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Newark’s Shakur Stevenson Loses Heartbreaker; Takes Home Silver

Newark native Shakur Stevenson lost in his bantamweight gold medal match against Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba, earning the silver medal in a split-decision.

Stevenson was very clearly distraught after the fight, covering his head in his jersey immediately after the final ruling, with his trademark smile finally wiped away from his face. Numerous coaches, family members, and boxing teammates, such as Claressa Shields, tried to console the boxer, but they couldn’t encourage him, as he constantly repeated that he counted the silver medal as a loss, and that he had let everyone at home down. However, the young boxer shouldn’t take any shame from his bout, as he put up a great fight, in one of the greatest matches in recent Olympic history.

Ramirez was the defending Olympic champion in the event, but even the 22-year old couldn’t completely blow away the 19-year old Stevenson. Ramirez is a veteran, but Stevenson’s speed helped him keep up, deftly dodging his attacks. Both sides showed incredible quickness, possibly even matched, the same speed that helped each of them make the final.

In the first round, it was a late flurry of punches against the ropes in the closing seconds that barely gave the round to Ramirez. The second round was as dominating as either boxer would produce in the match, with Stevenson taking it coast to coast. After the bell had rung he jumped away from it, knowing full well that he had just leveled the score in the eyes of the judges.

In the last however, it was again just the final 30 seconds that allowed the Cuban to edge Stevenson, with another flurry of punches that the New Jerseyan couldn’t avoid, giving Ramirez the win. Only a handful of solid hits by Stevenson would have definitely swung the match the other way, a true testament to how close the match was.

It was the Newark native’s first ever career loss in international play, and it will more than likely be his last. He has expressed all intention of becoming a professional after the Olympics, hoping to go into the pro ranks as a gold medalist, and then begin to win world championships. Floyd Mayweather has expressed interest in promoting the young boxer, even coming to watch some of his fights in Rio. Mayweather famously won the bronze in a controversial decision in the 1996 games, and then went on to put up a pristine 49-0 boxing record. Stevenson has been compared to Mayweather several times, and he’d obviously want to follow in his professional footsteps.

The United States gold medal drought continues in the men’s side of boxing in the Olympics. The last gold for them came from Andre Ward, when he won his division in the 2004 Athens Games. They were left off of the podium entirely in London, but they found a slight rebound in 2016, when Nico Hernandez earned a bronze, and now Stevenson’s silver.


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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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