 13 KOs) had never been stopped before, and Mason made easy work of the Puerto Rican veteran. Mason knocked Lebron twice in the second, first with an overhand left and then with a series of right hooks. The end was near, and Lebron’s corner threw in the towel at 1:18 of the third to prevent further damage.

Mason said, “I guess we fed him a little bit of smoke, and he didn’t have the appetite for it.”

Junior Lightweight: In a crossroads battle of 130-pound contenders, Dominican standout Eridson Garcia (19-1, 12 KOs) notched a one-sided 10-round decision over William Foster III (17-2, 11 KOs) by scores of 99-91 and 98-92 2x.

Featherweight: Newark-born prospect Keith Colon (1-0, 1 KO) had a successful professional debut, blasting out Hunter Turbyfill (4-2, 1 KO) in the second round. Colon connected on a series of right uppercuts, which backed Turbyfill into the blue corner and prompted referee Shada Murdaugh to stop the bout.

Junior Welterweight: Kelvin Davis (13-0, 7 KOs), the eldest brother of the fighting DB3 family, used his southpaw jab and long reach to turn away the stiff challenge of Kevin Johnson (12-4, 8 KOs) by eight-round majority decision (76-76 and 78-74 2x). Davis built a 6-0 lead on two of the judges’ scorecards, which was too much for the Las Vegas-based veteran to overcome.

Heavyweight: Ali Feliz (3-0, 2 KOs) went the distance for the first time as a pro, overcoming a game Robinson Perez (2-1) en route to a four-round unanimous decision victory. Scores: 40-36 3x. 

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