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Local Olympics Spotlight: Newark, NJ Native Shakur Stevenson Favorite For Boxing Gold




Teenage boxing sensation and Newark native, Shakur Stevenson, is ready to take Rio by storm as the favorite to win a gold medal.

Stevenson has dominated the international scene on the junior stage, winning the Youth Olympic and world championship gold in 2014, as well as the junior world championships in 2013. Each of those tournaments was won in unanimous decisions, showing how dominant he has been. He won the U.S. Olympic Trials easily over rival Ruben Villa, punching his ticket to Rio.

Stevenson is the presumptive favorite in the bantam weight class, and he takes an undefeated international record of 23-0 into the Olympic tournament. The main opposition in his bid for gold are defending Olympic champion Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba, and defending world champion Michael Conlan of Ireland. His inexperience against the world’s elite amateurs may hamper him a bit, but his jab is world class, and he brings great speed as well to the table.

There will be some great fights and close calls, but Shakur Stevenson has more than enough talent to compete with the best in the world. He should be able to get the gold medal, and even if he slips up, he should be able to find his way to the medal stand.

In London four years ago, American men were shut out from the podium entirely in boxing, with only one boxer even making it to the quarterfinals, and no man has won the gold since Andre Ward took it home in 2004. Stevenson is looking to return America to its boxing roots, and represent the red, white and blue as well as Newark on top of the podium.

He first began boxing at age five. He is named after hip-hop singer Tupac Shakur. His grandfather, Willie Moses, ran a local boxing gym, Elite Heat Boxing Gym, in Newark that had produced several national champions. He is the oldest of nine siblings, and trains at Alexandria Boxing Club in Virginia. After the Olympics are over, many expect Stevenson to go pro, and have a very successful career. Many draw comparisons to Andre Ward and Floyd Mayweather to the level of success he may achieve.



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Dan is a Staff Writer here at with a focus on Team USA and the Rio Olympics
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