Stevenson wasn’t great, but he did enough against De Los Santos

Shakur Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) won another belt on Thursday night when he defeated Edwin De Los Santos (16-2, 14 KOs) by unanimous decision at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

One judge had it 115-113, while the other two had it 116-112.

The 26-year-old captured the vacant WBC lightweight crown and now has three titles in three different weight classes.

However, as he acknowledged after the fight, it was not one of his better performances.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 28: A general view of the Seniesa Estrada vs Leonela Yudica fight night at Palms Casino Resort on July 28, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

According to CompuBox, Stevenson landed 65 of his 209 punches, while De Los Santos was busier(316 punches), but he landed only 40 punches. Again, Stevenson did his job, but it could have been more appealing and fascinating to the fans, and he knows it.

“I had a bad performance tonight. That’s all I’m really focused on. I wasn’t feeling too good, so I’ll live with it. It’s okay. I came here and got the victory, and that’s all I wanted to do.

“I just didn’t feel good. I didn’t feel good before the fight. Honestly, I had already told myself that if I feel like this in the ring and if it’s not going well, I’m going to make sure that I box and get the victory.”

De Los Santos wasn’t great either, but he blamed Stevenson.

“We all know what happened,” De Los Santos said. “He came for a track meet. He didn’t come to fight. I showed that I am on a higher level because he never stood and fought like he does with other fighters.

“I did my job. He came to survive. That’s what he did. They gifted him the title, but I’m the people’s champion.”

Stevenson has a belt but had a more significant opportunity to impress on a big stage, and he did not do it. The fans in the crowd were booing, and most of the reaction on social media was negative toward Stevenson. However, belts matter, and the belt could open the door for bigger fights against more prominent fighters, but Stevenson’s skillset will make others still probably avoid him.

Navarrete and Conceição Fight to Majority Draw

Emanuel Navarrete (38-1-1, 31 KOs) and Robson Conceição (17-2-1, 8 KOs) fought to a majority draw in tonight’s co-feature.

Navarrete, the reigning WBO junior lightweight world champion, retained his title in a hard-fought battle. The three-division Mexican champ struggled with Conceição’s movement, but eventually found him in the fourth round with combinations around his guard that dropped the Brazilian Olympic gold medalist.

Conceição showed heart and endurance, returning to exchange in the center of the ring in round five. He often caught Navarrete with counter right hands and seemed to gain momentum, but he was sent to the canvas again in the seventh round.

Conceição thrived in the later rounds, going blow for blow until the final seconds of the twelfth round.

One judge had it 114-112 for Navarrete, which was overruled by two scores of 113-113.

“The decision is well-deserved. Robson is a great fighter,” Navarrete said. “He deserves the rematch, but that decision doesn’t depend 100 percent on me. But, if it does happen, I would train even better.”

In other acition:

Welterweight: Brian Norman Jr. (24-0, 19 KOs) captured the WBO International welterweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision win over the previously unbeaten Quinton Randall (13-1-1, 3 KOs). The two engaged in many clinches throughout the fight, which stifled the exchanges. Nevertheless, Norman was aggressive enough to prevail. Scoores: 99-91 2x and 97-93.

Bantamweights: In a battle between two of Las Vegas’ best prospects, Floyd “Cash Flow” Diaz (10-0, 3 KOs) notched an eight-round split decision over Max Ornelas (15-2-1, 5 KOs) to capture the WBC Youth bantamweight belt. Diaz, despite a considerable height disadvantage, dropped Ornelas with left hands in the second and third rounds. Ornelas rallied in the later rounds, but it was not enough. Scores: 77-73 and 78-72 Diaz and 76-74 Ornelas.

Middleweights: Tokyo 2020 U.S. Olympian Troy Isley (11-0, 4 KOs) overcame the toughest test of his career by out-slugging Mexican warrior Vladimir Hernandez (14-6, 6 KOs) to win via unanimous decision. Isley entered the fight determined to press the action, but Hernandez pinned him against the ropes on several occasions, punching around his guard. Isley, however, dug deep, and prevailed in most of the exchanges, edging Hernandez by two rounds on the judges’ scorecards. Scores: 77-75 3x.

Lightweight: Rising star Emiliano Fernando Vargas (8-0, 7 KOs) shined tonight with a second-round stoppage victory against Brandon Mendoza (6-3, 6 KOs). Vargas hunted Mendoza from the opening second, sending him to the canvas with a combination in the first round before landing a chopping right hand to end the contest in round two. Time of stoppage :57.

Heavyweight: Australian southpaw Jackson “White Chocolate” Murray (6-0, 4 KOs) remained unbeaten with a six-round unanimous decision win against Steven Torres (6-1-1, 6 KOs). Murray dropped Torres with a right hook in the third round and controlled the contest with straight left hands. Scores: 60-53 3x.

Lightweight: 19-year-old phenom Abdullah Mason (11-0, 9 KOs) scored a second-round knockout victory over Jose Cardenas (7-2, 5 KOs). Mason dropped Cardenas with a left hand in the first and finished him another left in the third. Time of stoppage: 1:55.

Junior Welterweight: Hugo Micallef (9-0, 2 KOs) made a successful U.S. debut by outboxing Sergio Odabai (6-2-1, 3 KOs) en route to a stoppage win. “The Fresh Prince of Monaco” landed at will in every round, forcing referee Raul Caiz Jr. to finally halt the fight after the fourth stanza.

Super Middleweight: Giovanni Sarchioto (9-0, 8 KOs) opened the night with a third-round TKO win over Lucas de Abreu (14-5, 11 KOs). Time of stoppage: 2:06.

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