Shakur Stevenson: Just a Kid From Newark


A few months back when USA Boxing was making their rounds in NYC to celebrate 100 days out from Rio, I got the opportunity to hang with some of the young bucks whose shoes I was once in, albeit I fell just short from competing in the Games because of some bad decisions.

One of those dudes was bantamweight Shakur Stevenson.  By all accounts, he is the U.S.’s best hope for a gold medal down in South America.  You can see him here giving me the stink eye in the segment we filmed that day for For The Win.

After that little meet-up, I was blessed to be able to have a small part in a commercial in the series that Powerade is doing with him.

Man, it’s intense. But so is the sport. As a guy who also had to fend for himself on the street, it hits home. I’m glad I was a part of it and I’m glad Stevenson is representing our country in Rio.

He’s a good person, and a great boxer. Let me talk to the boxing people:

Stevenson is a naturally gifted boxer. He is sharp and well-rounded, meaning that he is effective both on the inside and outside, but personally I think he’s better at mid-range, meaning he’s good at both distances. His speed and ring generalship are his strong suites. I don’t see him to be a big power puncher with one-punch KO ability, but when he puts his shots together he will likely put you on the floor.

I’m a big fan of the kid and I expect good things in Rio and even greater things as a professional boxer. I’m sure that there are promoters lining up offers left and right for Shakur Stevenson, and, as both a national and international boxing champion, he deserves it.

Shooting this commercial with Shakur was fun, though he’s young and has the world in the palm of his hands right now, he manages to stay down to earth and humble. Shakur is a fun guy. I’ve been able to have conversations with him about life, boxing, and staying focused on his goal. I’m really looking forward to seeing him triumph in his endeavors. The way he’s been steamrolling competition on the international level, I’m sure that the kid is destined for a medal in Rio, and what better metal than Gold?