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Shakur Stevenson batters Robson Conceicao en route to decision win in junior lightweight finale

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Shakur Stevenson may have lost his WBO and WBC junior lightweight titles on the scale when he was underweight to fight Robson Conceicao, but he dominated the ring juniors with a dominant decision victory in front of hometown.

Stevenson was forced to vacate the titles after failing to make weight on Thursday and made it clear immediately that he would move up to lightweight. Having perhaps lost a few points among boxers due to his botched punch, Stevenson made sure to put on a gem of a performance when he outclassed Conceicao by nearly 140 full punches.

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Stevenson was more aggressive early on than in some past fights, causing some to call him a “boring fighter”. Conceição’s style played into Stevenson’s hands, as the former Olympian hit with wild forehands that allowed Stevenson to easily avoid swallowing clean punches by throwing muted counterattacks.

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Stevenson, one of the sport’s most skilled defensive fighters, made adjustments as the rounds progressed, seeing Conceicao’s lack of ineffectual recoil and high defense as an opportunity to hit the body with his left hand from a left-handed stance. This body work more than paid off in the final seconds of the fourth round, when he landed a delayed knockdown.

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Body shots continued from Stevenson until Conceição’s guard dropped enough to open up cleaner shots to the head, which Stevenson happily took advantage of.

In the 9th round, Stevenson was deducted a point for throwing Conceição to the ground during an awkward clinch. The moment was a reaction to one frustration Stevenson experienced in the fight, as he often complained about Conceiçao’s rough tactics in the clinch. He threw Conceição to the canvas again in the 10th round but did not lose a point for the foul the second time.

Round after round the same thing played out, with Conceição unable to find Stevenson as Stevenson built up a drastic hitting advantage leading to wide scorecards of 117–109, 117–109 and 118–108 at the completion of 12 rounds. In total, Stevenson landed 199 punches – 75 to the body – a total of 60 at Conceicao.

After the fight, Stevenson spoke about what’s next in his career as he moves up to the deep and dangerous lightweight division.

“We have to fight the champion. Get ready,” Haney said. “Me and [undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney], we can block him after he fights Kambosos. Let’s start. Sick [fight] Lomachenko too.

For Conceição, this was his second chance to win a world title, having previously lost to Oscar Valdez in a bid for the WBC junior lightweight crown. He could have taken his full fight purse and left when Stevenson lost weight and he would likely have found himself in a WBC title fight that Haney was forced to vacate.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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