Stevenson wins WBO featherweight title

The 2016 silver medalist has now become a world champion.

Shakur Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs) cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Joet Gonzalez (23-1) with three scores of 119-109 to win the WBO featherweight championship that was vacated by Oscar Valdez. He is the first male Olympian from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games to become a world champion.

This was supposed to be a fight with some bad blood between the combatants, as Stevenson is in a relationship with Joet’s sister and Joet has not been happy with that. However, once the fight took place Stevenson showed that he was levels above Gonzalez. The speed and defense of Stevenson was too much for Gonzalez, and if it wasn’t for one round where Stevenson took a breather it would have been a shutout victory for the 22 year old from Newark. According to Compubox punch statistics, Gonzalez only landed a total of 4 jabs in 12 rounds.

Stevenson lands a body shot against Gonzalez. Photo by Mikey Williams

While there was animosity coming from Joet Gonzalez and his corner, Stevenson didn’t think it was that big of a deal. “I don’t got nothing to be mad about with him,” Stevenson said after the fight. “If he wants to be cool, I’ll be cool with him. All that was business. It was personal for him, but it was business for me. I have a lot of respect for Joet. He is a great fighter.”

“I told him he’s a helluva fighter. He didn’t really want to talk to me, but it is what it is. I ain’t trippin.”

Joet Gonzalez felt differently about the feud being over.

“He said a lot of bad things. But it’s fine. You live, and you learn. I don’t know how he can say there’s no hard feelings, no disrespect, but the whole time he was disrespecting my family. So now that the fight’s over, it doesn’t go away just like that. Only time will tell. He has to show us respect.”

Gonzalez gets in a right to the body of Stevenson. Photo by Mikey Williams

While it remains to be seen if this rivalry will come to an end, the newly crowned champion is looking forward to challenges in the featherweight division. He is already looking forward to a possible unification match with IBF champion Josh Warrington as he has previously called him out.

“Warrington, you don’t got no date. Me and you. You’re a champion. I’m a champion. You said you wouldn’t fight me until I got a title. I got a title now. Let’s work it.”

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