Featherweight Shakur Stevenson was advised not to take a fight against Christopher Diaz -- at least not yet.
But Stevenson (11-0, 6 KO's), 31, a 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist and one of boxing's top prospects, did not want to be the average prospect that gets put on a slow track to become a world champion. On Saturday, Stevenson took a dramatic step up in competition to face former junior lightweight world title challenger Christopher "Pitufo" Diaz.
Stevenson dominated from the opening second en route to a unanimous decision rout. The three judges had it 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92. FightNights.com also scored it 100-90.
"I take nothing away from Christopher Diaz. He's a great fighter, but I came in there to outbox him, and that's exactly what I did," Stevenson said.
The difference in speed was obvious from the get-go as Stevenson, a southpaw, popped Diaz's head back consistently with quick jabs, and went downstairs with one-two combinations to the body. Diaz had no answers and was getting hit with virtually everything that Stevenson was throwing. Even when Diaz charged forward and let his hands go briefly, Stevenson was able to block, counter, and evade.
According to CompuBox, Stevenson connected on 165 of 445 punches (37 percent), and Diaz landed just 76 of 345 (22 percent).
"Listen, I want all the champions at 126 pounds. Josh Warrington is someone I want to fight. I am ready," Stevenson said.
Stevenson could return to the ring on July 13 in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey, on a Top Rank on ESPN card, but that will ultimately depend on an ongoing legal case. Stevenson was arrested on July 1 and charged with misdemeanor battery in connection with a parking garage fight.